BERKELEY – The Cal basketball program took a huge hit Thursday when freshman guard Charlie Moore announced he will transfer. Moore said he wants to play closer to his hometown of Chicago.
“This was an extremely difficult decision for me, but the opportunity to be closer to my family is one that I feel is necessary for me at this time,” Moore said in a statement released by the university. “I am grateful for my first year at California and for teammates who became my brothers.”
Moore averaged 12.2 points in 34 starts and led the Bears with 120 assists. He was voted a Pac-12 All-Freshman honorable mention, according to a Cal press release.
“Charlie and I have had numerous discussions regarding his role within our program, but I understand that he feels it’s in his best interest to return closer to his family,” new Cal coach Wyking Jones said. “Although I am disappointed that Charlie won’t be continuing his career with us, we respect his decision and want to thank him for his contributions to our team.”
The Bears have now lost Moore and sophomore forward Ivan Rabb, who declared for the NBA draft. Even with those two in the lineup, the Bears failed to make the NCAA Tournament this season under coach Cuonzo Martin, who left after the season to coach at Missouri.
Cal only returns one starter next season in Kingsley Okoroh. He led the team in blocked shots and was an all-Pac-12 defensive honorable mention.
The Bears do return eight players who saw action last season, and Deer Valley High School grad Marcus Lee will be eligible after transferring from Kentucky. Cal also has signed four-star prospect Justice Sueing, a 6-7, 205-pound power forward from Mater Dei High in Santa Ana.