Hey, did you all miss me during my brief vacation absence? It’s just as well, as my time away allowed the transfer portal season to shake out just a bit. Though I admit that I hoped that Cal MBB would have SOMETHING positive to report nearly a month after I previewed the off-season roster situation.
Alas, good MBB news isn’t allowed, as the only change since then is confirmation of what we all expected already: Andre Kelly’s likely departure. So let’s start with the program that DOES have some good news:
Cal WBB transfer portal update
Out: F Dalayah Daniels, F Fatou Samb, G Cailyn Crocker
In: F Sirena “Peanut” Tuitele (Colorado), Claudia Langarita
Edit - in the time between drafting and publishing, Cal secured another portal commitment from Utah transfer guard Kemery Martin, who was a solid rotational player for Utah two years ago before injuries derailed her 2021-22 season. Thanks to reader OaklandBear72 for catching the news!
Unfortunately, three Cal WBB players have entered the transfer portal, but Charmin Smith acted quickly to replace them by bringing in two transfers of her own.
One is a very, very known quantity. Peanut Tuitele has played four years of Pac-12 basketball with Colorado and has put up perhaps the most consistent stats I’ve ever seen from a college player. Every season has seen her average between 22 and 25 minutes/game, from 4.2 to 5.4 rebounds/game, and between 7.3 and 7.9 points/game. Here shooting percentages have been steady, as she’s shot between 51% and 56% on her two point shots.
Probably her biggest plus? The assumption that she’s a capable defender. After all, she was a key part of a Colorado rotation that had the 2nd best defense in the conference last year.
Will one year from Tuitele change the course of Cal’s program? Probably not, but she’s a solid, capable addition to Cal’s post rotation.
Cal’s 2nd transfer portal addition is particularly intriguing - USF transfer forward Claudia Langarita, a Barcelona native who has received time in the Spain national team set up. She’s listed at 6’4’’, and you can see her in action in this highlight clip: (#22, frankly playing against opponents that looked undersized/overwhelmed)
She just finished her freshman season at USF, and it wouldn’t surprise me if her transfer is related to allegations of abuse against USF’s head coach Molly Goodenbaur.
As you can see from the highlight clip, she’s smooth and controlled inside and that’s allowed her to put up an impressive 10 points/game in just 23 minutes/game, and on solid shooting (52.4%). She’s probably going to have to work on her physicality and interior speed, as she’s not yet a good rebounder for her size and she was very foul prone last year, getting whistled for 1 foul every 8.4 minutes on the court. Those who watched the Bears beat USF this past year may recall that she fouled out in 11 minutes against Cal.
But she’s young, has ideal size, and obvious plus skills around the basket. If Cal can maximize those strengths and work with her to improve other aspects of her game, she could be a really intriguing player.
With three players coming in (these two transfer additions plus freshman guard Amaya Bonner) to replace Cal’s three outgoing transfers, the Bears might be done with roster movement. But Cal does still have one scholarship to give out if Charmin Smith so chooses, so we’ll see if there ends up being another portal addition.
Cal MBB transfer portal update
A few weeks ago, I mentioned that Cal reached out to transfers Mike Saunders Jr., Jason Roche, and Jaelin Llewellyn. Unfortunately, Saunders Jr. has committed to Utah and Roche is headed to Richmond. Llewellyn briefly committed to Clemson before reopening his recruitment, though I’ve seen zero indication that Cal is actually under consideration. Still a possibility, I guess!
In that time, Cal also reached out to Pitt transfer point guard Femi Odukale, but he has since eliminated Cal from consideration.
So who might Cal actually get? Well, here are the players who still reportedly have Cal in consideration:
UTEP transfer combo guard Souley Boum
As you can tell from an extensive and impressive offer list, Boum has impressed in three years at UTEP, flashing plus jump shooting (career 35% from three and 84% from the line with an impressive fouls drawn rate, solid assist-to-turnover ratio, and decent rebounding for his position. He’s got one year of eligibility left and it would be something if Cal got him considering his offer list is full of NCAA tournament teams.
Coastal Carolina combo guard Rudi Williams
Cal probably has a better shot at Rudi Williams, since the Bears have actually made his top eight. He’s a grad transfer with one year of eligibility left:
Williams spent two years at the JC level before spending a rough year at Kansas State. But he flourished last year as Coastal Carolina’s go-to ball handler, shooting 47% from three with a solid assist rate. Can Cal out-recruit a bunch of programs that are all in healthier shape?
Holy Cross point guard Kyrell Luc
On the bright side, Luc has only used one year of eligibility, and he appears to be a capable shooter (36% from three, 79% from the line). On the downside, he played for an awful team (8th in a really down Patriot League, 349th Kenpom) so there’s some real reasons to doubt about how well a transition up to the Pac-12 would go.
Texas shooting guard Courtney Ramey
I have no particular reason to believe that Cal has a shot at Ramey, who was a high level contributor on both ends for a tournament team and who has an offer list to match his ability, but he technically hasn’t eliminated Cal or made a commitment, so he makes the list.
EDIT: Siena Guard Colby Rogers
HT to reader Thanaver, who pointed out that Cal will get a visit from Siena transfer Colby Rogers:
Rogers struggled in two years at Cal Poly, but found his touch as a shooter last year at Siena. He has two years of eligibility remaining, and though he’s not a point guard in the traditional sense, his stat profile suggests he’s used to having the ball in his hands plenty.
There’s a clear profile of guys Mark Fox and company are chasing - ball handling point guard/combo guards who can shoot. It’s a clear need on the team and I assume Cal will eventually add somebody that roughly fits this profile, whether it’s one of the players listed above or somebody else who has entered the portal. The question is how many times will Cal have to reach out to a player and miss before they finally get somebody to say yes and actually come to Berkeley?