Cuonzo Martin: Freshman point Charlie Moore could be one of the best to come out of Cal

SAN FRANCISCO -- Cuonzo Martin and Jabari Bird lavish praise on freshman point guard Charlie Moore at the PAC-12 men's basketball media day.

SAN FRANCISCO -- California freshman point guard Charlie Moore is a "dynamic ... extremely fast point guard. Super talented for a kid that young," said senior wing Jabari Bird at the Pac-12 Men's Basketball Media Day on Friday. The first-year point out of Chicago is "battle tested," according to head coach Cuonzo Martin. "He's been battle tested since he stepped on the high school circuit with his high school team, with his summer AAU team," Martin said. "[He] played against high-level talent every day in practice. If you watched his high school practices, guys are in the gym that he's competing against since he was probably 14. So you knew he was going to be a good player. He's a tough kid."

Moore, who pulled the trigger for the Bears this summer after initially signing with Memphis, is a speedy, pesky ball-handler and a polished shooter, very much in the mold of one of his acquaintances -- Jerome Randle.

"He hasn't really hit a bump yet, where he couldn't handle it," Bird said. "He's been extremely mature, and I'm looking forward to playing with him this season."

"Like Jabari said, he might be the first one that I've seen as a young guy, as a true freshman from the summertime up until now that really hasn't skipped a beat or hasn't hit a wall yet, or hasn't made facial expressions, body language,'I'm struggling, Coach,' complaining," Martin said. "He just takes his strides and keeps rolling. He wants to be a success. He pushes the ball and makes guys better. But, again, a lot of credit to his background and the way his dad put him in a situation to be successful. So wouldn't be surprised when it's all said and done [if] Charlie's one of the better guys that have ever come out of Cal."

Both Martin and Bird also talked about the return of forward Ivan Rabb -- who was recently named to the Karl Malone Award Watch List -- as well as how last year's season-ending loss motivated the team this offseason, during the podium portion of the day.

Following the opening remarks, Martin said, forcefully, that Moore is "a pitbull," not too dissimilar from another canid the Bears had years ago -- fellow Chicago native Randle, nicknamed The Bulldog.

In fact, Randle himself has praised Moore.

Randle was a two-time first-team All-Pac-10 honoree, and was the Pac-10 Player of the Year as a senior, when he guided the Bears to their first conference title in 50 years. He was also named an AP honorable mention All-American. He finished his career at Cal as the school's all-time leading scorer with 1,835 career points, and set school marks for three-pointers made (with 252), and free throw accuracy (88.1%).

Bird, who grew up watching Cal, and remembers seeing Randle's senior season in 2010, said that Randle was the first person to come to mind when he saw Moore play for the first time.

"I watched Jerome his senior year, so I watched him as a finished product in college, compared to Charlie being a raw freshman, but that was the first thing that came to mind when I'd first seen Charlie play," Bird said. "They've both got deep range, both of them are really fast. Charlie might be a better athlete, from what I've seen. He can get up and dunk, despite his height challenge. Charlie, he's fun to play with, man, and he's a sponge. He's always willing to listen and learn from the older guys. He's not scared of anybody."

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