Stephen R. Sylvanie / USA TODAY Sports

Cal freshman point guard Charlie Moore has requested and been granted his release

Charlie Moore has asked for his release from Cal basketball on Thursday, and it was granted, so he will now transfer to be closer to his ailing father.

California freshman point guard Charlie Moore requested and was granted his release from his scholarship by the Bears on Thursday, and intends to transfer, according to the team.

Two years ago, Moore's father, Curtis, suffered a stroke, and he is unable to get on a plane to fly and see his son play. That, Moore, said in a statement, is the reason he is requesting his transfer, to a school closer to his Chicago, Ill., hometown. 

“After many discussions with my family, I’ve made the decision to transfer to be closer to home,” Moore said. “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. I am grateful for my first year at California and for teammates who became my brothers. I look forward to supporting Coach Jones and the Bears in the future, and I also want to thank the fans for all their support this past season.”

A Cal source indicated that the decision was purely based on Moore's desire to be closer to his father, not on the coaching change that saw Wyking Jones replace the coach who recruited Moore, Cuonzo Martin, who is now at Missouri.

The move leaves the Bears without an experienced point guard. Cal was planning on having Jemarl Baker be in the mix, but after the coaching change, Baker asked out of his National Letter of Intent, and committed to KentuckyDontae Coleman is an option, but had 28 turnovers to just 15 assists in 27 games, averaging 11.4 minutes, though he scored 26 in the NIT-opening loss to Cal State Bakersfield. Incoming freshman Juhwan Harris-Dyson is also an option, but he profiles more as a driving wing, not as a pure point.

Brandon Chauca sat all of last season (save for one minute in one game) with a hand injury, but when he last played a full season, he played in only 8 games, averaging 4.8 minutes, shooting 11.1% from the field. 

This past season, Moore averaged 12.2 points in 34 starts while leading the Bears with 120 assists. He finished the season fifth among Cal’s freshman records for assists and three-pointers made (45), sixth for points (414) and seventh for free throws made (99). Moore was voted a Pac-12 All-Freshman honorable mention.

“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,” 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.”

With Moore leaving, the Bears will return just one starter from the 2016-17 team, in single-season blocks leader Kingsley Okoroh, a Pac-12 All-Defensive Team honorable mention selection. Former McDonald's All-American Marcus Lee will be eligible, replacing Ivan Rabb, who has declared for the NBA Draft, but gone are Sam SingerJabari BirdGrant Mullins and Roger Moute a Bidias, all of whom had starting experience, as well as Stephen Domingo. Cal is now left with just 7.6 points per game out of the 68.0 it averaged last season, losing 88.8% of its scoring.

The Bears will add freshmen Justice Sueing and Grant Anticevich, who signed on Wednesday, and the Wooden Award High School Player of the Year in Harris-Dyson. 

“Looking forward, we are excited about the student-athletes already in our program who are committed to building on our success here. We also have several talented players joining us this fall who will help shape that culture,” Jones added. “We are focused on finding and developing student-athletes who are committed to this program and all that Cal has to offer.”

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