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Basketball: D.J. Seeley to transfer

Coach Mike Montgomery announced today that D.J. Seeley has been given a release from his scholarship, and the sophomore guard confirmed he will transfer to another school.

“It was time for me to move on. I just feel like I need a new start,” Seeley said in a phone interview. “It wasn’t what I was thinking it would be like. It was a hard road. I just know I wasn’t happy.”

Seeley told me it was his idea to move on, but he has not been a good fit for Montgomery’s style of play from the start. Seeley was recruited out of Modesto Christian High by Ben Braun, who was gone by the time Seeley arrived on campus in the fall of 2008.

After Cal’s second-round loss to Duke in the NCAA Tournament a week ago Sunday, senior guard Patrick Christopher talked up Seeley’s prospects, suggesting it was his time to blossom. Seeley told me he hoped to become a team leader and that his performance might surprise people.

Today, he acknowledged transferring was something he’s been thinking about for a while. ”It was more of a business deecision than an emotional decision,” he said.

He said he wasn’t sure if he’d earn the starting job at shooting guard, vacated by Christopher’s graduation.

“You never really know,” Seeley said.”It would all come down to next year and how the coaches felt about my performance as far as what I did.”

Seeley averaged 2.4 points in 25 games this season, shooting 36.2 percent from the field, including 27.3 percent from 3-point range. In 51 games over two seasons, he averaged 2.2 points.

Seeley said he doesn’t know where he plans to attend school next season, but expects to make a decision within a month.

Seeley’s departure leaves open a second scholarship, not counting four committed to incoming freshmen. Depending on the outcome of the situation involving forward Omondi Amoke, who was suspended indefinitely for violation of team rules, the Bears could have the option to add as many as three more scholarship players before next season.

The coaching staff has been looking for another big man, but the focus now figures to expand to include one or two perimeter players.

Jorge Gutierrez is back for his junior season, able to play either point guard or shooting guard, but the only other returning scholarship guard is freshman point Brandon Smith.

Three incoming freshmen — Allen Crabbe, Gary Franklin Jr., and Alex Rossi — all figure to get the opportunity to show they deserve significant playing time at the perimeter spots.

Jeff Faraudo

  • Alex

    We wish DJ well.

    Now we have zero wing players returning… does Monty have the option of bringing in a JC transfer?

  • Will

    Good luck to D.J. I’m glad he got to experience a Pac-10 Championship and hope he finds more success elsewhere.

  • CM

    Calbears.com has a little graphic about season tickets for next year…at first there were pictures of Amoke, Seeley, Max and Jorge. Once Amoke was suspended he was removed from the picture. Now Seeley will be out as well! Our returners are dropping like flies!

    One thing’s for sure: next year will be a Monty team…by my count the only remaining Bruan players are Max and Harper Kamp!

  • The Wisdom Cow

    With Crabbe a certainty for serious pt at the 2, some 3, Franklin and Jorge sharing 1 & 2 time, and Rossi likely to get significant roll minutes for spotting up against zone Ds, Seeley would have had real competition for minutes. He is probably equal to those coming in, but their ceiling is greater given more years to grow. He is probably making the best choice for him to go somewhere and get 2 solid years as a starter. Good luck, DJ.

  • Kevin

    Good luck to DJ – I hope he finds the right fit.

    Looks like another year without a lot of experienced depth for the Bears…and a very challenging non-conference schedule. Looking forward to it though…

  • Bears

    Good luck to DJ. I hope he finds the right fit for himself.
    This development makes the offseason very interesting for coach Montgomery.
    What does he do? Bring in two prep players? One prep and a JC? Two JC players? One prep? One JC? Interested to see how this plays out. I think we will see at least one more quality player added onto the already strong 4 man recruiting class.
    Go out and get the best fit/fits for your program coach!

  • Juancho

    Good luck to DJ. Hopefully he has a better experience at his new school.

    I’m hoping that Monty doesn’t rush to hand out these extra scholarships just to have bodies. I’m happy to suffer through a lean year next year, and have those scholarships available for the next full year of recruiting. This way we won’t be put in a position to have to settle on players now, just to have people play.

    Does anyone know if historically Montgomery has given a lot of playing time to true freshmen? It’ll be interesting to see what he does next year. Either way, I’m excited about next year. Had Seeley stayed at Cal my outlook on next year wouldn’t be much different.

  • covinared

    A player recruited as a shooter needs to do more than throw up bricks.

  • uh oh.

    Wow. Surprising news – I’ve been away and was glad to sit back down and get caught up on everything. Thanks, JF, for providing that service!

    So, actually, this is not surprising news at all, and I thought it could come to pass a couple months ago. Seeley never played with the intensity necessary. I could accept that last year as a frosh, but when he still jogged around the floor in an upright position this year, complete with lazy underhanded passes and loose hands on the ball, it just seemed like he was never going to have the fire required to make it at this level.

    Maybe sometimes for guys like Seeley, if they get tons of playing time, begin scoring and getting emotionally involved, their intensity can be lifted enough to be acceptable at D-1 level, but most kids have to show it in practice first, and with the little court time they get.

    Seeley never showed it to me on the floor, and after 2 years, he probably saw the writing on the wall. Of course, a fellow in a similar position the past 2 years, Knezevich, could have transfered, but instead chose to ride the bench for a couple years, and will emerge with a Cal degree. I’m sure DJ could have done that, but he apparently preferred playing time to a Cal degree. Since he’s apparently not going to make any money playing pro ball in any manner, it appears to be an odd “business decision”, as he put it.

    Coach Monty should get the BEST recruit he can, JC or Prep. There really aren’t any good 2010 prepsters left unsigned out there (at least not within Cal’s reach) so my guess is he’ll either pick up a transfer (JC or otherwise) or simply scrap next season in hopes of working over the 2011 class. He suddenly seems to have some scholarship room to work with there. That’s probably what I would do. Let Crabbe, Franklin and Rossi feast with playing time experience! After the 2011 class, it will truly be a Monty led team. We are still very much halvesies with Braun recruits in the mix.

    Suck next year in order to rock in 2011.