Basketball: Murray, Rossi transferring

Reserve guards Emerson Murray and Alex Rossi — part of the five-man 2010 recruiting class that featured Allen Crabbe — are leaving the Bears’ program.

Murray, who averaged 1.4 points in 57 games over two seasons, will transfer to Seattle U, according to assistant coach Jay John.

Rossi, plagued by a bothersome lower-abdominal injury most of his two seasons, has returned home to the Chicago area to help with family issues, John said. Rossi redshirted in 2010-11 and played in just three games this past season.

Neither player ever started a game for the Bears.

The departures leave Cal with two vacant scholarships, although rising senior center Robert Thurman, originally a walk-on, could wind up with one of them.

The Bears’ backcourt depth actually should be better a year from now, even with the exit of Murray and Rossi and the graduation of senior Pac-12 Player of the Year Jorge Gutierrez.

Three newcomers — Missouri transfer Ricky Kreklow, and high school signees Tyrone Wallace and Kahlil Johnson — will add to the choices on the perimeter.

The Bears’ likely starting lineup next season: PG Justin Cobbs, SG Allen Crabbe, SG Ricky Kreklow, PF David Kravish, PF/C Richard Solomon.

Off the bench: PF Brandon Smith, C Robert Thurman, F Bak Bak, F Christian Behrens and the freshmen — Wallace, Johnson and PF Kaileb Rodriguez.  Also back is walk-on SG Jeff Powers.

Kreklow, who practiced all season with the team, already has the confidence of the coaching staff. Wallace, the most highly rated of the three freshmen, can play either PG or SG, but may not be needed immediately at the point, with Cobbs and Smith available.

Johnson, signed just last week out of Price HS in Los Angeles, is a 3-4 combo player with face-the-basket skills.

Murray, who came to Cal from Vancouver, B.C., never developed the raw potential the coaches saw in him. He shot 13 for 47 (27.7 percent) from the 3-point arc and did not handle the ball well enough to play point.

Rossi never could get healthy enough to find his way onto the court. Hernia and groin issues shelved him all of his freshman season, and he played just 16 minutes this past season. He left the team late this season to be with his family.

Regarded as an excellent catch-and-shoot perimeter threat, Rossi made one 3-point basket for the Bears.

Murray and Rossi were part of the recruiting class that arrived with great fanfare in the fall of 2010. G Gary Franklin Jr., transferred to Baylor midway through the 2010-11 season. Solomon was academically ineligible for the second semester this past season after earning a spot in the starting lineup, although he is expected to be OK moving forward.

Crabbe has delivered as the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year in 2010-11 and an all-Pac-12 selection this past season.



Jeff Faraudo

  • Cre8tivguy

    I know very little about basketball recruiting. Can anyone explain why Cal continues to struggle in basketball recruiting and has to take “walk-ons” or “projects” or “diamonds in the rough”, but these small schools like VCU, Murry State, Belmont, Creighton, Xavier, Butler, etc., get these huge, skilled, ballers that run the NCAA tournament every year?

  • DaveintheHills

    “these small schools like VCU, Murry State, Belmont, Creighton, Xavier, Butler, etc., get these huge, skilled, ballers that run the NCAA tournament every year?” <– success breeds success. What tournament run does Cal have to speak of? Cal's success has mainly been rooted in regular season success in the Pac 10/12…which no one watches or cares about.

    Also, seemingly every time Cal is on national/regional TV, they embarrass themselves. See last year's losses vs. Mizzou, UNLV, SDSU, South Florida.

    Btw, I say all this as a loyal season ticket holder who has gone to over 30 games just these past two years. I'm a huge (and biased) fan, but the above is the reality.

    Finally, there is a significant typo in the article. Brandon Smith is a point guard not a "PF".

  • David

    AAU connections, and shady dealings.

  • SteveNTEXAS

    Gee it wasn’t too long ago when I was the only one complaining about Monty’s recruiting.

    These guys leaving Cal without much success further illustrates my point. This 2011 class has been garbage, and I’ll spare the fools who thought otherwise by not going back and reposting their junk.

    On the other hand this COULD be a great opportunity for Cal as there are several top 100 players left at this late date. I mentioned a few on the previous basketball thread.

    Hey Monty C’Mere. Listen guy perhaps you and some Cal fans out there weren’t math majors-its ok. I’ll help you out. When it comes to rankings the Top Hundred is better than the 2nd hundred and the unranked. Also 4 stars is better than one or two.

    The idea is to win ( Without payola Moren) Its nice to get a rescue dog from the pound but don’t expect it to win any shows. Go for the better ones.

  • Juancho

    Agree with the comment about success breeding success.

    Something we can’t ignore is how important offensive scheme and style of play is for recruits. Monty doesn’t offer a dynamic or play-maker based offense. Meaning a lot of the top guys who want to be given a cart blanche to play their own way, won’t come here.

    Calipari is one of the coaches who staunchly believes that talent is more important than coaching or scheme, and he recruits the best guys and lets them play their own style. Whether it was Derrick Rose, or this past class. Of course running that kind of a student-run program has its consequences to, as Calipari has not had a squeeky clean image.

    Monty, for better or worse, is a system coach who needs to find guys for his system. His system is built on defense, grit, and inside-out ball movement. I don’t think Monty really has that fire to go full-hog after the top guys. And maybe it’s because he’s already had a successful career. Or maybe it’s because there are dirty things involved in going after these guys, like an Aaron Gordon at Mitty who is a Junior and I believe the 3rd ranked player in the country.

    When I was younger there was a time that I thought the bay area studs were going to continuously come to Cal. I think the lack of success the Powe / Ubaka / Kately class had is one of the primary reasons we have lost the bay area.

    Had they excelled and put us into a final 4 or elite 8, the next year we would have had Q Thompson out of Oakland Tech, and then in my opinion year after year we’d have top guys wanting to play here.

    But now – we’re more or less starting from scratch in the Bay Area. And I think that takes a more dynamic recruiter who wants to build a great reputation. Not a coach who already has one and will retire and go into the college basketball hall of fame as a Stanford guy (in my eyes).

  • SteveNTEXAS

    Juancho – Your last two sentences are best.

    Comparing Calipari and Monty is not a good idea – one has his team in the limelight ( but there are some unsavory aspects to him) and the other is taking Cal out of the national picture. Comparing Monty and Tom Crean might be better. They are both honest coaches who look for good students and are both excellent at the xxs and oos but Monty can’t recruit. Cream is always recruiting. he will take time after a late game to see a kid he likes. IU just offered Eron Gordon the younger brother of Eric Gordon – and the kid is just starting high school.

  • Takeoffthatredshirt

    “taking Cal out of the national picture”

    What a joke. I’ll be at Bear Insider where at least half of the posters have a brain. It’s too bad this site is dominated by uninformed nega-bears.

    Other previous ridiculous comments:

    The late signing period is over!
    (it’s not – why post definitively if youre dead wrong? Oh right that’s the norm)

    Cal should recruit AAU players!
    (every Cal player played AAU)

    The class of 2011 was terrible!
    (we only had 1 spot open, so low ranked bcof low volume needed, and Cal filled it with a tall, intelligent big man that was all-frosh-pac12.

    Cal used to be a national power!
    (only when cheating)

    Coach Cal doesn’t have ‘a squeaky clean image’ and has ‘unsavory aspects’.
    (understatement of the year. He’s a dirty cheater who leaves programs after getting them in trouble – think Pete Carrol x 2)

    Monty isn’t trying hard enough!
    (tell me about his lack of efforts specifically? Oh wait you have no idea what he’s up to and you just expect unrealistic results)

    Monty is a horrible human.
    (this is the most fun Cal basketball in my life since I know we will always be competitive and classy)

  • SteveNTEXAS

    Looks like takeoff’s panties are in a ruffle again.

    I hope Monty goes after and secures some of the Top 100 players. The Center from Fresno is still available adn he’s 4 star and ranked #55. We could build a team around him.

  • Jeff Faraudo

    The 7-footer from Fresno, Robert Upshaw, de-committed from Kansas State but is headed to Fresno State.

  • SteveNTEXAS

    Thanks Jeff for the update… but too bad we couldn’t out recruit Fresno State. That leaves 7 recruits out of the ESPN 100 still available but my guess is 4 of them are close to making a choice and Cal isn’t on their list. None of what’s left are from California.

    I wonder why Cal fans in the Bay Area don’t start a site like http://www.insidethehall.com/

    This keeps track of recruiting as well as actual games. It interviews players and generally informs fans and gives recruits lots of attention. Someone will say “Well Cal fans aren’t as into BBall as those at IU but even a 100 readers would be a start. This would promote fan interest.

  • Juancho

    Thanks Jeff. I swear everytime SteveN posts, Takeoff posts.

    I respectfully disagree with your opinions Takeoff. I respect them though.

    Thanks for looking to call out everyone’s mistakes. Have a good evening.

  • Juancho

    Jeff can you kindly post a recap of your vacation ? We need to know.

  • Jeff Faraudo

    Juancho — Not sure anyone else cares, but . . . Pretty low-key week, highlighted by a day trip to Yosemite with some friends to celebrate my wife’s birthday with lunch at the Ahwahnee Hotel. A great day.

  • Pasadena Dave

    Ahwahnee Hotel…love that place.

  • Juancho

    Thanks for the update Jeff. You left us with a “cliffhanger” on how your vacation went.

    I hope someone appreciates the cliffhanger / yosemite reference.

  • I think the Bears can do better than Murray and Rossi. There are better players at the RSF and they probably shouldn’t have been signed in the first place, but as we’ve seen, Monty’s recruiting leaves something to be desired…that is, unless the newly opened scholarship(s) (Thurman may get one if he needs it) leads to the arrival of an impact player or two, cuz neither Murray nor Rossi looked like all-P12 material to me. just sayin…

  • Uh Huh!

    I was glad to hear about your nice vacation! Thanks.

    SteveInTexas: lay off the drugs or whatever else is going wrong in your life. I no longer enjoy your posts.