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Basketball: Kreklow transfers, 8 Bears left

Junior guard Ricky Kreklow, who missed 35 games due to injury over his two seasons at Cal, will transfer to another school for his senior campaign, he confirmed Thursday.

“This was not an easy decision,” Kreklow said in a statement. “This is not related in any way to the change in coaching staff at Cal. I have enjoyed my time at Cal.”

Kreklow said he expects to graduate this summer with a degree in interdisciplinary studies, making him eligible to play immediately at his new school.

The news came two days after the Bears lost a recruiting battle for 7-foot Austrian recruit Jakob Poeltl, who committed to Utah.

Kreklow missed 24 games with a broken foot during the 2012-13 season, then 11 more this past season due to a broken hand. He also suffered a broken nose during training camp last fall.

A 6-foot-6 wing from Columbia, Mo., he also was asked to play inside at times because of the Bears’ shortage of post players.

“Been a tough couple of years for Rick with a broken foot, broken hand, broken nose, having to battle bigs down low,” Kreklow’s father Wayne said in an email.

“We’ve known coach Martin from his time at Missouri State. “Great guy and great coach — no reflection on him at all.”

Wayne Kreklow said Ricky has not decided on his next school.

Kreklow’s departure is the first since Martin was hired as the Bears’ new coach last week. The Bears now have just eight returning scholarship players, giving them five open slots.

“We fully support Ricky’s decision,” Martin said in a statement. “We appreciate everything he has done for our program and wish him and his family the best moving forward.”

Wayne Kreklow confirmed the decision was not easy for his son.

“Very tough on all of us,” he said. “We really love Cal and all the people out there!”

Kreklow came to Cal three years ago after after spending his freshman season at the University of Missouri, where his father serves as women’s volleyball coach.

After sitting out the 2011-12 season, Kreklow averaged 3.1 points as a redshirt sophomore in 2012-13, then 5.5 points and 2.6 rebounds this past season. He played in 33 games for Cal, 17 of them as a starter this season.

Kreklow was described by Cal senior point guard Justin Cobbs as Jorge Gutierrez with a jump shot, referring to the disruptive defensive style of the Bears’ former Pac-12 Player of the Year.

But injuries prevented Kreklow from settling into comfort zone, especially on offense where he never found a shooting rhythm. He converted just 35.7 percent from the field this season.

Expected to return to the Bears’ roster next season are senior F David Kravish, junior G Tyrone Wallace, junior F Christian Behrens, sophomore G Jabari Bird, sophomore G Jordan Mathews, sophomore G Sam Singer, sophomore C Kameron Rooks and sophomore F Roger Moute a Bidias.

Jeff Faraudo

  • Juancho

    New coach or not, Cal continues to be cursed in sports.

  • Mitch

    Bummer. He was looking at major playing minutes next year. Did he not have the grades to get into a Cal grad program?

  • Rollonubears

    if everyone else returns and we get the recruits that are supposedly coming, we should be fine. it’s going to be an exciting year. i’m really proud of monty for retiring. nothing like tedford’s approach which was to just phone it in and get fired so he could collect a huge paycheck. monty is a hall of fame coach, and a hall of fame man.

  • BlakeStreetBear

    Oh Ricky, we hardly knew you…just don’t transfer in-conference dude. Another schollie is now available, who’s it gonna be? Go Bears!

  • sunshipballoons

    Too bad, but he was getting crowded out on the wing with Wallace, Bird and Matthews, not to mention Singer. Seemed like a good player.

  • sunshipballoons

    totally different situation than Tedford. Montgomery retired — he’s old and ready to be done coaching. I’m not a huge fan of Tedford’s effort his last few years, but obviously he didn’t retire since he’s still coaching.

  • sunshipballoons

    Was he? As the 4th wing, at best?

  • sunshipballoons

    I guess, if you don’t consider anything other than football and men’s basketball to be sports. Overall, Cal is consistently one of the best athletics programs in the country.

  • Juancho

    You mean baseball and rugby being cut? That’s not a curse?

  • Mitch

    He’d be a starter: 1-Wallace 2-Bird 3-Kreklow 4-Kravish 5-BigGuy
    Might be first to rotate with Singer.

  • sunshipballoons

    I’d say just the opposite. If your program is threatened with being cut, but you survive that, that doesn’t sound like a curse to me. And Rugby has won multiple championships since then. I hope I get cursed like that, too!

  • sunshipballoons

    So, your position is Cal is going to start 3 wings and no PG? Not likely. Wallace and Bird will start with the freshman PG. Kreklow would have had to compete with Matthews and Singer to be the first wing off the bench. His best chance for bigger minutes was to keep playing the 4, which isn’t ideal for him or Cal.

  • Juancho

    I’m a baseball season ticket holder and supporter. I couldn’t disagree more.
    Alumni having to pony up the money because an AD is doing a bad job running a department? Yeah how lucky.

  • sunshipballoons

    I think your standard for cursed is too low. Truly, not all is perfect in the Cal sports world.

  • Mitch

    I almost wrote: Monty doesn’t usually start Frosh PG’s. Hah! New ballgame. Wallace would PG with Singer, but Singer could start. So, yeh, Ricky would compete with Tyrone and Jabari for PT. Kreklow is probably looking to be a bigger fish somewhere else.

  • GoBears49

    This is going to hurt a lot. Kreklow was starting at the end of last year and was one of the few guys who was willing to dive after loose balls. He surely would have started next year, at a small forward position.

  • BlakeStreetBear

    Looking at the roster, next year is gonna be a tad painful, unless the new freshman (whoever they are) are able to immediately help on defense and in the paint, something Kreklow did well enough.
    I expect there to be some decent offense from Bird, Mathews, Kravish and Wallace. But Singer, Rooks, Behrens and Roger didn’t score more than about 5 pts per game combined this past season and I wouldn’t count on dramatic improvement in this regard from any of them.
    Everyone on the squad can improve on defense though and I expect this team to be a defense-first squad next season. Let’s hope Rorie can come in right away and at the very least bring the ball up court and distribute it to Bird/Mathews/Wallace. I expect the 7’1″ freshman to do better than Rooks did this year, he is already ahead of him on the depth chart in my opinion as he looks to be more athletic and WAY quicker. I hope Diallo still shows up because he can definitely help in the paint, like yesterday. And now that Kreklow has left we have room for somebody else, who will it be???

  • eastcoastbear

    He was a huslter no doubt but his shooting percentage was low at then end and he never became the three point specialist we needed. The team played better on their NIT run with Bird in there than Krelow. Second time the kid has transfered. Best move on and begin to upgrade the roster. I see several highly rated commits to Tenn were released from their commitments maybe one or more will end up at Cal The PF from Atlanta is rated 4 stars.. To compete at the top level of the Pac 12 we need higher rated bigs and less projects…

  • Rollonubears

    i think the defense is going to be better next year, even without kreklow. the new coach is all about D.