Former Cal men’s basketball center to transfer to Arkansas

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Cal men’s basketball has suffered another critical blow, as center Connor Vanover has announced that he will be transferring to Arkansas.

“Excited for the next step in my journey to help me grow and fulfill my dreams. I am grateful and blessed to have the opportunity to be an Arkansas Razorback. I’m Coming Home!!” Vanover wrote in a Twitter post.

Vanover emerged as one of the Bears’ most promising young players last season, averaging 7.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game while shooting 46.9 percent from the floor and 35.5 percent from three.

The 7’3″ big man becomes the third player to transfer from Cal since season’s end, as forward Justice Sueing and guard Darius McNeill both announced that they would be taking their respective talents to different programs as well. Sueing will be transferring to Ohio State, while McNeill will be transferring to SMU.

Vanover saw his minutes fluctuate throughout the season. The freshman played sparingly in the beginning of the season during nonconference play, and just as he was hitting his stride, a broken nose and concussion in a game against Cal Poly sidelined him for three games.

Upon returning from injury, Vanover received a healthy serving of playing time, averaging just under 20 minutes in his first four contests after coming back. In the subsequent four games, however, Vanover’s playing time took a hit, as he played a mere 22 minutes in total.

Beginning in February, Vanover once again became a regular in the rotation and put together an impressive stretch of play.

Over the last 11 games of the season, Vanover averaged 11.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in 25.0 minutes per game while shooting 51.5 percent from the field and 41.5 percent from three. On the road against Stanford, Vanover put up 24 points, six blocks and five 3-pointers.

With the loss of Vanover, Cal’s frontcourt rotation for next season is all the more ambiguous. Currently, the team’s frontcourt options consist of Andre Kelly, Grant Anticevich, Jacobi Gordon, D.J. Thorpe and Kuany Kuany.

Justice delos Santos covers men’s basketball. Contact Justice delos Santos at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @justdelossantos.

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