Greener pastures: Matt Bradley departs for San Diego State

Photo of Matt Bradley of Cal Men's Basketball dribbling
Sunny Shen/File

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The Bears have suffered yet another massive blow. Just 10 days after it was reported that he entered the NCAA transfer portal, former Cal standout guard Matt Bradley has confirmed his plans to transfer to San Diego State.

Bradley has far and away been the Bears’ best player over the past two seasons and will certainly be missed in Berkeley. Ranked as a four-star recruit coming out of high school, the junior started 66 games for Cal over three seasons and led the team in scoring last year with 18 points per contest. He finishes his time here as the Bears’ No. 21 all-time leading scorer.

Perhaps the best indicator of his high-caliber play came just last week — upon announcing his intent to transfer, the second-team all-Pac-12 selection was courted by powerhouses such as Gonzaga, Kentucky, Kansas, Oregon and USC.

Ultimately, however, Bradley opted to join the Aztecs and don the black and scarlet. Bradley, who is originally from San Bernardino, will return to Southern California to complete his remaining two years of eligibility under San Diego State head coach Brian Dutcher.

In recent years, the Aztecs have established themselves as contenders — the type of contender that has been sorely missing in UC Berkeley since 2016. San Diego State finished this past season with an overall record of 23-5 but was upset by Syracuse in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Last year, the No. 6 Aztecs boasted a 30-2 record before the NCAA canceled March Madness due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With an offensive force such as Bradley added to its arsenal, San Diego State is poised to make a deep postseason run next season.

The impact that losing Bradley will have on Cal cannot be overstated. Certainly, head coach Mark Fox has some young talent to work with, but a lack of dependable recruiting and the reported loss of graduate transfer guard Ryan Betley already had the Bears fighting an uphill battle this offseason. With their best player now moving on to greener pastures, the blue and gold are once again left to pick up the pieces.

Kabir Rao is the sports editor. Contact him at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @kabirr26.