ESPN, CBS Sports Assess Cal Basketball Transfer Class

One incoming Cal player, Andrej Stojakovic, ranked among the top 30 transfers by ESPN
Andrej Stojakovic drives against Cal's Jalen Cone
Andrej Stojakovic drives against Cal's Jalen Cone / Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

Cal coach Mark Madsen has essentially remade the Bears’ basketball roster by adding eight transfers for Cal’s first season in the ACC. So now that activity in the transfer portal has quieted, how did Madsen do?

ESPN and CBS Sports weighed in with assessment of the basketball transfers.

CBS Sports categorized Cal as one of 13 “Winners” in the transfer competition, with this comment:

Winner: Cal cleans up in the portal

Cal’s incoming transfer portal class is headlined by former McDonald's All-American Andrej Stojakovic, the son of former NBA star Peja Stojaković. After spending his freshman season across the Bay Area at Stanford, Stojaković committed to Mark Madsen and the Bears despite receiving interest from blue bloods like North Carolina and Kentucky. Stojaković is one of six incoming transfers with Air Force forward Rytis Petraitis, Michigan State center Mady Sissoko, Minnesota forward Josh Ola-Joseph, Vanderbilts’ Lee Dort and North Dakota’s BJ Omot being the others that will help the program transition from the Pac-12 to the ACC. 

ESPN’s assessment of winners and losers in the transfer portal did not put Cal among its 16 “Big Winners,” instead placing the Bears in the “Complete Rebuilds” category with this comment:

California Golden Bears: Mark Madsen was bringing back just 1.3 points per game from last season, requiring him to dip into the portal. The result: nine transfers. Stanford transfer Andrej Stojakovic -- the son of Peja -- was a major coup early in the cycle, while B.J. Omot (North Dakota) and Rytis Petraitis (Air Force) are intriguing additions.

It actually ended up being eight transfers, with the CBS Sports report omitting Christian Tucker and D.J. Tucker.  Cal had six players transfer out, and all five starters from the 2023-24 are gone.

ESPN ranked the top 100 transfers, and just one incoming Cal transfer made that list, Andrej Stojakovic, but he was high in the rankings, coming in at No. 28, with this comment:

28. Andrej Stojakovic, 6-7, SF, Fr., Stanford Cardinal


The son of Peja Stojakovic, he was a McDonald's All American in the 2023 class. Stojakovic had three double-figure-scoring outings in his first four games and scored 20 against USC. Averaged 7.8 points.

You would think B.J. Omot or Rytis Petraitis might make that list as well, but they didn’t.

So does Cal have enough talent to make the NCAA tournament next season? Joe Lunardi posted his latest version of Bracketology this week, and seven ACC teams made the hypothetical field. Cal did not.  The ACC teams in the field included Duke, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Louisville, Miami, Wake Forest and Clemson. Only three members of last season’s Pac-12 conference made the field: UCLA, USC and Arizona

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Jake Curtis


Jake Curtis worked in the San Francisco Chronicle sports department for 27 years, covering virtually every sport, including numerous Final Fours, several college football national championship games, an NBA Finals, world championship boxing matches and a World Cup. He was a Cal beat writer for many of those years, and won awards for his feature stories.