Guard Jordan Shepherd, who played at UNC-Charlotte the past two seasons, announced via social media on Saturday that he will play for Cal next season as a graduate transfer.
This might help fill the void created by the departure of second-team all-Pac-12 selection Matt Bradley, who transferred to San Diego State, and Ryan Betley, who opted not to play another season of college ball after his one season at Cal as a grad transfer.
This will be the second transfer for the 6-foot-4 Shepherd, who played his first two seasons at Oakland before playing two seasons at UNC-Charlotte.
Because the 2020-21 season did not count against a player's eligibility, Shepherd can play one more season of college basketball.
Shepherd started all 25 games for UNC-Charlotte this past season and was the 49ers' second-leading scorer at 11.9 points per game. He also averaged 3.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists while shooting 45.5 percent from the field and 29.4 percent from beyond the three-point line.
He scored 20 points in each of the 49ers' final two games of the season, against Marshall and Texas-San Antonio. Charlotte finished the season with a 9-16 record, including 5-11 in Conference USA.
Shepherd was more productive in 2019-20, when he was UNC-Charlotte's leading scorer, averaging 14.0 points and 4.1 assists while hitting 29.3 percent of his long-range attempts. That year, the 49ers finished with a 16-10 record, including 10-8 in Conference USA.
At Oklahoma, Shepherd averaged 2.3 points in 2017-18 and 4.3 points in 2016-17.
Since he shot under 30 percent on three-pointers in both his seasons at UNC-Charlotte, Cal coach Mark Fox probably will not rely on Shepherd to provide a perimeter threat.
Shepherd will join a Cal backcourt that includes junior Joel Brown, senior Makale Foreman (who will use his extra season of eligibility), junior Jarred Hyder, sophomore Jalen Celestine and incoming freshman Marsalis Roberson.
Presumably Brown, Hyder and Shepherd will share the point guard position but all three could probably play the shooting-guard spot as well.
Cover photo of Jordan Shepherd by Michael C. Johnson, USA TODAY Sports
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