KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 22: Michael Dixon #11 of the Missouri Tigers battles Emerson Murray #31 of the Cal Golden Bears for a loose ball during the Progressive CBE Classic finals on November 22, 2011 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jorge and Harper aren't the only two leaving us. Jeff Goodman has the list of transfers, and it has two more sophomores on it.
Emerson's departure stinks, but it was in the tea leaves. If Montgomery didn't trust him with the backup guard role when Brandon Smith was driving wildly into three defenders or struggling to get the ball over halfcourt, then he probably was never going to log significant minutes at Cal. Murray was a project with some tantalizing upside, but he was raw coming out of high school, and he could never capitalize on that talent. It'd be so Cal for him to make the leap this offseason. With Kreklow coming in to replace Jorge and Wallace likely taking over the third guard spot in the lineup, Murray would probably be fighting for scraps again.
Murray is staying on the West Coast at Seattle University, which is definitely closer to home in Vancouver.
Rossi ... hard to say what happened with Rossi. Scuttlebutt is that there was a family emergency back home and he's heading back to a school closer to Illinois. It's also quite possible that there's an unofficial reason: That his hernia injury never recovered to the point where the coaches thought he'd be able to play at a high level the next several seasons. We'll probably get our answer if Rossi transfers to another D-I program or not.
Whatever the case, it's a bigger blow than Murray, as a healthy Rossi could've provided the Bears with another shooting option to pair alongside Crabbe to free both up for better looks. Rossi has a good shooting stroke that could've opened up the three point line for us. Cal now has only two proven shooters in Cobbs and Crabbe; Kreklow or Wallace will need to provide some scoring punch to keep the offense humming.
It seems the motto during Monty's tenure is to not have a bench. The Bears will have to rely heavily on their starting five (which now is all but certain to be Cobbs-Kreklow-Crabbe-Kravish-Solomon), then hope Smith, Wallace, Behrens, Bak, Rodriguez and Thurman can contribute anything. The late signing period isn't over (Khalil Johnson could sign with us or ASU), but it's hard to see anyone this late being an impact player next season.