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Cuonzo Martin and Jordan Mathews didn’t get along

Shocker, I know.

NCAA Basketball: Colorado at California Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

This is going to come as a shock to precisely no one who has followed Cal basketball closely, but former California Golden Bears coach Cuonzo Martin and former California Golden Bears player Jordan Mathews did not get along.

More from Jeff Faraudo of the Bay Area News Group.

Mathews was recruited to Cal by Mike Montgomery and played his freshman season for the Hall of Fame coach.

“Coach Montgomery had a lot of stuff that was difficult, but also stuff that made it easy,” Mathews said.

Things were different under Martin, who left Cal last week to become coach at Missouri.

“In dealing with Coach Martin, the guys will tell you it’s not the easiest thing in the world,” Mathews said. “For me, personally, it was really tough and I had to make a decision whether to stay for another year or leave.

“It’s not so much what he expected. It’s more the way he talked. Just difficult. Different. After a while I decided I needed to go someplace else.”

There’s not much to comment on here. We don’t have any real explanation as to why Martin or Mathews didn’t get along. Could’ve been coaching styles (Martin focused on defense, Mathews was more offensively inclined). Could’ve been disagreements on playcalling (Mathews probably wanted more plays called his way, as a shooter). Could’ve been Martin not aggressively pursuing his brother Jonah (who ended up at USC). There are lots of factors at play.

I’m not going to rehash over this too much, but there does appear to be a lingering what-if hanging over last season: What if Jordan came back? Does Cal make an NCAA Tournament run with Mathews? Does Grant Mullins come without the guarantee of being a starter?

Many potential questions for Cal fans to ponder as they wait for their next head coach, while Martin takes over as the head coach of Missouri and Mathews tries to help Gonzaga get to their first ever Final Four down in San Jose.