Marc Spears of the Undefeated did a wonderful feature on California Golden Bears basketball alum Jordan Mathews and the work he needed to graduate transfer in time to make the Gonzaga Bulldogs. Mathews had to get his degree before qualifying for the grad transfer, and he had to spend summer school scrambling to complete an insane courseload in a short period of time.
It paid off. Mathews is living the college basketball dream. He hit a big shot to send Gonzaga to the Elite Eight, and now he is a part of the school’s first Final Four squad.
Mathews also has nothing but love for Cal and his former teammates, although he makes clear that their struggles this season have nothing to do with his departure. He did wish them well.
“I watched them all the time,” Mathews said. “Kameron Rooks is one of my best friends. Roger [Moute a Bidias]. Jabari Bird. [Ivan] Rabb. I watched a lot of games of those guys. The Dillon Brooks 3 [in a loss to Oregon] at Cal hurt a lot. So when they didn’t make it, it stung them a little bit.
“I didn’t feel guilty. I’m not playing. That’s on them. I felt sad for them.”
Mathews made it clear: Leaving Cal was a very tough decision.
“It was so hard. It’s probably the hardest thing I’ve had to do. In public, I’ll say it’s easy. But it was hard. I didn’t want to leave. I went to coach’s office four times,” Mathews said.
But it paid off. Mathews has been an integral part of a Gonzaga squad that is now 36-1 on the season. Mathews is the third leading scorer on the team, averaging 10.7 points per game, 3.3 rebounds and 1.5 assists, while also shooting 39.1% from three point land.
Congrats to our Cal grad for making it to Glendale!