California forward Christian Behrens to pursue professional opportunities

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On track to graduate in May California redshirt junior forward Christian Behrens has decided to move on, with the school announcing his decision to seek opportunities in professional basketball Thursday afternoon. Behrens made 17 starts last season for the Golden Bears, averaging 4.5 points and 3.3 rebounds in 17.1 minutes of action per game.

“I want to thank the entire California Athletics family for giving me this tremendous opportunity to represent the Golden Bears,” Behrens said in the release. “I am on track to graduate in May with a degree from the world’s No. 1 public institution, which is a great honor. I believe at this time, I want to start a new chapter in my basketball career and pursue professional opportunities. I cherish my experiences here at Cal and have created friendships here that will last a lifetime. I will always be a Golden Bear.”

Behrens is the third member of the California front court rotation to move on this offseason, with Dwight Tarwater (graduate student) and David Kravish both out of eligibility. Kingsley Okoroh will be a sophomore next season and the team also returns Roger Moute a Bidias and Kameron Rooks, who missed all of this season due to a torn ACL.

Head coach Cuonzo Martin and his staff are also still in the chase for five-star big man Ivan Rabb, who’s down to the Golden Bears and Arizona, and Caleb Swanigan is still considering the program’s pitch as well. Small forward Davon Dillard is the lone commitment in California’s 2015 recruiting class to date, and Behrens’ decision gives Cal another scholarship to work with.

Provided their backcourt, led by Tyrone Wallace, Jordan Mathews and Jabari Bird, return the Golden Bears should be in good shape on the perimeter and Georgetown transfer Stephen Domingo will be eligible after sitting out this season.