One of the best players in the transfer portal this offseason was Stanford basketball transfer Andrej Stojakovic. Stojakovic just finished up his freshman season with the Cardinal, and it was a pretty good one. He decided that he was going to enter the portal when the season ended, and he recently narrowed his options down to Kentucky basketball, North Carolina basketball and Cal basketball. He went with Cal.

This would've been a huge get for new Kentucky basketball head coach Mark Pope, but Andrej Stojakovic decided to join Mark Madsen and the Cal basketball team. The Golden Bears haven't been very good in recent years, but Stojakovic sees what Madsen is building there.

“Just the consistency that coach Madsen and his staff have showed,” Stojakovic said, according to an article from 247 Sports. “The transparency of what their game plan is and their development plan to help me achieve my dream. And then obviously they want to win. So the consistency of their recruitment and how much they have enjoyed talking to me and my family, I just appreciate them for that just as much.”

Mark Madsen is new to the Cal basketball team as this past season was his first, but he was contacted about the BYU basketball opening this offseason. Madsen is a good coach and one that is capable of turning around the Cal program. Stojakovic knows that, and he likes the vision that Madsen has for him. That was a big selling point, and a big reason why he chose the Golden Bears over Kentucky.

“I think allowing me to showcase what I can do,” Stojakovic said. “He used Jaylon Tyson as an example. How he used Tyson and allowed him to play freely unlike how he played at Texas Tech and Texas. The biggest thing for me is learning through my mistakes and playing, just being able to play freely was the main pitch.”

Andrej Stojakovic is a huge get for Cal basketball

California Golden Bears guard Jalen Cone (15) defends against Stanford Cardinal guard Andrej Stojakovic (2) during the second half at Maples Pavillion.
© Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

Mark Madsen has the capability to turn this Cal basketball program around, and snagging Stojakovic in the transfer portal shows that. Stojakovic was down to three schools and Kentucky and North Carolina, two blue bloods, were his other two options. The fact that he chose Cal over them and the other schools that he was in contact with shows that Madsen knows what he is doing.

Next season is going to be an exciting one for Cal, and Andrej Stojakovic thinks that he is going to bring a lot of competitiveness to the program.

“Hopefully something new, something that will allow us to win games, a mixture of fundamentals and flair,” He said. “I will bring myself, bring my character on and off the court. I will be the nicest guy off the court and be an ultimate competitor on the court.”

There is still a lot of work to be done at Cal, but Madsen has already made a lot of progress. Seeing Stojakovic play for him and the Golden Bears is going to be exciting.