California came from behind to knock off UC Irvine Wednesday night in overtime by a score of 75-65. With three of Cal’s key players out (Ivan Rabb, Grant Mullins, Jabari Bird), the Golden Bears ended up leaning on a freshman playing in his second collegiate game: Charlie Moore.
Moore, a four-star recruit from Chicago, Illinois, racked up 38 points last night on 10-20 field goal shooting, including three triples and converted 15 of 17 free throw attempts. Here’s a look at Moore’s impressive shot chart from last night, as he attempted all but two of his 20 attempts from within the free-throw line extended.
Moore’s incredible night was clearly the best by a Cal freshman, as he topped Shareef Abdur-Rahim’s 33 points scored back in 1995, but where does it rank among the elite Golden Bear single games from the past seven years?
Using Sports Reference’s Play Index tool, I was able to gather all of California’s individual performances from the last seven years that recorded 30+ minutes and at least 25 points. Then, using offensive and defensive rating efficiencies from these individual games, I created a graph that ultimately shows which performances were the most complete on both sides of the floor.
Although not the best (we’ll easily hand the best performance to Allen Crabbe against Oregon), Moore’s performance was truly one of the most impressive we have seen from a Golden Bear in recent memory. Jorge Gutierrez had a number of breakout offensive games with Cal, but only against McNeese State in November 2011 did Gutierrez follow up a high-scoring night with strong defense. Allen Crabbe dominates the graph, with the top two single-game performances, most notably his 26 point, 12 rebound game that included a 6-8 mark from beyond the arc in Eugene in 2012.
It will be interesting to see if Charlie Moore can use the momentum from Wednesday night as the season progresses. Cal will return the key trio that sat out the UC Irvine game in the near future, meaning Moore’s role will adjust. Regardless, Moore’s performance in his second career game as a Bear is a moment that we won’t soon forget.