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California guard Charlie Moore is transferring, and Illinois should pursue immediately

The Chicago native has been recruited by Illinois on two other occasions.

NCAA Basketball: Pac-12 Conference Tournament-California vs Oregon State Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Another very interesting name has unexpectedly popped up on the transfer market, and he could make a lot of sense for Brad Underwood and Fighting Illini basketball. According to an official release, California guard Charlie Moore will transfer this offseason in order to continue his college career closer to his hometown of Chicago.

Moore, the winner of the 2016 Illinois ‘Mr. Basketball’ award, will have three seasons of eligibility remaining after sitting out the 2017-18 season.

"After many discussions with my family, I've made the decision to transfer to be closer to home," Moore said in a statement. "This was an extremely difficult decision for me, but the opportunity to be closer to my family is one that I feel is necessary for me at this time. I am grateful for my first year at California and for teammates who became my brothers. I look forward to supporting Coach Jones and the Bears in the future, and I also want to thank the fans for all their support this past season."

As a true-freshman, Moore started 34 games for the Bears and averaged 12.2 points and 3.5 assists per game. The 5-foot-11 guard was also voted a Pac-12 All-Freshman Honorable Mention.

John Groce and the Fighting Illini recruited Moore two separate times during his senior year. The former Morgan Park high school star originally signed with Memphis in the Fall of 2015, however he received a release from his letter of intent after Georgia Tech hired away former Tigers coach Josh Pastner.

Moore eventually landed with California after another recruitment that featured the likes of Illinois, SMU, LSU, Miami (FL), Georgia Tech, and UNLV. He was rated as the nation’s No. 71 overall player at the time.

Illinois isn’t exactly starved of point guards thanks to Te’Jon Lucas and Trent Frazier, however Moore’s scoring ability makes him the type of talent that the Fighting Illini would accept in a heartbeat, especially with four open scholarships.

Underwood and his staff will be conducting an in-home visit with Pittsburgh graduate transfer Cameron Johnson on Friday. If they haven’t already, they’ll likely contact Moore’s camp after that concludes.