The tour for Cal is giving the team its first look at the freshman duo of Jaylen Brown and Ivan Rabb, who helped the Golden Bears to a 100-63 win over Victoria Select during the team’s first game on the trip. Both players started the game for Cal as Brown paced the team with 17 points while adding six rebounds and two steals. Rabb finished the game with a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds and was 5-for-6 from the field for a strong showing of his own.
It’s also worth noting that Tyrone Wallace started at point guard and finished with 10 points, but more importantly, he had six assists to only one turnover. Jordan Mathews added 15 points and Jabari Bird pitched in 13 points off the bench. Kingsley Okoroh started at center for Cal, which meant Rabb played power forward for his moments in the game.
While it’s hard to say how this exhibition tour will translate to the actual season, it was interesting to see the lineups that head coach Cuonzo Martin used and he made frequent substitutions to see everyone on his roster get minutes. If Brown and Rabb can remain consistently productive, it makes Cal a serious threat in the Pac-12 with the return of players like Wallace, Mathews and Bird. You can view full stats of Cal’s win here.
Cal freshman Ivan Rabb’s body transformation (PHOTO)
Ivan Rabb has been putting in the work since he arrived on campus at Cal.
The consensus top ten recruit has added 12 pounds of muscle in 44 days, according to a source. And while he wasn’t exactly out of shape when he arrived on campus, he should be able to handle the rigors of the Pac-12 just that much easier.
Part of what makes this so important for Cal is that they really don’t have many other options in the paint. Their perimeter attack is loaded: Jaylen Brown is the biggest name, and he’s joined by future NBA Draft pick Tyrone Wallace, former McDonald’s All-American Jabari Bird and Jordan Mathews, another talented perimeter scorer.
Cal is going to have the weapons to play four-around-one.
And having at least an extra 11 pounds of muscle on that one is certainly going to help when it’s February and Rabb is averaging 34 minutes in league play.
Five-star Class of 2015 power forward opts to stay local and picks California
Five-star power forward Ivan Rabb opted to end his recruitment as the 6-foot-9 native of California decided to stay out west and committed to Cal on Monday.
Regarded as the No. 8 overall prospect in the 2015 class, according to Rivals, Rabb is a major coup for head coach Cuonzo Martin, who lands a signature recruit by keeping the Oakland native in the Bay Area. Rabb selected the Golden Bears over other finalist Arizona and he also took official visits to Kansas and Kentucky during the recruiting process. UCLA was also a finalist when Rabb initially cut his list to five.
Rabb is a major recruit for Cal because he’s a high-end post athlete and immediate impact rebounder. On the offensive end, Rabb is ambidextrous when it comes to finishing around the hoop and he owns a great set of hands that also help him catch difficult passes. It’s a near certainty that Rabb sees major minutes next season and he likely starts from day one.
A product of Bishop O’Dowd High School, Rabb helped the school reach the California state championship game in back-to-back seasons and the Dragons defeated Mater Dei in overtime for the title this season after losing to them last year. On the grassroots circuit, Rabb played with the Oakland Soldiers in the Nike EYBL and teamed up with five-star big man Stephen Zimmerman to form an imposing front line. Rabb averaged 14.6 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game in 22 games in the EYBL in 2014 as he shot 60 percent from the field.
During a decorated high school career that included two gold medals with USA Basketball in the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship and the 2013 FIBA Americas U16 Championship, Rabb was also selected to the 2015 McDonald’s All-American game, Nike Hoop Summit and the Jordan Brand Classic.
With the spring signing period scheduled to begin on Wednesday, some of the nation’s top remaining prospects in the Class of 2015 are getting close to announcing where they’ll attend college next year. One of those players is five-star forward Ivan Rabb, who last month narrowed down his choices to Arizona and California.
Both players played in the Nike Hoop Summit on Saturday in Portland, with Rabb accounting for two points and three rebounds in just over eight minutes of action. When it comes to Rabb’s college choice, both Arizona and California would receive a significant boost from a personnel standpoint.
Arizona’s lost Brandon Ashley and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson from its front court, but Sean Miller did receive some good news when Kaleb Tarczewski decided to return for his senior season. Tarczewski will be joined by fellow returnee Dusan Ristic, Boston College transfer Ryan Anderson and freshman Chance Comanche in the front court rotation in 2015-16.
As for Cal they lost productive senior David Kravish but return Kingsley Okoroh and Kameron Rooks, with the latter missing the entire 2014-15 season after tearing his ACL.
Both would obviously benefit greatly from adding Rabb, but the programs are in different places on the national totem pole. Arizona has won the last two Pac-12 regular season titles while also reaching the Elite Eight in both seasons. Cal, on the other hand, just completed its first season under head coach Cuonzo Martin and hasn’t reached the second weekend of the NCAA tournament since 1997.
Jolly, of Putnam City West High (Oklahoma), had taken an official visit to Cal this week and now joins a recruiting class that includes three-star small forward Davon Dillard. On Friday, five-star center Caleb Swanigan announced he would make his decision that night. Many pegged him to go to Berkeley, but ended up pledging to Tom Izzo and Michigan State.
The Golden Bears are believed to be the favorite for five-star forward Ivan Rabb.
I’m the hometown kid. I know for a fact that they’ll support me and the fan support will be ridiculous. The thing they’re selling me on is, ‘don’t be a part of something, be the start of something,’” Rabb he told NBCSports.com last week. “It’s been a very long time since they’ve had a player like myself that came in and they believe can make a big impact. And I believe in myself. Coach Martin and the coaches, they won’t let me fail.”
The addition of Jolly should add depth to one of the best perimeters in the Pac-12, as Martin is expected to return Ty Wallace, Jabari Bird and Jordan Mathews.
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.