If you've been following Cal Basketball Recruiting, you know that we are still in the hunt for a Top 5 Player in the country. Ivan Rabb. Arguably the best Power Forward prospect in the country, we've been courting him to come join us at Haas Pavilion for some time now but it doesn't seem we'll have a decision anytime soon, so for now let's see how he's developing and playing against some of the better players in his class.
First up is his 27 point performance against Oak Hill Academy.
His biggest weapon is his positioning and lateral explosion. His go-to move has become a left-handed baby hook shot over his right shoulder. It has become pretty automatic from the low blocks. Rabb started the game by using the move multiple times mixed in with a few pump fakes. The impressive part on all of his possessions was his positioning. He always put himself in a great spot on the blocks to be able to catch and explode straight up over his right shoulder for the left handed baby hook. The consistency is still improving but his ability to catch and explode into his go-to move is very impressive.
Rabb is also extremely active in running the fast break. Whether it was from a rebound or block he collected, Rabb consistently ran the floor to either get the trailer pass for an easy layup or the second chance opportunity off a fast break miss. With his wingspan and leaping ability, he is a huge weapon in transition. One example is at the 0:46 mark, Rabb collects a missed fast break layup and gets an easy put-back dunk over a defender. Granted he was called for an over the back foul, but its easy to see that the defense did not account for him running the floor as the trailer for the rebound and dunk.
Rabb's defense is still developing and was not really tested in this game. He rebounded hard from the weak side and also proved to be a very good rim protector. It is evident that Rabb isn't using his lateral quickness at a 100% but instead uses his feet to reposition himself to get the block. His timing on blocks is amazing but it also helps that he has a huge wingspan. Rabb also tries to keep the ball in play by pinning shots or by tipping it to start the fast break.
Rabb faced better opposition in his game against Montverde Academy. He was matched up against Ben Simmons, the Top Rated Prospect in the country.
Simmons being a SF/PF took advantage of the mismatch with Rabb who is a PF/C. Simmons forced Rabb to defend him near the 3 Point Line on multiple occasions. This negated Rabb's blocking ability and actually forced Rabb to commit multiple fouls when defending Simmons' drive to the basket. On the other end of the floor Rabb tried his best to out maneuver Simmons in the post. Rabb beat him to the low blocks multiple times and gained inside position for rebounds as well. Rabb started the game with his go-to hook move but Simmons effectively altered his shot by just bodying him up at the right time. Montverde also sent double/triple teams at Rabb. He committed 1TO, but otherwise made the right pass and was very aware of defenders that were cheating down on him. Rabb became frustrated because he could not score and settled for long contested 2s after catching or a single dribble. It didn't help that Rabb had accumulated 4 fouls from defending Simmons as well. It's clear Simmons has the more complete skill set hence why he ended the game with a 22/10/10 triple double night. Rabb finished the night with 22 points and 7 boards.
Rabb is improving rapidly and he hasn't fully grown into his body either. Some more time in the weight room and another circuit of AAU basketball will certainly improve his already impressive skills. A decision on where he'll be playing is looming and hopefully it'll be at Haas Pavilion. Go Bears.