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Cal basketball: Is Cuonzo Martin's first year a success with the Ivan Rabb commitment?


Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Does Ivan Rabb committing to Cal make Cuonzo Martin's first year at Cal an amazing success?

Vincent S: Not yet, but it's a great start. Ultimately, I think that success is still determined by integrity and success of our players on/off the court–molding and guiding our players as they mature, keeping players on solid academic footing, and winning on the court "the right way." Recruiting players like Rabb make achieving those goals much more manageable, but the recruiting is, in the end, only the means to the ends.

Reef: I rated it a B+ in a post a few weeks ago and I haven't changed my mind. Highlights include a smart offensive system (I know this is contrary to a lot of perception out there), very good set plays out of timeouts, a great team culture, a terrific recruiting foundation, and starting to recruit kids who fit his style. The jury is still out on skill development. Concerns include slow or mystifying defensive adjustments, unwillingness to adjust system to personnel, and uneven effort in the middle of the season.

Sam Fielder: Depends on what we're rating. On the court there were some great moments but also some really, really bad ones, as Reef has pointed out. But as far as buzz and excitement is concerned, this is easily the most buzz since the hiring of Monty and it really feels like the general trajectory of the program is headed upward, so I'd consider that a success.  If we'd landed three 5-star recruits I'd probably upgrade to amazing success, but either way, I think Martin has done great and Cal basketball is in good hands.

Nick Kranz: What we have established is solid, small-sample evidence that Cuonzo Martin and his staff are the best recruiters in Cal basketball history. Admittedly, that's not a particularly high bar when you consider that Ben Braun has been the only good within-the-rules recruiter Cal has had. And considering that pure talent is more important and more projectable in basketball, that's a huge, huge deal.

There are obviously still some meaningful questions about roster balance, class balance, skill development and scheme. Some of these are problems that the current staff inherited, some are areas where we don't have enough evidence to make informed conclusions. But if Cuonzo continues to recruit at this level, it would take Lorenzo Romar/Ben Braun levels of strategic confusion to fail to make big things happen. Considering the evidence we have, I consider that very unlikely.

LeonPowe: Not at all. I really really like Coach Martin. I really like a lot of the players on the team (Ty, Mathews, Bird) - I'm excited about the potential for next year with Dillar, Jolly, Rabb and Domingo and other new player. But we didn't even make the NIT. We had a 6 week stretch of really bad basketball, where I didn't even want to read the game threads or post-game articles. Rabb, Dillard, Jolly and Domingo haven't played one minute of basketball for Cal. This . . . is not a success, nevermind even being an amazing success. This sets the table for future success, but this can't be considered a successful year - unless your only metric is "recruiting"