Ivan Rabb. Caleb Swanigan. Jaylen Brown. All three are Top 10 Recruits. All three are contemplating Cal. All three played in the McDonald's All-American Game last night. Just in case you missed it, here are the highlights!
Lets take an in-depth look into our prospects and how they performed.
- Played 15 Minutes.
- 10 Points (5-7 Shooting)
- 6 Rebounds (3 Offensive)
Analysis: Ivan had a solid game to show off his versatility and athleticism. He ran the floor extremely well and finished strong at the basket, converting an alley-oop as well. Ivan was matched up against Ben Simmons early and often and showed his ability to stay in front of him and contest. A few times they bumped into each other and was easy to tell they were going at each through the game.
It all culminated in a scramble for a rebound where the two got tangled up, but ended with Ivan ripping the ball away and staring Simmons down. Ivan definitely was playing with a chip on his shoulder after losing his #1 prospect status to him last year. This also wasn't the first time they had played each other so some lingering rivalry feelings were definitely visible.
Ivan impressed a lot of people with his perimeter defending. Being 6-10/6-11, he is expected to be slow horizontally, but he actually is quite the opposite. Rabb moves his feet well along with being able to recover and rotate out to the wings to close out when needed. His natural instinct of reading the offense and his teammates and knowing who to defend helped out his perimeter defenders.
- Played 15 Minutes
- 2 Points (1-5 Shooting, 0-1 3PT)
- 5 Rebounds (1 Offensive)
- 2 Blocks
- 1 Steal
- Played 21 Minutes
- 9 Points (4-8 Shooting, 0-2 3PT, 1-7 FT)
- 6 Rebounds
- 2 Assists
- 2 Blocks
- 2 Steals
Analysis: Is there anything this kid cannot do? He recorded at least 1 in every single statistically category, including fouls and turnovers. The question is why is he ranked the #2 prospect in the country by most media outlets, behind Ben Simmons. It was quite simple. Ben Simmons has the most refined game out of any high school senior. Jaylen on the other hand looks to have more potential. Standing at 6'7" and 200lbs, his position as a SF is solidified and that's where he'll continue to develop his game. His defense is the ever-improving aspect on his game and it seems that he'll be able to guard any perimeter position.
Brown also has a knack for getting into the passing lane, which he did on multiple occasions, from simple wing passes to inbounds. He tried to get a hand on any of them he could and was successful on most converting them into easy breakaway dunk opportunities. His greatest strength hover still lies in his ability to drive to the basket and get to the foul line. Looking at his statistics alone, Jaylen got the foul line 7 times and most of these where opportunities off And-1 chances that he did convert. He was outshone by some of the flashy plays of Isaiah Briscoe and Ben Simmons, but Jaylen solidified why he is still one of the best wing players in the 2015 class.
Just for your information here is the box score from the game:
Having Caleb and Ivan play on the west team together was huge as we got to see what it would look like if they were a front court pairing. They definitely play well together and complement each others game. It maybe just from playing on Team USA and at Hoop Camps, but they seem to have an uncanny ability to know what the other is thinking and positioning to do. On one particular play, the two did not say anything to each other but Caleb knew to box out the baseline player while Ivan attacked the ball and contested the shot.
On the offensive end, Caleb and Ivan worked a Hi-Lo sequence between the two of them, although the pass was deflected, it was clear that they knew how to work off one another. Teamwork and cohesiveness in our front court if we were to sign the two would not be an issue at all. As for Jaylen Brown? He looks the part of a closer and will wreak havoc on the wings. He has quick hands, is agile and has elite-freakish athleticism. Improving his 3PT shooting will be key for him, but we also tend to forget the kid is only 18 years old. Nothing is for certain. And as Cal fans we certainly have had our share of heartbreaks on the recruiting trail, but the fact that were in the conversation for players such as these can only bode well for the future of the program that Coach Cuonzo Martin and Co. are trying to build.