Nick wrote yesterday how Cal basketball has now, for better or for worse, entered the one-and-done race that many elite college basketball programs now have to deal with to get deep in the NCAA tournament. Cal will now have to make the trade-off of recruiting elite college talent while sacrificing the extra years they get from super developed players. It is a game Mike Montgomery never wanted to play, and while it did end up giving Cal plenty of talented teams, they had a ceiling that became pretty apparent against elite basketball teams.
The one-and-done race will almost certainly start with the two jewels in Martin's cap, Jaylen Brown and Ivan Rabb. Both are elite top ten national prospects, and both will be on the NBA Draft radar all of next season. Brown is currently a top 5 NBA draft prospect, with Rabb probably somewhere in the mix as well.
But it's not totally guaranteed that Brown and Rabb depart Cal after the 2016 season. Just listen to what both recruits have to say.
"I want to develop," he said. "People say I’m ready to go (to the NBA) this year. People say I’ll be ready next year. To do what I want to do, I think it’ll take me at least two years. I don’t want to come into a situation like the NBA and have to develop for two or three years. When I come in I want to be a superstar. Coming in I want to be on superstar status. It’s going to take development and it’s going to take hard work. I know I can make the business move and be a top-five, top-10 or top-15 draft pick if I just had a solid year in college and left. I love the game too much to chase after the money. I know your health is not secure, but I love the game. I just want to develop and be the best player I can be. When I’m ready, I’m ready."
"You never know what could happen, but if I get the right development at the next level and stay humble, anything can happen," Rabb said. "I think I have the potential to do that, we’ll see what happens this year."
So it's clear that nothing is clear at the moment. Yes, there's a good possibility that both Rabb and Brown will leave after their freshmen seasons because they both have the capability to be lottery picks. If that happens, it's likely they both go, and probably should--it's too good an opportunity to pass up for 95% of elite college level talent.
On the other hand, they both picked Cal, which is not your typical one-and-done school. There have only been two in the school's history. Players tend to want to stay at least two seasons, or don't make that leap until that second season. Coming to Cal means they will not only have to put in the work athletically but academically as well, particularly with the new athletic regime particularly sensitive to charges of academic indifference to low APR scores and graduation rates.
We won't know for another eleven months what Brown and Rabb will really do, but don't think it's the most far-fetched thing in the world if they both decide to return for Cal next season.
Do you think Rabb and Brown will be one-and-done, or do you think one or either of them will stay for longer than that at Cal?