Good news everyone! Ivan Rabb is coming back for another season! Official statement:
"Ivan is an tremendous person and student-athlete to have on our team. He and his family have put a lot of thought into making a decision that was right for him. He is a talented basketball player with a very bright future, and we are excited to have Ivan continue as a member of our Cal basketball program."
The deadline to declare for the NBA Draft was Sunday night at 8:59 p.m. PST and Rabb kept us waiting until the last minute, but the California Golden Bears officially announced that Rabb will be returning for a sophomore season. (Or he forgot to declare and it was all a big cover-up.)
Rabb was projected to be a solid first-round pick and might have even made the lottery this season, but decided to return, refine his game, and maybe work himself up to top five positioning with another season in the books. This is a very exciting development for the Bears, who now should feel more comfortable that they can return to the NCAA Tournament.
Rabb had a great first season at Cal, averaging 12.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.2 blocks on 61.5% shooting. Rabb was by far Cal's most efficient offensive player in 2016 and was critical to the team's defensive identity as well. Rabb was particularly instrumental on both sides of the basketball when the Bears rolled off a perfect February and clinched their ticket to the Dance.
Rabb struggled to get the ball a lot due to his lack of an outside shot and some other technical issues, but hopefully this can be rectified with development and time. I have no doubt Ivan will work on his game and become even more successful with time.
Go Ivan! Go Bears!