Ivan Rabb decision allows Cal a chance to rewrite the legacy of the 2015-16 Bears
It's always hard to predict exactly what a team's legacy will be. Which games will end up standing out in the memory? Which achievements (or failures) will last in the minds of fans?
And this last season presents a dilemma. Which event weighs heavier in your mind:
- 18-0 at Haas
- Virginia, Arizona, Utah, Hawaii
WBB recruiting update
Let's get the bad news out of the way
It's not officially over (no LOI has been signed), but it's over. Sabrina Ionescu has eliminated Cal (and Oregon State) and will choose between Oregon and Washington.
I don't think there's any way to sugar coat this one: It's as devastating a recruiting loss as you can come up with. When you have a local 5 star who is arguably the best recruit in the nation, and that player just so happens to play your biggest position of need . . . well, there's no upside to losing that battle. Imagine Cal MBB if Ivan Rabb had picked Arizona. To make matters worse, Ionescu dragged out her decision late into the spring signing period, meaning Cal doesn't have any fallback options for the 2016-17 season.
Ionescu, a ball dominant combo guard with a knack for scoring all over the court, gives you an immediate sense of deja vu. Remember when Kelsey Plum was reportedly choosing between Cal and UW? It's hard not to agonize over what Cal might have been able to accomplish over the last few years if you slot in Plum alongside all of the other talent that has come through Berkeley. Now it's looking possible that Ionescu might head to Seattle to build on Plum's legacy.
It's not all bad news. Cal picked up a commitment from 2017 3/4-star combo guard Kianna Smith, and signed UT San Antonio transfer wing Sara Anastasieska. Both players will help fill an obvious gap as true guards . . . in 2017-18. Smith will likely immediately enter the rotation as a freshman next year, while Anastasieska will provide depth. Neither, however, will be eligible to play next season. It's a little concerning that Cal was only able to bring in two eligible players to fill in a roster that was so thin at times in 2015-16. Meanwhile, Cal is chasing a few other high profile 2017 targets in what has become an even more critical class.