In a huge win for California, freshman Ivan Rabb will return to school for the 2016–17 season and pass on the NBA draft.
The 6'11" forward from Oakland, Calif., was the No. 5 recruit last year, according to Scout. Rabb averaged 12.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 28.7 minutes per game last season. He also shot nearly 62% from the floor and recorded 12 double doubles.
Rabb is long and athletic with a soft touch around the rim and many believed he would enter the draft following his freshman season in Berkeley. He ranked No. 12 in SI’s 2016 Big Board and Mock Draft.
“Ivan is an tremendous person and student-athlete to have on our team,” Cal head coach Cuonzo Martin said in a university-issued news release. “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.”
Cal has already lost two of its starters from last season with the graduation of guard Tyrone Wallace and the early entry into the draft by fellow freshman Jaylen Brown, who announced on Thursday that he intends to hire an agent and forgo the remainder of his eligibility. Brown, the No. 4 recruit last year, according to Scout, joined Rabb in one of the best recruiting classes the Golden Bears have signed in recent memory.
Cal finished 23–11 and third in the Pac-12 Conference last season. The Golden Bears made the NCAA tournament as a No. 4 seed and were upset by 13th-seeded Hawaii in the first round.