Ivan Rabb's decision to stay at Cal rather than go pro may have had a bigger impact than pundits originally thought.
The what-if scenarios we covered for Arizona and Oregon suggested that the loss of one player—even a player as high-profile as Trier or Brooks—doesn’t crush a talented team as much as one might think. But the case of Cal and Ivan Rabb would’ve been different: Had the 6' 11" power forward entered the NBA draft after his freshman season, when he was projected as a sure-fire first-rounder, the Bears would have lacked any suitable replacement, and their offensive and defensive efficiency projections would have cratered.
The with/without Rabb splits below have Cal dropping from 17th all the way to 69th if he were gone to the NBA:
|California with Rabb||111.7||94.3||0.8760||17th|
|California without Rabb||106.3||96.4||0.7537||69th|
It’s possible that Rabb’s draft decision had an even bigger impact than what we’ve modeled. His choice to remain at Cal may have made it a more attractive destination for Columbia grad transfer Grant Mullins, one of the best point guards available this offseason, as well as for elite freshman guard Charlie Moore, who committed to Cal in May.