Cal Basketball: Four-Star 2025 Recruit Jovani Ruff Picks Bears

The Long Beach Poly High guard chose Cal over Kansas, Oregon and USC
Jovani Ruff tells Joe Tipton he'll attend Cal
Jovani Ruff tells Joe Tipton he'll attend Cal / On3

Cal basketball coach Mark Madsen made his biggest high school recruiting splash when 2025 four-star guard Jovani Ruff announced he will join the Bears.

Ruff revealed his choice Tuesday on YouTube, picking the Bears over Kansas, Oregon and USC.

Asked by On3 YouTube host Joe Tipton why he chose Cal, Ruff said, “The relationship I have with the coaching staff. We talk every day. Early in the morning and late at night with coach Madsen, not just about basketball but about life. I really believe in Mark Madsen and what he’s building over there and I can be a big piece in what they’re building at Cal.

"I'm very excited."

A rising senior at Long Beach Poly High, Ruff is rated the No. 41 overall prospect in the Class of ’25, according to On3’s, based on a weighted average of the rankings of four major recruiting sites.  He is rated as the No. 9 shooting guard prospect in the country.

ESPN gives the 6-foot-4, 175-pounder a No. 27 national ranking.

That makes him the highest-rated high school prospect has landed since Jaylen Brown in 2015. Brown, who goes after an NBA title with the Boston Celtics beginning Thursday night, was the nation’s No. 3 recruit as a high school senior, according to Rivals.

Matt Bradley came closest to this, ranked No. 55 by Rivals in the 2018 class.

Ruff will join the Golden Bears in the fall of 2025 after playing his senior high school season this coming year. His commitment cannot become official until the early signing period begins on Nov. 13.

Ruff also received offers from Arizona State, LSU, Texas A&M, Nebraska, UCLA, Utah and Washington.

Ruff scored 27 points including the game-winning 3-pointer in Poly’s 57-54 win over Corona del Mar in the CIF Southern Section Division 2A semifinals. Poly finished 24-8 after losing 53-49 to Marina in the title game.

A Ruff interview, when he says he "knew they couldn't guard me."

A look at Ruff's unusual shot



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Jeff Faraudo


Jeff Faraudo was a sports writer for Bay Area daily newspapers since he was 17 years old, and was the Oakland Tribune's Cal beat writer for 24 years. He covered eight Final Fours, four NBA Finals and four Summer Olympics.