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Basketball: Will Ivan Rabb join this list?

CAL’S TOP RECRUITS OF PAST QUARTER-CENTURY

Bishop O’Dowd High forward Ivan Rabb is rated No. 5 nationally by Scout.com. Here are Cal’s top-rated recruits of the past 25 years:

No. 1: Jason Kidd, 1992 (Naismith Award)
No. 4: Shareef Abdur-Rahim, 1995 (Blue Chip Illustrated)
No. 6: Leon Powe, 2003 (Prep Stars)
No. 11: Jelani Gardner, 1994 (Sporting News)
No. 13: Jabari Bird, 2013 (Scout)
No. 26: Tony Gonzalez, 1994 (Sporting News)
No. 27: Al Grigsby, 1991 (Bob Gibbons)
No. 32: Tremaine Fowlkes, 1994 (Sporting News)
No. 42: Lamond Murray, 1991
No. 44: Patrick Christopher, 2006 (Rivals)
No. 46: Marquise Kately, 2003 (Rivals)

Note: Lamond Murray’s ranking from non-specific source, per Cal media guide.

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Basketball: Recruiting expert expects Rabb to pick Cal; will forward announce decision after McDonald’s game?

UPDATED

Cal is the favorite to land Bishop O’Dowd High School basketball star Ivan Rabb, says a Scout.com recruiting expert, but those close to the five-star recruit aren’t sure when he will announce his choice.

“I think he wants to go to Cal. I don’t think it’s a secret,” said Josh Gershon, recruiting analyst for Scout.com, who talked with the 6-foot-11 forward on Tuesday at media day for the McDonald’s All-American Game, to be played Wednesday in Chicago.

“I’m sure Kentucky’s still trying, but I think Cal’s the team to beat,” Gershon said. “If he were to not go to Cal, I would be shocked if it was anywhere but Arizona. I think it’s far more likely than not at this point Ivan chooses Cal.”

Both of Rabb’s coaches – Lou Richie of Bishop O’Dowd High and Mark Olivier of the Oakland Soldiers summer travel team – said they don’t know whether he will announce Wednesday night.

Olivier doesn’t believe Rabb’s mother, Tami Rabb, will have a major voice in her son’s decision. “She wants Ivan to be happy, that’s it. It’s up to him.”

Rabb closed out his O’Dowd career in dramatic fashion Saturday night, scoring the winning free throw with less than one second remaining in overtime in a state championship victory over Mater Dei at Cal’s Haas Pavilion.

The spring letter-of-intent signing period begins April 15, and Rabb would be a huge recruiting coup for second-year Cal coach Cuonzo Martin. Rabb is rated anywhere from No. 5 to No. 8 among the nation’s prospects, and Cal has not landed a top-10 recruit since Leon Powe in 2003.

O’Dowd’s Richie said Rabb will have an impact as a freshman wherever he plays.

“He’s a competitor, he’s a sponge, and he’s a great kid,” Richie said.

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Basketball: Ivan Rabb hits game-winning FT in state title game at Haas; no immediate announcement on college

Ivan Rabb had 19 points, 20 rebounds, three blocked shots and made the game-winning free throw with 0.8 seconds left, lifting Bishop O’Dowd to a 65-64 win over Mater Dei in the California state open division title game at Haas Pavilion.

But he did not immediately give Cal fans the news they were hoping to hear.

The sense all day was that Rabb would pick Cal over Arizona, and would make the announcement right after the game.

Rabb said afterward he wasn’t ready to make an immediate commitment. Wanted to keep the spotlight on his team and the Dragons’ championship celebration.

“It’s not about me, it’s not about where I’m going to school right now, it’s about putting this ring on our fingers and bring a state title to my school,” Rabb told reporters.

If that’s an insight into his character and what kind of teammate he can be, an encouraging sign for whichever teams get him.

Cal quarterback Jared Goff tweeted his impressions of the young O’Dowd star:

@YoungIvee sounds like a great kid. Hope he comes to Cal, but wish him nothing but the best with whatever he chooses to do #GoBears

The game was close throughout, and the 6-foot-10 Rabb added to the drama when he he nearly airballed his first free throw with 0.8 seconds left. Then he converted the second one to earn O’Dowd its first state title since 1981.

“The way the game ended, you couldn’t’ have written a story better than this,” Rabb said. “It’s not about me, it’s about my teammates. They pushed me to get to this point, we pushed each other and I’m just thankful.”

*****

Caleb Swanigan, the five-star center Cal is pursuing, led Homestead-Fort Wayne to a 91-90 win over Reitz-Evansville for the Indiana state 4A title.

Swanigan, a 6-foot-9, 265-pounder, had 20 points and 14 rebounds.

 

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Basketball: Will Cuonzo Martin’s lofty recruiting deliver big payoff or mighty whiff? Answers to come soon

From the day he arrived on campus until last week when he said no thanks to an invite from the third-tier CBI tournament, first-year Cal coach Cuonzo Martin has made it clear he intends to swing for the fences.

Martin wants to compete for a national championship at Cal and his recruiting efforts have been in line with those aspirations: the Bears appear to be among the finalists for three five-star prospects rated by Scout.com as the No. 1 center, power forward and small forward in the country.

Within the next several weeks we will know whether Martin can defy the odds by signing one or more of them, or will be left empty-handed. The spring signing period begins April 15.

Here are the three players at the top of Martin’s recruiting wish list:

* IVAN RABB: The 6-foot-10, 220-pound power forward from Oakland’s Bishop O’Dowd High has been a priority for Martin and his staff since they landed in Berkeley. Rated by Scout as the No. 5 overall prospect and No. 1 power forward, Rabb leads O’Dowd (ranked No. 8 nationally by USA Today) into Saturday’s California open division state title game against No. 10 Mater Dei at Cal’s Haas Pavilion. Tipoff is 8 p.m. Rabb, also considering Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky and UCLA, had 18 points and 18 rebounds last week as the Dragons improved to 27-4 with a win over Modesto Christian in the NorCal title game.

* CALEB SWANIGAN: A 6-9, 265-pounder from Homestead High (28-2) in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Swanigan was named Mr. Basketball in Indiana and rated by Scout as the nation’s top center prospect. He made an official visit to Cal on Feb. 27, but has a long list of suitors, including Duke, Georgetown, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan State and Purdue. Swanigan had 40 points and 17 rebounds in Homestead’s state 4A semifinal win over South Bend Riley and goes for the state title Saturday against 29-1 Evansville Reitz, rated No. 23 nationally by USA Today.

* JAYLEN BROWN: Rated by Scout as the nation’s No. 1 overall prospect, the 6-7, 215-pound small forward made a quiet, unofficial visit to Cal last Sunday and Monday, further muddling his recruiting picture. Everyone wants Brown, who used his five official recruiting visits to check out Kansas, Kentucky, UCLA, North Carolina and Michigan. He averaged 28 points and 12 rebounds at Wheeler-Marietta, Georgia, the same high school that produced one-time Cal star Shareef Abdur-Rahim. Wheeler is rated No. 5 in the country by USA Today after finishing 30-2 as Georgia’s 6A state champion.

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Football: UC Davis, Cal Poly added to future schedules

Cal has completed its 2019 and 2020 nonconference football schedules by adding home games against UC Davis and Cal Poly.

The Bears will face Davis in their season opener on Aug. 31, 2019, and will play Cal Poly on Sept. 12, 2020.

Cal is 9-0 all-time vs. Davis, all of the games in Berkeley. This will be the Bears’ first game against Cal Poly.

Here are Cal’s future nonconference schedules:

2015 – Grambling State (Sept. 5); San Diego State (Sept. 12); at Texas (Sept. 19)
2016 – South Dakota (Sept. 3); at San Diego State (Sept. 10); Texas (Sept. 17)
2017 – at North Carolina (Sept. 2); Weber State (Sept. 9); Mississippi (Sept. 16)
2018 – North Carolina (Sept. 1); at BYU (Sept. 8); Idaho State (Sept. 15)
2019 – UC Davis (Aug. 31); San Jose State (Sept. 14); at Mississippi (Sept. 21)
2020 – TCU (Sept. 5); Cal Poly (Sept. 12); at Auburn (Sept. 19)
2021 – at TCU (Sept. 11); Auburn (Sept. 18); 1 TBA

2

Women’s basketball: Texas ousts Bears

The Cal women’s season ended Sunday evening with a 72-66 loss to Texas in the second round of the NCAA tournament at Haas Pavilion.

The fourth-seeded Bears (24-10) for 22 points from Mercedes Jefflo and a near triple-double from senior guard Brittany Boyd. She finished with 15 points, nine rebounds and 10 assists.

Pac-12 Player of the Year Reshanda Gray fouled out in just 19 minutes after being held to seven points and three rebounds.

The fifth-seeded Longhorns (24-10) advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time in 11 years.

Jefflo’s 6-for-11 effort from the 3-point arc sparked a Cal attack that made 11 3-point baskets. But the Bears turned the ball over 20 times.

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Basketball: Ivan Rabb leads O’Dowd into state final

Ivan Rabb, Cal’s No. 1 recruiting target, had 18 points, 18 rebounds and five blocked shots, leading Bishop O’Dowd High to a 56-47 win over Modesto Christian in the CIF NorCal open division title game at the Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento.

The top-seeded Dragons earned a rematch in the state championship game against Southern California winner Mater Dei, which beat O’Dowd 71-61 in the 2014 state title game.

Rabb, a 6-foot-10 forward, is rated a consensus top-10 national prospect by recruiting services. He lists Cal among his five final schools, also including Arizona and Kentucky.

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Women’s basketball: Bears cruise to victory

The Cal women won their NCAA tournament opener for the fourth straight year, beating Wichita State 78-66 at Haas Pavilion on Friday afternoon.

The fourth-seeded Bears (24-9) will play No. 5 seed Texas on Sunday. The Longhorns (23-10) beat Western Kentucky 66-64. Tipoff is 6 p.m. and the game will be aired on ESPN2.

Reshanda Gray led five Cal players in double figures with 22 points. She also had nine rebounds. Mercedes Jefflo added 14 points and Brittany Boyd had 12 points, seven rebounds and four assists.

Cal shot 52 percent and outrebounded the Shockers (29-5) by a 38-27 margin.

5

Basketball: Ex-Cal guard Jarod Haase, UAB to face UCLA 22 years after his first experience against the Bruins

For Alabama-Birmingham coach Jarod Haase, Saturday’s NCAA tournament game against UCLA will be framed by an entirely different set of circumstances than the first time he faced the Bruins.

At stake for Haase and the 14th-seeded Blazers is a spot in next week’s Sweet 16. For a school that dropped its football program in December, the opportunity is a joyous occasion.

In 1993, when he and Jason Kidd formed an all-freshman backcourt at Cal, Haase took on the Bruins with a somber heart.

His father, Gary Haase, a 55-year-old Cal grad, had died unexpectedly the day before of causes stemming from an infection in his spleen after being checked into a hospital with an ankle infection.

Then-Cal coach Lou Campanelli gave Haase the option of returning to his family home in South Lake Tahoe rather than remain with the team in Los Angeles. He stayed, explaining that his father would have wanted it that way.

Haase and the Bears responded with a spectacular performance, routing the Bruins 104-82. It was UCLA’s worst loss at Pauley Pavilion since its opening 27 years before, and prompted legendary Bruins coach John Wooden – who attended the game – to say, “I never thought we’d be behind by this margin at home to anybody.”

Haase played 30 minutes and contributed 16 points and five assists to Cal’s most one-sided win over UCLA since 1923. Afterward, he allowed himself a quick smile as he left the court.

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