Potential 2016 lottery pick Ivan Rabb has decided to return to the University of California for his sophomore season and he will not be among the players available on draft night this June, the university announced via press release (h/t to ESPN.com). “Ivan is a tremendous person and student-athlete to have on our team. He and his family have put a lot of thought into making a decision that was right for him,” coach Cuonzo Martin said in the school’s official release. “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.”
Rabb is currently ranked as the No. 11 overall player according to Chad Ford of ESPN.com, while Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress slots him at No. 14 overall. The power forward had a solid freshman season at Cal, averaging 12.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.2 blocks on 61.5% shooting in 34 appearances. He arrived at California as the eighth-best player in his class according to the Recruiting Services Consensus Index.
The 19-year-old is an intriguing physical prospect, but he should benefit from returning to school for another season. According to Givony, the 6’10” forward needs to add strength and bulk to his slender 215-pound frame, as well as improve his overall offense in the post if he hopes to make the successful jump to the NBA. Rabb could have declared his intent to enter the draft in order to go through the predraft evaluation process, and provided he didn’t hire an agent, he could have withdrawn prior to the May 25th deadline and still returned to school for the 2016/17 campaign.