Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
By EDDIE GIBBONSPRINGFIELD, Mass. — In the first game of a quadruple-header on ESPNU, Ivan Rabb and Bishop O’Dowd (CA) defeated Jaylen Brown and Marietta (GA) Wheeler, 79-70, at the 2015 HoopHall Classic.
In front of Kentucky head coach John Calipari and assistants from Cal and UCLA, the 6-foot-11 power forward finished with an impressive stat line of 24 points, 12 rebounds and 5 blocks. Brown, who is also considering Kentucky and UCLA among others, finished with 31 points and 12 rebounds.
Ranked fifth in the ESPN.com national rankings, Rabb is considering five schools at this point. His final list includes Cal, Kentucky and UCLA along with Arizona and Kansas.
Fresh off an official to Tucson, Rabb mentioned what stood out to him about it.
“It was really nice,” said Rabb. “The thing that stood out the most was that they sold out the game with the students being off campus. Everyone in Tucson came out, and I think they had 14,500 people there. Every seat was packed and that impressed me.”
The only other school to receive an official from the athletic forward at this point has been Kentucky. He made the trip to Lexington back in October for the Blue White Scrimmage.
“The Kentucky visit was really nice, too,” Rabb said. “They also sold out their whole gym, and that was for a scrimmage which is crazy.”
When asked what his interest level in the Wildcats at this point Ivan was quick to answer.
“I’m definitely considering them,” he said. “I know what they can do with a player like myself, they’ve had players like me before. They have definitely proven what they can do with players that come in and work hard, they put them where I want to go eventually.”
He also mentioned his relationship with Calipari. “Our relationship is really, really good,” said Rabb. “He’s a coach who really doesn’t call any of his players that much, but when we talk we discuss things that I did well and things that I could do better.”
Kentucky figures to lose Karl-Anthony Towns, Willie Cauley-Stein and Dakari Johnson, and maybe Trey Lyles, to the NBA, but will add several big to go along with signee Skal Labissiere.
“I wouldn’t say that’s a big deal to me because anywhere I go there’s going to be competition,” Rabb said. “Nobody is going to roll over and give me there spot.”
ESPN’s Jeff Goodman reported on air that Cal coach Cuonzo Martin offered Rabb’s high school coach, Lou Richie, a job at Cal when Martin was first hired, but Richie declined. Still, Cal is heavily in the mix.
“I have the best relationship with Cuonzo Martin,” Rabb said. “Him being so close, I can basically go up there whenever I want.”
In terms of future visits Rabb knows he plans to officially visit Cal, Kansas and UCLA, although no dates have been set yet. Expect a decision from Rabb after his senior season.
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.