Notebook: Rising Rabb

In our weekly Notebook feature, the national team explores creative and broad topics from the grassroots hoops realm.

Ivan Rabb has statement performance

You could argue that no 2015 prospect in high school basketball had a better junior season than Ivan Rabb (pictured above). The 6-foot-10, 220-pound power forward from Oakland (Calif.) Bishop O'Dowd had one dominant performance after the next, averaging 27 points and 14 rebounds on the season.

There may not have been a better game that showcased Rabb's talent than when he went up against five-star centers Stephen Zimmerman and Chase Jeter of Bishop Gorman in the 2013 Tarkanian Classic, scoring 24 points to go with 11 rebounds in a 68-54 win.

Rabb's junior year helped him move up the rankings to #1 in Scout's 2015 Top 100, but a subpar spring and summer - he was battling a sprained ankle throughout the time - dropped him to 5th in the current rankings.

So when Bishop Gorman showed up to the Bay Area this weekend as part of the Prep2Prep Tip-Off Classic, Rabb had plenty to prove, not just as a team - Bishop O'Dowd and Bishop Gorman are two of the top squads nationally - but as a prospect.

Rabb once again answered the bell with another dominant performance against Bishop Gorman, this time scoring 28 points with 20 rebounds. He hit fade-away jumpers, scored around the basket posting up or on the offensive glass and blocked shots. His unique combination of size, athleticism and skill proved why he's one of the nation's top prospects.

It will be important for Rabb to maintain his level of play from Saturday throughout the year, but his senior season couldn't be off to a better start.

— Josh Gershon

Buckeyes on the board early: Very Early

One of the more interesting commitments happened on Monday when class of 2018 prospect Dane Goodwin decided to pull the trigger and commit to Ohio State. This is of course interesting because Goodwin is yet to play a game of varsity basketball. Still, Ohio State offered after a fall workout, and basically at that point Goodwin issued his commitment to the school before waiting to announce it on Monday.

Goodwin's father, Damon, was a star player for the University of Dayton in the 80's, and currently is the Head Coach at Capital University in Columbus. So this isn't a situation where the parents didn't understand the process, it is one where everything was very clear and they just decided early on that they wanted to be at Ohio State and there was no reason to wait.

According to Rob Taylor of Buckeye Prep Report, which specializes in middle school basketball, Goodwin is a big time shooter but more than a catch and shoot guy. He is good off the dribble and is a very tough kid at 6-foot-4. Goodwin is reported to not be a great athlete, but someone who is solid, and could continue to grow.

Clearly, Ohio State wanted to land one of the best shooters in their state and didn't are his age. Now obviously a lot can happen between now and 2018, and it is kind of uncharted territory for the school (even Jared Sullinger didn't get an offer until after his freshman season), but the commitment is as solid as one can be four years out, and Goodwin is in the pipeline.

— Brian Snow

Not Just The Elites

The majority of the players we cover at Scout are household names and big time recruits with plenty of collegiate options. But there are plenty of players entering their senior season that are looking to earn college scholarships. There were two players this past weekend at the Bluegrass Showcase that earned some new looks.

Dennis Tunstall, who played sparingly for Team Final this spring and summer, was easily the breakout performer of the event. A 6-foot-6 combination forward out of Burlington (N.J.) Life Center Academy, Tunstall played with good energy, stretched the floor with his jump shot and even got on the glass through two games at the Bluegrass Showcase.

Tunstall shot the ball with confidence and made four mid-range jump shots in Life Center Academy’S Friday game. A day later, Tunstall showed the range by stepping out and making multiple three-pointers.

Another guy that caught my eye this weekend was Orangeville Prep’s Kyle Alexander. A 6-foot-9 post player with wide shoulders and long arms, Alexander has an impressive looking frame that just lacks strength at this stage.

Alexander, who played with CIA Bounce, showed good mobility and athleticism. At this stage, he will contest shots and can finish plays close to the rim. Alexander is one worth tracking, as he has upside and potential.

— Evan Daniels

Ingram, Giles off to hot starts

The two highest-ranked North Carolinians in 2015 and 2016, respectively, are Brandon Ingram and Harry Giles. And, as you might imagine, each has jumped out to a big-time season.

For Giles, a torrid start portends big things as his team will face a slew of tough opponents

In his season opener last night, Ingram scored a whopping 43 points to go along with six rebounds, five steals and two assists. Kinston (N.C.) High is a state title favorite but, while Ingram always has been a tantalizing prospect, his production for Kinston at times has ranged from good to average.

This latest explosion might indicate a shift. Ingram closed his summer on a very high note and is one of the most improved and impressive seniors in the country. Still unsigned, he’ll continue to draw heavy attention from the in-state powers as well as Kansas and others.

Meanwhile, in a recent matchup versus Charlotte’s Northside Christian, Giles led his High Point (N.C.) Wesleyan squad by scoring 38 of his team’s 82 points in a big win. Giles missed his sophomore season after undergoing knee surgery, so his reemergence on the court has lifted the spirits of the entire state.

Ingram appears to have a strong shot at the McDonald’s game next spring, while Giles very well may end up No. 1 overall in the Class of 2016.

— Rob Harrington

Evan Daniels, Brian Snow, Josh Gershon and Rob Harrington contributed to this report

Scout Hoops Top Stories