Reactions from Ivan Rabb's Cal In-Home Visit
For the past two week, the California basketball staff has been crisscrossing the country to visit their top targets for 2015, and last Wednesday, the Bears sat down in the home of five-star Ivan Rabb for their crack at the Oakland (Calif.) Bishop O’Dowd big man, who was accompanied by his mother and his coach, Lou Richie.
“Their pitch was, ‘We’ve been there,’” said Richie. “They’ve come out and watched him play more than any other coach. At Cal, they have a familial atmosphere, with all really good kids, and that he [Cuonzo Martin] wants to bring a toughness – to increase Ivan’s toughness in his game, that he’s tough, but he can, in a positive way, get tougher.”
The culmination of the pitch was a simple question, Richie said: “Why not stay home?”
“If you look at the players that have come out of Cal that have taken that chance to stay at home and really build something,” Richie said, “they’ve been successful.”
Rabb’s reaction was quite positive.
“Ivan likes what he heard, and he has a good rapport with the coaches,” Richie said. “Ivan’s pretty good about taking everything in and I’m sure when the last visit’s done, he’ll sit down with his family and decide where he wants to take official visits to.”
Rabb is still targeting a spring decision, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be persuaded to pull the trigger during the early signing period, which goes from Nov. 12-19, 2014.
“It definitely could move up,” Richie said. “He says that if he wakes up one day and knows where he wants to go, he’ll go there. Right now, he’s just being a kid, being a student-athlete, trying to get healthy and getting all the information. When all the visits are done, he’ll sit down with his family and make that decision.”
Richie said that he didn’t think Rabb saw any of his in-home visits so far (from Cal, UCLA, Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky and Georgetown) as better than the others, but that each school “came in and highlighted what their strengths are, and Ivan was happy to have them in and have discourse with him. All the visits have gone well.”
Cal’s in-home visit started off with Martin and all three of his assistants -- Yanni Hufnagel, Jon Harris and Tracy Webster.
“All the coaches were there, and Cuonzo started off and did the majority of the talking,” Richie said. “Then, Cuonzo and Yanni had to get on a flight, so the other two coaches hung around, ate there and watched TV and just hung out with the family.”
Rabb responded well to the easygoing, low-pressure atmosphere.
“Ivan is a laid-back person,” Richie said. “He’s definitely not opposed to high-intensity situations, which is what basketball is all about, but he’s a very laid back kid. He was asking good questions, and was very engaged, but he’s been like that in all the in-home visits.”
Rabb is taking a very “business-casual” approach to his in-homes, Richie said.
“Business, but yet personal; business, but yet engaging, and enjoying himself,” Richie said. “He doesn’t want to be so businesslike that he doesn’t enjoy himself.”
Rabb is still set for one more in-home visit from North Carolina, though no date has been set yet.
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