Michael Lynch, who coaches 2010 Cal commit Allen Crabbe at Price High in Los Angeles, told me the junior wing has improved dramatically in recent months and will be better still by the time he matures at Berkeley.
“I never predict what a (college) freshman will do,” Lynch said. “But sometime in the process in his college career, there’s going to be a lot of coaches who looked at him and liked him, but didn’t really, really like him.”
Crabbe, rated as a three-star prospect by scout.com, averages 23 points and 12 rebounds for Price, a perennially strong Division 5 program with 13-4 record this season. He scored a season-high 37 points in one game.
“He’s a prolific shooter,” Lynch said. “I’ve been doing this 13 years, and he’s got to be one of the best shooters in the state.”
The difference, according to Lynch, is that Crabbe has expanded his game, taking the ball more aggressively to the basket and crashing the boards. He had 17 rebounds in one game.
“At one point he was just a shooter,” Lynch said. “For people who saw him in summer AAU ball, he’s not even the same player. It’s like night and day.”
Lynch said Crabbe is 6-foot-5, 170 pounds and still growing. “He’s got incredibly long arms and it seems like his body is just starting to come to him,” Lynch said.
Crabbe also received offers from Utah, Oregon State and Nevada. The Utes, in particular, pursued Crabbe aggressively, according to Lynch. But Crabbe liked the Cal coaching staff, the academic setting and the chance to play in the Pac-10, his coach said, and gave the Bears an oral commitment the day after Christmas.
Crabbe won’t arrive on campus until the fall of 2010 and cannot even sign a letter-of-intent until next November. With six juniors on the current Cal roster, the 2010 class figures to be a critical one for coach Mike Montgomery.
He’ll be replacing Jerome Randle, Patrick Christopher, Theo Robertson, Jamal Boykin, Jordan Wilkes and Nikola Knezevic, unless one or more of them departs in the meantime.