Basketball: Crabbe says he would trade Player of the Year award for a Pac-12 tournament title

Allen Crabbe said he spent the offseason in Berkeley working to improve his game in order to help his team, not to win an award.

But after becoming the seventh Cal player to be named Pac-12 Player of the Year on Monday, Crabbe said, “it’s a wonderful feeling, a blessing.”

“The offseason really is a time for you to improve your game and I wanted to become more of a complete basketball player, somebody who can impact the game on both ends.

“At the beginning of the season you’re not thinking about awards, just what you can do to help your team. With team success comes individual success.”

Crabbe said he called his parents with the news and they were excited, as you’d expect.

His focus this week is on the Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas, where the Bears will open Thursday against either USC or Utah.

“We let the regular season kind of slip away from us,” he said. “We can go out here and redeem ourselves. We know what all the teams are capable of doing. We can’t take games lightly.

“We’re all prepared, all focused, all going to play hard to win this Pac-12 tournament champiionship. I feel like we could have won the regular season.”

Crabbe made it clear he’d swap his Player of the Year award for a conference title.

“It’s a good award. I feel like none of this stuff really gets to me,” he said. “I feel like I’m a team player. I want to help my team win. That’s what I’m focused on. We still have business to take care of .

“At the beginning of the season, you’re not talking about, `I’m playing for an award.’  We’re playing for the championship. I’d trade it in. We have an opportunity to put ourselves in a situation to redeem ourselves.”

Jeff Faraudo