24

Basketball: No surprise — Pac-12 Player of Year Allen Crabbe announces he will enter NBA draft

Cal junior guard Allen Crabbe, the Pac-12 Player of the Year, announced today he will enter the NBA draft.

There was no word in Cal’s news release about whether Crabbe intends to immediately hire an agent. If he holds off on doing so, he could withdraw his name from the draft by April 16.

That doesn’t seem likely. Crabbe’s father said barely a week ago that his son wasn’t likely to put his name in the draft until the April 28 deadline because there would be no flexibility after the withdrawal date.

By submitting his name for the draft now, Crabbe seems in for good.

“It has been a dream of mine to play at the next level for a long time and I feel deep down in my heart this is the right decision,” Crabbe said in a statement. “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Cal and learned a lot from my coaches and teammates. I will miss a lot of people at this University both in basketball and in school. I will always be a Golden Bear at heart.”

His announcement comes on the same day that Cal’s top 2013-14 incoming freshman, Jabari Bird of Salesian HS, is set to play in the McDonald’s All-America game in Chicago.

Bird plays the same position as Crabbe and will provide the Bears a big-time scoring threat when he arrives next fall.

Aside from Crabbe, Cal is expected to return its other four starters — guards Justin Cobbs and Tyrone Wallace and forwards David Kravish and Richard Solomon. Also returning is junior guard Ricky Kreklow, who was projected as a starter before last season, then missed much of the year with a nagging foot injury.

Crabbe averaged 18.4 points and 6.1 rebounds this season, earning All-Pac-12 first-team honors for the second straight season. He was named to third-team All-America squads by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and the Sporting News.

He ranks 10th on Cal’s career scoring list with 1,537 points in 98 career games over three seasons.

“Allen is an exceptional player and even greater person,” California coach Mike Montgomery said. “He is very talented with a tremendous work ethic and will represent Cal well at the next level. We are proud of all that Allen has accomplished here at Cal and wish him the best in his professional career.”

Jeff Faraudo

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Sigh

  • DaveintheHills

    it’s the right decision for him. A bummer for us fans.

  • 1brsfan

    Bummer for us but great for him. I hope he finishes his degree at some point because there’s no guarantee he’ll have a long NBA career.

  • wehofx

    With the injury to Noel and now what happened to Ware from Louisville, those rocked up bodies going max everything are subject to catastrophic injury.

    if ac can get mid to low first round money, it’s a no-brainer. Take the money. But. one day I really do hope he gets his Cal sheep skin.

  • Gobears49

    I wish Crabbe the best. I agree that it makes the most sense to go for the money when you can, especially after reading that next year’s draft will be more competitive than this years. Cal would, obviously, have been stronger next year with Crabbe. But with his departure it does make the roles and playing time next year less complicated, with Bird coming in.

    I hope I am not disappointed in watching Bird play for the first time, which will be in less than one hour. Hope he gets to touch the ball a decent number of times

  • Juancho

    Im happy for crabbe but dissapointed for us. If i was in his position i would go pro too.

    I felt like had he stayed we would be a top 10 team. Now with him gone i think at best we do what we did this year. Non top 25 and bubble team until the end. And maybe win a game or two in the tournament.

    I wonder if anyone else declares. Remember cobbs filled out the scouts feedback request. I wouldnt be surprise if cobbs or solomon holt given how close these kids are.

  • Will

    No way Cobbs or Solomon are NBA ready. They’ll be back. But I agree with your assessment of how the team will do next year.

  • 1brsfan

    Amigo Juancho- I don’t know about top 10 with AC… Maybe top 20.

  • BlakeStreetBear

    I think next year’s team will undoubtedly be better than this year’s. Crabbe and Thurman will be missed at times no doubt. But Bird may ALREADY be better than Crabbe. We know Crabbe had some holes in his game; certainly his attitude and on-court demeanor could have been better. Also, Cobbs, Wallace, Kreklow, Kravish AND Solomon will all be better. Solomon and Cobbs should be VERY motivated to prove their NBA worth. And Bird is an NBA talent so we may have 3 NBA type players next season if they all can (and they should) get better this summer. And Singer and Mathews are MAJOR upgrades to Smith, even as freshman. If another big is either signed that can help quick or if Rooks/Frid/Behrens/Rodriguez can contribute, I don’t expect the loss of Thurman/Bak to be very impactful.

    Looking forward to watching Monty mold the new roster and to the development of the players next year. And good luck to AC: another Golden Bear in the pros.
    Go Bears!

  • rob bear

    Lots of what ifs had Crabbe stayed and partnered with Bird, a Senior Solomon, Cobbs, 3rd year starter Kravish, a more polished Wallace and the rest of the Bears. Reminds me of when Ryan Anderson left. We were left to wonder what he could have done with Robertson, Christopher, Randall, etc.

    Best of luck Crabbe cakes. You made us proud. Make lots of $$. Grow as a person and reach for the stars…

  • Juancho

    Rob bear that was a perfect spot to use your signature line…

  • Gobears49

    Just saw the stats for Jabari Bird for the McDonald’s All-American game. Played only 13 minutes (second lowest on the team, but did well, scoring 9 points on 3 for 5 shooting (made his only three point shot) and 2 for 2 for free throws. Had three assists and three rebounds and two turnovers. I casually watched the game and did not hear his name mentioned once.

  • milo

    Hey what kind of Cal educated kid would AC be if he didn’t go? If you win conference POY, there’s no point in returning. He did the cost/benefit analysis, he’s ready. He was likely looking for reasons to stay, but there just weren’t any or enough.

    If you look at it even roughly, he’s likely reached 90% of the potential at Cal, as a player and teammate. Cal will probably finish around the same place in the standings. He’d have to average 25 to win POY again, and Cal would have to finish higher. AC staying was a fantasy.

    Thank you Allen Crabbe! Kill it in the NBA.

    p.s. I betcha his mom makes him get his degree.

  • Gobears49

    Milo,

    I disagree with most of what you have to say, except that using a cost/benefit analysis, since this year’s draft candidates are likely to be much weaker than the candidates for the next year, it makes sense on that basis for Crabbe to leave now. Much too late to go through where I disagree, and it’s not important.

    Unless Crabbe works hard to work on one or two key aspects of his game, I don’t see him playing much in the NBA, if he makes it. I enjoy seeing how recent Cal players do in the pro’s so I am rooting for him to make it, so I can follow him by reading box scores (I used to do that for Anderson and Powe). Was disappointed that both Randle and Gutierrez have not come close to making the NBA, but hope Crabbe can break that string. Also, for those who have been critical of the overall coaching of Monty (I have been critical at times, but only on specific matters), it is interesting to note that in Monty’s five years at Cal, a Cal player has won the MVP award three times, two from players who were recruited by Monty (Gutierrez and Crabbe).

  • BlueNGold

    Only time will tell how Crabbe will do in the NBA. But I would not be surprised if he takes some time to develop and does not get a lot of play time at first.

    I disagree that he had nothing left to stay in college for. He could have stayed to make the team better next year and have a more memorable post season. I understand that in today’s world many people do not think that way, but for someone who claims he will ‘always be a Golden Bear at heart’, it would have been nice to see.

  • Gobears49

    Not sure that he cares, but if Crabbe stayed he could very easily get the all time scoring records at Cal that would not easily be broken. And, from what I read, he has not completely slammed the door shut at returning to Cal next year.

    I think Crabbe is an excellent player, but he needs to work on moving with the ball to get an open shot if he wants to obtain a secure position on some NBA roster. He won’t get that opportunity sitting on the bench in the NBA. He would if spent another year at Cal.

    I also think he needs to be a better catch and shoot shooterm which I think is his primary shot. I’m not going to go back and get the exact quote from Monty or stats to prove or disprove what he said, but he was recently quoted in one of Jeff’s recent blogs that Cal needs to shoot the ball better. I checked the stats, and I think about one-quarter to one-third of Cal’s shots last season taken were taken by Crabbe and Cobbs, supposedly two of our top three (along with Kravish) players who mainly take shots away from the basket. Monty’s statement seems to say that Crabbe and Cobbs are not such great shooters after all. Would love to spend some time analyzing the stats from the recent season versus other seasons to see if they support Monty’s statement, but I don’t have the time now.

    Still hoping Crabbe changes his mind. He could improve his game at Cal, get the Cal total scoring record, and help Cal achieve an amazing season next year.

  • milo

    AC needs a couple of moves to succeed in the NBA, no doubt about it. He needs an iso shot and an improved trey from way downtown. He also needs improved defense. The thing is, why develop those in college where he can get paid and get the moves quicker.

    My guess is if Crabbe plays good D (he can) and can hit a consistent 28 footer he’ll have a very nice NBA career. If he can get an iso shot, he’ll be better. He’d be very good with a top notch PG who is weak on defending. AC has size so he can fill this slot.

  • Gobears49

    Milo,

    What is an “iso shot?” (isolation?) The way I saw it, Crabbe’s main method of getting open for a shot was to just move back further the the arch. He needs to find a way to move with the ball to shake a defender to get open. I saw a few of those moves last night while watching the high school all-star game. One nice move was a spin move around the free throw line, followed by an open jump shot from there.

    Kobe Bryant is the best I’ve seen at moving with the ball to get open for a shot.

  • milo

    Iso shot = making your shot, off the dribble or whatever.

  • Gobears49

    Thanks. The answer is not intuitive from the letters “iso.” Actually, the word “isolation” makes more sense from the “iso” letters, as you are making your own shot in isolation, or by yourself.

    I take it you agree that Crabbe is not now a good iso player?

  • milo

    AC is a third team All American. He averaged 19 points in the Pac 12 with 2-3 guys on him regularly. He’s an excellent player with size and skills. He can shoot but he can’t create for himself off the dribble but he can take it to the hoop and score…unless 3 guys are on him.

    Creating his own shot might be “as simple” as a deadly pull-up jumper off a dribble drive…like Kobe’s pull up fade away jumper.

    OTOH, if he can stroke the trey from 28′ regularly he might not need the iso shot.

    To adjust what I said about an “iso” shot, maybe I should rephrase that to be he needs a couple of killer moves, which could be the 3-ball, a drive or even defense.

    Here’s the thing however, he’s coachable, hard working and wants it. It might take 2 or 3 years but he can do it.

  • Gobears49

    Can’t disagree with anything you said. Glad you agree Crabbe really can’t create for himself off the dribble right now. In the last two years he’s learned how to drive well when he’s open at the top of the key (probably from watching Cobbs, who loves to drive, which Monty pointed out recently), but is not quick enough to drive when he’s being guarded at the start of the drive.

    The issue Crabbe needs to think about, if he hasn’t already, is how is going to learn to create for himself off the dribble if he ends up sitting on the bench in the pro’s, which is a distinct possibility. But he could work those sort of moves into his game if he stayed one more year at Cal.

  • milo

    He could work on moves at Cal but why? He’ll get better competition in the NBA and he’ll get paid.

  • Gobears49

    Won’t have real competition in the NBA if he spends most of his time there sitting on the bench. Not saying that will happen, but it realistically could.