Allen Crabbe is a laid-back kind of guy. Throughout his entire college basketball career, he’s been told he’s not aggressive enough. His inconsistencies on the court have clouded his reputation as a stellar shooter, and his lack of one-on-one explosiveness is a major defect in his play. All these upsetting facts may make the title of this post seem false, and the Clog’s support of Crabbe can come off as just blind Cal patriotism.
So let us rephrase. When his head is in the game, Allen Crabbe is the best player in the Pac-12. No matter how many times he chokes on a shot, his stats don’t lie. He’s scored more career points than anyone else in the conference. And he’s only a junior. His jumpers are out of a textbook, and he’s a downright ninja thief on defense. He rebounds well on both sides of the court, and he has a good eye for passing the ball. As a matter of fact, he’s pretty much the whole defensive and offensive package when he’s having an on-game.
When he’s off, he disappoints worse than a meal at the dining halls. He makes easy shots look impossible, and he moves sluggishly, as though detached from the game. Fortunately, there is a really easy “on” switch: a shove from coach Mike Montgomery. That little controversy during a timeout in the USC game took Crabbe from a lost wanderer on the court to a double-double and a crowd-pleasing comeback win. Too bad shoving players is viewed negatively by any college’s athletics program.
More proof of Crabbe’s abilities comes from the performance of rest of his team. On Saturday, Cal had its seventh consecutive win in a game against the University of Colorado at Boulder. Crabbe was kind of in it — he did get in early foul trouble, but he also worked well with his teammates. He took a more defensive role and kept passing to let Wallace, Kravish and Cobbs lead the team to victory. In most of the last crucial games, Crabbe has been instrumental in leading the team to victory. In our eyes, he’s Cal’s Player of the Year, hands-down.
Crabbe has been named one of 30 candidates for the 2013 Naismith Men’s Player of the Year Award. Not to mention the fact that he’s one of 12 leading candidates for Pac-12 Player of the Year. Jorge Gutierrez won the Pac-12 Player of the Year for Cal last year after leading the team to a 24-10 season. If Crabbe can step up and take his team as far, if not farther, he stands a good chance for winning both. He just needs a good shove.
Image source: Michael Tao, The Daily Californian