Cal Faces Utah Thursday In Pac-12 Tournament
March 12, 2013
BERKELEY - California heads to Las Vegas as the No. 2 seed in the Pac-12 Tournament, earning a bye into the quarterfinal round where the Golden Bears will face No. 10 seed Utah on Thursday at 6:06 p.m. (PT) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Cal, winners of nine of its last 11, enters the tournament 20-10 overall, finishing the conference regular-season slate with a 12-6 mark.
Led by Pac-12 Player of the Year and All-American Allen Crabbe, the Bears finished in the top-four in the conference standings for the fifth-straight season. Cal is the only team in the Pac-12 to record double-digit victories or place in the top four in the league in each of the last five seasons since head coach Mike Montgomery took over the program.
Cal is 12-15 all-time in the Pac-12 Tournament. Cal and Utah have never met in the Pac-12 Tournament.
Junior guard Allen Crabbe became the third Golden Bear in the past four seasons to be selected as the Pac-12 Player of the Year in a vote by the league's head coaches. Crabbe finished the season as the regular-season scoring champion with an 18.6 points-per-game average. Crabbe was also named a Third Team All-American by The Sporting News on Monday.
Crabbe was a First Team All-Pac-12 selection for the second-consecutive season, while Justin Cobbs garnered Second Team All-Pac-12 laurels in 2013.
The junior guard duo of Allen Crabbe and Justin Cobbs is the highest scoring pair in the Pac-12 with a combined average of 33.7 points per game. Crabbe leads the Pac-12 and ranks 35th nationally at 18.6 points per game, while Cobbs ranks 10th in the conference at 15.1 points per contest. The pair combined to score 1,012 of Cal's 2,025 points (49.7 percent) in the regular season.
Allen Crabbe, who was named one of 30 candidates for the Naismith National Player of the Year Award, enters the Pac-12 Tournament as the Pac-12's active career scoring leader and 10th in school history with 1,489 career points in 95 career games. He ranks 13th on the school's single-season scoring list with 559 points in the regular season.
Tyrone Wallace and junior F Richard Solomon. Cal has used this lineup each of the last 14 games.
Cal held opponents under .400 (.393) from the field throughout the regular season. The mark is the lowest since the 1960 NCAA Runner-Up squad that held opponents to .365 from the field.
With 143 blocks in the regular season, Cal has already set a school record for single-season blocks. The Bears eclipsed the previous school-record mark of 135 in 1996-97, in their 28th game.
Mike Montgomery, the NCAA's eighth-winningest active Division I head coach with 655 wins, is the fourth winningest coach in Pac-12 history with 272 league wins. He moved past Washington's Hec Edmundson (266 wins from 1921-1947) in the win vs. UCLA on Feb. 14. Montgomery concluded the regular season four wins shy of matching Oregon State's Slats Gill, for third place.
PAC-12 PLAYER OF THE YEAR ALLEN CRABBE
Junior Allen Crabbe became the 42nd player in school history to reach the 1,000-point milestone for his Golden Bear career. He hit the four-digit total in the season's third game at Denver on Nov. 16. Crabbe achieved the milestone in his 68th career game, 19 games less than it took Cal's all-time leading scorer Jerome Randle (1,835 from 2006-10) to reach the 1,000-point mark. Crabbe enters the Pac-12 Tournament 10th in career scoring with 1,489 points in 95 games.
CRABBE ONE OF 30 CANDIDATES FOR NAISMITH AWARD
Allen Crabbe was named one of 30 candidates for the Naismith Player of the Year Award on Feb. 26. With an average of 18.6 points per game, Crabbe was the Pac-12's regular-season scoring champion. He ranks 35th in the nation overall. His career-high 33 points against Pepperdine equals the third-most points by an individual in the league this season.
Crabbe is also among the conference leaders in three-point field goals made per game (5th, 2.0), free-throw percentage (6th, .810), defensive rebounds (10th, 5.1), steals (T-14th, 1.2) and overall rebounds (20th, 6.0).
CRABBE'S 20-POINT GAMES
Crabbe has 27 career 20-point games, including 14 this season. He has posted four-straight 20-point games twice in his career, both this season and as a freshman. Cal is 9-5 when Crabbe has scored 20 or more points this season. Five of Crabbe's last seven 20-point games have come on the road. Here is a look at Crabbe's 20-point games this season.
SAVE THE BEST FOR LAST
Crabbe has recorded 16 or more points in the second half in eight games this season. He also registered a 20-point first half on 8-of-12 shooting and 4-of-4 from 3-point range against CSUB. Here is a look at Crabbe's top second-half performances.
CRABBE AND COBBS
Junior guards Justin Cobbs and Allen Crabbe have combined to score 1,012 of Cal's 2,025 points through the regular season. Crabbe was the Pac-12's regular-season scoring champion with 559 points, while Cobbs was 10th in the league with 453 points. Crabbe and Cobbs are the highest scoring pair in the Pac-12, combining for 33.7 points per game. The duo has each recorded 20-point games in the same contest on seven occasions. Cal owns a 5-2 record in those games.
COBBS AMONG PAC-12'S BEST GUARDS
Junior guard Justin Cobbs was recognized by the Pac-12 for the second time in as many seasons, earning Second Team All-Pac-12 honors this year. He ranks 10th in the Pac-12 in scoring (15.1 ppg.) and fourth in the league in assists (4.8 apg.). The junior guard also leads the conference in free-throw percentage (.864).
Cobbs ranks third among active players in the Pac-12 in career assists with 309 in 64 games at Cal after transferring from Minnesota. He totaled 45 assists in his final seven games of the regular season for a 6.4 assist-per-game average.
A two-time Pac-12 Player of the Week, Cobbs first won the award after leading Cal to the DIRECTV Classic Championship in Anaheim where he was also named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. The junior scored 58 points, posted 17 rebounds, 13 assists and six steals in Cal's three victories in the tournament. The guard collected his second conference weekly honor after hitting the game-winning shot with seven-tenths of a second left to give Cal the 48-46 road victory over No. 23 Oregon and followed that up with a game-high 18 points in the win at Oregon State, scoring the final five points for Cal in the win.
WALLACE AN INSTANT IMPACT
Freshman guard Tyrone Wallace has provided an instant impact. He earned a starting role in Cal's 10th game (vs. UC Santa Barbara on Dec. 18) of the season and has played at least 30 minutes in nine of the Bears' last 14 games. The first-year guard posted a pair of double-doubles on the season. He has a pair of double-doubles on the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds against UCSB and a career-high-tying 16 points and career-best 11 rebounds vs. Colorado.
Wallace is Cal's fifth-leading scorer (7.3 ppg.) and lone freshman to play in all 30 games. He played a career-long 38 minutes at USC, vs. Oregon and against Colorado. The freshman scored a career-best 16 points vs. Washington State, at Arizona State and vs. Colorado. Wallace has reached double figures in rebounding three times with a career-best 11 vs. Colorado and 10 each against No. 13 Creighton and UCSB, while his career-best eight assists came at Utah.
KRAVISH STRONG IN THE POST
Sophomore David Kravish, who earned a spot on the All-Pac-12 Freshman team last season, added 20 pounds to his frame in the off-season. He is the team's leading rebounder (ranks ninth in the Pac-12 with 7.0 rpg.) and shot blocker (fifth in the Pac-12 at 1.7 bpg.). The forward has posted seven or more rebounds in a game in 16 contests. Kravish has three double-doubles (11 points, 12 rebounds at Denver, a season-high 18 points, 13 rebounds against UCLA, and 14 points, 11 rebounds vs. Colorado). He has posted six double-digit rebounding games this season. In two games against UCLA, Kravish totaled 25 rebounds. The sophomore ranks sixth all-time at Cal with 91 career blocks and is fourth on the school's single-season list with 50 this year.
SOLOMON RETURNING TO FORM Junior Richard Solomon, who missed the final 15 games of last season, has played in all 30 games this season. He has started 28 contests. Solomon is Cal's third-leading scorer (8.4 ppg.) and second-leading rebounder (6.5 rpg.). The junior has scored in double figures in 10 games, including a career-high 18 points vs. Prairie View A&M. He recorded a career-best 12 rebounds vs. No. 10 Oregon. Solomon has posted a pair of double-doubles this season (11 points and 10 rebounds at UCLA, 13 points and 12 rebounds vs. Oregon). He also registered a career-high six blocks vs. WSU to go along with seven points and eight rebounds, becoming the first player in school history with at least six points, six rebounds and six blocks in a game. With 79 career blocks, Solomon ranks seventh on Cal's all-time list.
THURMAN EFFICIENT WITH MINUTES
Senior forward Robert Thurman has made the most of his minutes on the floor. The forward, who has started two games this season, is averaging 16.8 minutes per contest. The senior made his first career start in his 55th career game vs. Washington on Jan. 9. He is averaging 4.7 ppg. and 3.7 rpg. The forward posted a season-high 14 points in 23 minutes vs. UCSB.
SMITH SOLID AROUND THE PERIMETER
Senior guard Brandon Smith has served as one of Cal's top guards throughout his career. The senior missed six games with a head injury suffered vs. PVAM on Dec. 22. After being sidelined for more than a month, he was cleared to play on Jan. 23. The senior has averaged 2.2 points and 1.7 assists in 15.9 minutes per game since his return. Smith has played in a team-high 114 career games at Cal.
Junior guard Jeff Powers played in 13 of the Bears' 18 conference games. The junior has connected on six three-pointers out of 16 attempts this season. Cal is 4-1 in games Powers hits a three-pointer. The guard started the Bears' game against Washington State, playing a season-long 19 minutes against the Cougars.
Senior center Bak Bak has played in 18 games overall, including four of Cal's last five contests. Bak scored a season-high six points in six minutes in the win at No. 7 Arizona. Five of his 19 rebounds on the year have come in his last three games.
KREKLOW RETURNS TO LINE-UP
Sophomore guard Ricky Kreklow, who has been battling a right foot injury all season, returned to the lineup in the regular-season finale vs. Stanford. The Missouri transfer, who missed the previous 16 games, hadn't played since Jan. 3 at UCLA. He has been limited to just six games this season. After undergoing right-foot surgery in the pre-season, Kreklow tried to work his way back, but aggravated the injury on several occasions. Kreklow played 13 minutes against Stanford with two rebounds, an assist and a steal.
ABDUR-RAHIM TO BE INDUCTED INTO PAC-12 HALL OF HONOR
Shareef Abdur-Rahim, a standout for Cal during the 1995-96 season, was selected for induction to the Pac-12 Hall of Honor. He will be inducted during a ceremony on Saturday, prior to Championship game at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.
Cal vs. Utah
California and Utah have met on the hardwood 21 times previously. The Golden Bears hold a 13-8 advantage in the all-time series with the Utes. Cal has won the last fi ve matchups with Utah, sweeping the regular-season series from the Utes the last two years. Cal posted a 62-57 victory in Salt Lake City on Jan. 24 thanks to a season-best 16 steals and 23 points from Allen Crabbe, and defeated the Utes, 64-46, at home on Feb. 28, led by 15 points and 11 rebounds from Crabbe.