March 11, 2013
BERKELEY - California junior guard Allen Crabbe was selected as the Pac-12 Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Year in a vote by the league's 12 head coaches, the conference announced on Monday.
"I am really happy for Allen," California head men's basketball coach Mike Montgomery said. "He is been a mainstay in our program and has improved each year. Allen has been a guy that has been under constant pressure to carry the load offensively and has done a very good job for us. This is a reward for a lot of hard work and I think well-justified."
Crabbe was also a First Team All-Pac-12 selection, while fellow junior guard Justin Cobbs was an All-Pac-12 Second Team pick.
"It is great to have two people acknowledged and Justin has had some really good games and some game winners for us," said Montgomery. "In this league, with as many good players as there are, being on the second team is quite an honor."
Crabbe, an All-American candidate, became the third Golden Bear in the last four seasons to capture conference player of the year honors, joining Jorge Gutierrez last season and Jerome Randle in 2010.
The dynamic junior, who is one of 30 candidates for the Naismith National Player of the Year award, was the Pac-12's regular-season scoring champion with a 18.6 points-per-game average. He led the conference in scoring the entire season. Crabbe also ranked among the league leaders in three-point field goals made per game (5th, 2.0), free-throw percentage (6th, .810), defensive rebounding (10th, 5.1), steals (T-14th, 1.2) and overall rebounding (20th, 6.0). He completed the regular season with 59 three-point field goals, 80 assists, 35 steals and 21 blocks in 30 games. His 559 points currently rank 13th on the program's single-season scoring list, while his 59 three-point field goals currently rank 11th on the single-season charts.
The Pac-12's active career scoring leader, Crabbe also ranks 10th in school history in career scoring with 1,489 points in 95 career games. He is also the league's active career three-point field goals leader and ranks third in school history in the category with 204.
He scored 20 points or more in 14 games, including a pair of 30-point contests, reaching double-figures in the scoring column in all but three games. The junior scored at least 16 points in the second-half alone in eight games this season. He posted a pair of double-doubles on the year with 23 points and 10 rebounds in the victory over USC on Feb. 17 and 15 points and 11 rebounds in the win over Utah on Feb. 28.
Crabbe was a two-time Pac-12 Player of the Week selection this season, garnering conference weekly laurels in consecutive weeks in February. The guard scored 31 points on 12-of-15 shooting to go along with seven rebounds and five assists in Cal's 77-69 victory at No. 7 Arizona on Feb. 10 for his first conference weekly honor. The next week, Crabbe followed a 16-point, five-rebound, five-assist performance in the win over UCLA with 14 points in the final 8:30 and 23 points overall en route to a double-double in the comeback victory over USC.
The guard's career-best 33 points against Pepperdine on Nov. 13 matched the third-most by an individual in the Pac-12 this season His career-high six steals in the win over USC on Feb. 17 are the second-most by an individual in the conference this season.
Crabbe was also named ESPN's National Player of the Week for his performance in the victory at No. 7 Arizona.
It is the second First Team All-Pac-12 selection for Crabbe in as many years and third all-league mention overall. He was named the Pac-12 Conference Freshman of the Year and an honorable mention all-conference pick in 2011.
Cobbs, who was an honorable mention all-conference selection last season, was recognized by the Pac-12 for the second year in a row. He ranks 10th in the Pac-12 in scoring at 15.1 points per game and fourth in the league in assists at 4.8 per contest. The junior guard also leads the conference in free-throw percentage at .864.
Cobbs has scored in double figures in 25 of Cal's 30 games with seven games of 20 or more points in the scoring column. 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.
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.
Crabbe and Cobbs guided Cal to a 20-10 overall record and a 12-6 conference mark, including victories in nine of the Bears' past 11 games. Cal earned the No. 2 seed in this week's Pac-12 Tournament in Las Vegas, Nev. and received a bye into Thursday's quarterfinal round. The Bears will face either USC or Utah on Thursday at 6 p.m. (PT) on the Pac-12 Networks.