Cal basketball: Increase in playing time lets Crabbe get his legs

2011-02-05T00:00:00Z 2014-07-08T15:46:53Z Cal basketball: Increase in playing time lets Crabbe get his legsPatrick Finley Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
February 05, 2011 12:00 am  • 

BERKELEY, Calif. - Allen Crabbe caught the pass with 15 seconds left Thursday night, his team leading by one.

Few in Haas Pavilion, it reasons, wanted him to shoot.

The Golden Bears' freshman guard hadn't made a field goal in his last 30 minutes. He'd missed seven straight field-goal attempts after drilling a three-pointer about five minutes into the game.

Still, Crabbe launched.

The three-pointer went in, burying Arizona State in what turned into a four-point win.

Crabbe is still discovering what it takes to star at the college level, but he has learned one thing in the past two months since the transfer of Gary Franklin led to more playing time: He needs to shoot.

"I wasn't coming in and being aggressive," he said Friday. "That's been the whole thing about me this year - being aggressive and not being aggressive.

"I need to help the team. I can't be out there having all these minutes and not producing."

Crabbe, whose Golden Bears host the Arizona Wildcats tonight, has grown since fellow freshman Franklin transferred Jan. 5, claiming he needed to be a full-time point guard to reach the NBA. Cal lost by two at McKale the next day.

Since the transfer, Crabbe has played fewer than 34 minutes in a game exactly once. He's tried 10 or more shots all but once.

"It's one less guy on the floor; it changed the chemistry a little bit," Cal forward Harper Kamp said. "Maybe he felt he was able to do some more things - or needed to do some more things."

Before the transfer, Crabbe averaged 8.4. In the nine games since, he has averaged 16.6.

It took Crabbe six games without Franklin to total the same number of points Crabbe scored in 13 games alongside him.

"We're better when people had specific roles," coach Mike Montgomery said. "They knew now what their jobs were. Allen knew he had to shoot the ball."

UA coach Sean Miller said the Golden Bears "have really gotten good on offense" in conference play, dubbing Crabbe "probably the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year."

The guard's evolution has mirrored that of the Golden Bears (13-9, 6-4), who have won four straight and six of nine since Franklin's transfer.

Crabbe, whose father played basketball for Pepperdine, said he didn't "think it was Gary that was the problem." Rather, he and his teammates benefited from trying to replace his points.

"Everybody felt that they had to step up a little bit, do a little extra more," he said.

At the beginning of the year, Crabbe said, he tried to feel his way through the college game, rather than playing with an attitude.

"It's evident now how confident he is in his own game," Kamp said. "He doesn't get down on himself."

Kamp called Crabbe quiet but confident.

"I guess you could say that's his swagger," Kamp said. "You know that he knows that he has the capability to put the ball in the hole."

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