Overview: Allen Crabbe has become more of a household name amongst basketball fans in the past week, albeit not for reasons he'd necessarily like. During California's recent game against USC, Cal Head Coach Mike Montgomery shoved Crabbe in the second half to try and motivate Crabbe to play better defense. It would be a shame if the shoving controversy overshadows people's perceptions of Crabbe because he has a ton to offer as a basketball player.
Crabbe's best asset on the basketball court is his jumpshot. He has tremendous form, a great shooting motion, and phenomenal range. Crabbe does some of his best work off of the ball in the form of cutting and running off of screens in order to get open. Crabbe has good size and athleticism for his position and once he gets a slight edge on his defender coming off of a screen, he can square up and get into his natural shooting motion very quickly, meaning he doesn't need much space to get a quality shot off. Crabbe has evolved over his time at Cal from becoming primarily a catch and shoot, spot up shooter to becoming an all around scorer. He has become more aggressive when shooting off the dribble; his pullup jumper has gotten better and he is developing quality touch on a floater when he gets into the paint. Crabbe is getting to the free throw line more this season than he ever has; his 4.4 free throw attempts per game are 1.8 free throws above his average last year. He's also being overplayed a ton this year in the Pac-12 and does a good job of not forcing the issue: either distributing the ball or backdoor cutting very effectively. Despite his scoring ability, Crabbe is an unselfish palyer and willing passer with good court vision.
While he's improved, Crabbe isn't an elite 1 on 1 offensive player yet. He needs to look to develop a few more quality ball handling moves in order to ensure that he can get his shot off. He's improved but his value is still as a catch and shoot scorer. He can certainly find a niche in the NBA with his shooting ability but could become a very quality player if his 1 on 1 playmaking improves.
Defensively, Crabbe could certainly use some work. He's a scrappy defensive player with good size and athleticism which means he certainly has room and the tools to improve. On defense, his form isn't great. He often defends on the ball very upright which makes him susceptible to getting beaten off the dribble. In tandem with his upright tendencies, Crabbe doesn't have ideal lateral quickness which makes it that much harder for him to recover once beaten off the dribble. Off the ball, Crabbe has a tendency to lose his man a few times too often per game, leading to easy shot opportunities for his matchup. Crabbe also seems to play non-chalantly at times which often makes it look like he's not giving full effort.
Overall, Crabbe already has one skill in his jumpshot that can make him an effective shooting specialist in the NBA already. If he could develop a better rounded offensive game and improved his defense, he could become a legitimate starter in the NBA. Defensively, he has some but not all of the athletic tools that could make him a good, not great defender. His form and awareness on defense need to improve as well. His jumpshot is too good to ignore and he will have teams clamoring for him as the draft draws nearer.
· As stated before, Crabbe has an elite jumpshot form, shot motion and quick release. With his range, Crabbe can catch and shoot from anywhere on the court.
· Crabbe knows how to effectively use screens and cuts in order to get open, since he doesn't need a tremendous amount of room to get his shot off, he can often create the separation needed to shoot the ball.
· Defenders tend to overplay Crabbe now because of his long range. When this occurs, Crabbe doesn't force the action by jacking up extremely contested shots. He effectively uses backdoor cuts and is improving at putting the ball on the floor to get to the rim either to shoot a floater or to draw a help defender and get the ball to one of his teammates.
· Crabbe has gotten better every one of his years at California, consistently adding new facets to his game. While he needs to get a bit stronger to finish through contact more efficiently, his increased free throw attempts per game have shot up this year, demonstrating his willingness to be a more aggressive offensive player. While he has work to do to become a more complete player, his track record of improvement suggests he has a great chance to continue to better himself as a player.
· Crabbe has decent athleticism and length which are physical tools he can use to become a better on ball defender.
Areas to Improve:
· Crabbe needs to improve himself on the defensive end of the court. His upright defensive stance coupled with his below average lateral quickness makes it easy for his defender to blow by him. Crabbe also loses his man more than desirable when defending off the ball.
· He needs to improve his ball handling and one on one playmaking ability to become a more complete scorer and a better threat from various spots on the court.
· Crabbe often looks like he's playing with a non-chalant demeanor on the court. As the premier player on the Cal team, he needs to display a more engaged presence.
· A bit more strength would help him defend and score through contact more consistently.