California’s Allen Crabbe was the Pac-10 freshman of the year last season. It appears he’s ready to take another big step in his development in 2011-12.
Crabbe and the 23rd-ranked Golden Bears host Austin Peay on Tuesday night as part of the CBE Classic.
While current seniors Jorge Gutierrez and Harper Kamp led California (2-0) in scoring last season, Crabbe looks ready to step out from their shadows.
Crabbe is 9 of 18 from beyond the arc while shooting 54.5 percent overall. Last season he averaged 13.4 points while making 62 3-pointers.
One thing Crabbe and his teammates are trying to work on is turnovers. He had three in each of the first two games and the Golden Bears had 15 on Sunday after recording 14 in the season opener.
“We were a little bit lax,” coach Mike Montgomery said Sunday. “We were just not in sync. I think part of that was just our mental preparation.”
While the Golden Bears have a veteran starting lineup, their bench is relatively unproven with freshman David Kravish and Justin Cobbs, who sat out last season after transferring from Minnesota, seeing the most minutes of the reserves.
Kravish has provided a solid inside presence with 16 rebounds in the first two games, including six offensive boards, while Cobbs stepped up Sunday, finishing with 16 points and five assists.
“That’s what we expect from Justin, really,” Montgomery said. “We think he’s capable of doing that. His focus was really good. He made a difference. That’s why we like him, off the bench, because he changes things, if we’re not doing things or if we’re having problems.”
The Golden Bears will finish their three-game homestand against Austin Peay (0-1), which opened its season with an 80-71 loss at Middle Tennessee on Friday.
The Governors, out of the Ohio Valley Conference, pulled within three with 6:31 remaining, but the Blue Raiders went on a 5-0 run. Austin Peay shot 39.0 percent while allowing Middle Tennessee to hit 55.1 percent from the field.
Starting center John Fraley, who had 10 rebounds, suffered a concussion when he collided with a Middle Tennessee player while going for a late dunk. He was moving his extremities before being taken off the floor on a stretcher and transported to a hospital.
The 6-foot-8 Fraley will not join the team on its two-game road trip and will be re-evaluated Thursday.
His absence could force Austin Peay to go with a smaller lineup. Senior guard TyShwan Edmondson, who averaged 17.1 points last season, had 20 off the bench in the opener, going 4 of 10 from 3-point range.
The Governors are 0-17 against ranked teams since 2000, although they took then-No. 18 Memphis to overtime last season.