Scouting Allen Crabbe

Tuesday, June 25, 2013
By Jaryd Wilson


As we approach the 2013 NBA Draft, we are reaching out to local experts to help us scout some of the players the Hawks may take in the first round.  We had Scott Chong from California Golden Blogs help us scout California guard Allen Crabbe.

What are his strengths? Weaknesses?

Crabbe’s strengths lie primarily in his scoring ability and length – he has great size at his position, rebounds well, and shot 38 percent from 3-point range in college. With all that, Crabbe should provide a boost to any team’s second unit immediately, and with time, could mature into a good role player.

There’s chatter that some scouts are downgrading Crabbe for his body language, which, while true, might be a little overblown. He does get down on himself when things aren’t going well. And yes, he will lose focus defensively at times. He’s still not the best scorer off the dribble, but he’s really put in work in that area.

What did he add to his team in college? What do you think he’ll bring to an NBA team?

Allen Crabbe will be remembered as one of the best pure shooters that we’ve had. As a true frosh, he was just a catch and shoot guy, but he got stronger and became more of a complete player each year. By the time he was a junior, he made himself into a solid defender and a good rebounder off the wing, and was the team’s unquestioned leader this year, taking them into the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

What kind of style is he best suited for?

He’s at his best in a system where he can help spread the floor as a catch/shoot guy, especially if freed up with screens in a well-executed half-court set. Teams with an established low-post presence or a good drive and kick game will love his ability to light it up from deep off the bench. As a taller player, he doesn’t need much space to get his shot off. The Heat or Spurs would be great fits. If you’re asking him to create for himself or for others, you’ll be sorely disappointed.

What sets him apart from other draft prospects at his position?

While he is noticeably less talented than, say, Victor Oladipo or Ben McLemore, Crabbe has something that they don’t, and that’s experience as the unquestioned leader of his team. Oladipo and McLemore got to share the floor with more talented players like Cody Zeller and Jeff Withey, and did not always feel the pressure of having to carry the team. Crabbe, on the other hand, played with a weaker supporting cast, and came into every game with the knowledge that, more often than not, he had to produce for Cal to win. And produce he did, as he took home a Pac-12 Conference Player of the Year award for his efforts.

What NBA player would you compare him to?

Think Klay Thompson, but with better rebounding, and less handles/passing ability. Allen will score for you, and always get after the boards, but if you’re trying to use him as a ball-handler/distributor, you’re probably going to be disappointed. He is a scorer and does best when someone is facilitating for him, rather than him getting everyone else involved. That’s not to say he’s selfish by any means, but his strength is not as an assists machine.

What’s your favorite memory of him at Cal?

Perhaps his signature game was the upset win in Tucson over the ranked Arizona Wildcats earlier this season. It was a hostile crowd, Arizona was keying on him, and he was seemingly over-matched going against a bunch of athletes who were rated much higher out of high school. Didn’t matter. He couldn’t be stopped. It was a team effort, but Crabbe really carried the load, scoring 31 points, while adding seven rebounds, five assists, and playing a key role disrupting Zona’s offense as the point man in Cal’s 1-2-2 zone.

Here’s what some of the national mock drafts are saying about Crabbe: Analysis:  While the Hawks also need someone to play small forward, what they really need is someone who can score and play well defensively. Allen Crabbe isn’t the best defensive player, but he definitely knows how to score—averaging 18.4 points per game last season. Having depth at the guard positions is a good idea for Atlanta. Analysis:  Crabbe is the closest thing in this Draft to Klay Thompson, and the Hawks, with back-to-back picks, can address their big man needs next. Crabbe can fill it up and he can probably play some three, and GM Danny Ferry wants players who can play multiple positions. There are questions about Crabbe’s consistency, but new coach Mike Budenholzer needs talent. They’ll be a player in free agency, to be sure, and address some of those needs. With Lou Williams coming off an ACL tear, Atlanta must find someone who can shoot.

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