Cobbs, Crabbe carry Cal men's basketball to perfect start 

click to enlarge Allen Crabbe, left, and Justin Cobbs have been tearing up the floor for the Cal, spearheading the Bears’ undefeated start. - U.S. PRESSWIRE FILE PHOTO
  • U.S. Presswire File Photo
  • Allen Crabbe, left, and Justin Cobbs have been tearing up the floor for the Cal, spearheading the Bears’ undefeated start.

Justin Cobbs and Allen Crabbe scored a combined 110 points last weekend as the Cal men’s basketball team remained undefeated by winning the DirecTV Classic in Anaheim.

Cobbs was named the Pac-12 Conference Player of the Week and the DirecTV Classic MVP after scoring 21, 17 and 20 points in tournament wins over Drake, Georgia Tech and Pacific. Crabbe drew tight coverage throughout the weekend, but still managed 52 points in three games as the Bears improved to 6-0 for the first time since the 2007-08 season.

“Justin definitely deserves the MVP,” Crabbe said. “He was the most consistent.”

Together, Cobbs and Crabbe are supplying 56 percent of the Bears offense this season; they’ve scored 252 of the team’s 448 points.

But coach Mike Montgomery said the Bears aren’t getting the best out of Crabbe’s game yet.

“We’ve got to know how to get Allen Crabbe shots, that’s a team thing,” he said. “Turn that around, Allen knows he’s going to draw a lot of attention, so he’s going to be able to help get guys shots.”

Inside job: Cobbs and Crabbe are grabbing headlines on the perimeter, but the duo in the paint is giving the team a fold it has lacked in recent years.

Sophomore David Kravish grabbed 10 boards against Pacific and junior Richard Solomon hauled in another seven as Cal outrebounded the Tigers 40-31. The Bears have had the edge on the glass in each of their six games this season and they’ve recorded 40 or more rebounds in six straight contests for the first time in more than a decade.

With Solomon’s return from academic ineligibility, the Bears are suddenly tall and experienced up front. Solomon is 6-foot-10 and logged significant minutes before he was suspended in January. Kravish is 6-9 and he earned All-Pac-12 freshman honors last year while filling in for Solomon. Both players added muscle in the weight room over the summer.  

A stellar performance on the glass might be the key to beating Wisconsin on the road Sunday.

Gottlieb’s girls crack top 10: The Cal women’s basketball team landed a spot in The Associated Press’ top 10 for first time since March 2, 2009, this week. The Bears (5-0) moved up one spot in the rankings to No. 10 after winning the Cal Classic for the eighth time in 10 years last weekend.

Senior Layshia Clarendon snagged the tournament’s MVP award by scoring 20 points against Georgetown on Saturday and eight points against Eastern Washington on Friday. Point guard Brittany Boyd was equally spectacular, dishing out a career-high 14 assists against the Hoyas and nearly recording a triple-double (13 points, 10 assists, eight steals) against the Eagles.

Coach Lindsay Gottlieb’s team will be tested when it hits the road this week for games at Old Dominion (Friday) and at No. 4 Duke (Sunday).

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Paul Gackle

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