Allen Crabbe

Allen Crabbe’s parents comment on the Shove Heard ‘Round The World

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As you might expect, Allen Crabbe’s parents weren’t too thrilled when they saw their son’s head coach, Mike Montgomery, use a two-handed shove in an effort to snap Allen out of a funk early in the second half.

While Crabbe eventually snapped out of it, his initial reaction was, simply, to snap. He was grabbed by two different teammates initially after the contact and then made his way into the tunnel where he was talked to by an assistant coach.

“I told Montgomery, ‘I respect you as a coach. Do I respect what you did? No. You can’t put your hands on a kid. It’s 2013,” Crabbe’s father, Allen Jr., told the Mercury News. “He understood and said it was his mistake.”

The younger Crabbe has moved past it, reiterating the point in a press conference on Tuesday. Montgomery has done his best to get past the incidence, accepting the reprimand he received from both Cal and the Pac-12 and apologizing publicly and to Crabbe’s parents.

It seems as if everyone is just ready to put this incident in the rear-view mirror:

“I’m probably having a hard time putting it behind me,” Crabbe’s mother, Cheryl Price, said in a phone interview Tuesday morning with this newspaper. “Allen asked his dad and I to let him handle it, (saying), ‘I have to do these things myself.’ We’re letting him handle it the way he wants to.”


Asked directly if she has any lingering issues with the coach, Price said she is following her son’s lead and allowing him to dictate the tone going forward. She did acknowledge that almost everyone has had moments they wish they could take back.

“How many of us have said something, and as soon as the words left your mouth you regret it?” she said. “That doesn’t make you a bad person, it makes you human.”


“He’s a big team kind of guy. He’s not going to do anything that’s going to upset the team chemistry,” she said. “They are playing so well right now.”

Can we get on with the world now?

Can we focus on things like … oh, I don’t know … the fact that the Golden Bears play arguably their biggest game of the season to date on Thursday when they travel up to Eugene to take on No. 23 Oregon? For a team whose NCAA tournament resume is anything but solidified — although, beating UCLA and winning at Arizona certainly helped — there has been very little discussion about just how important this game is.

Cal won the first meeting between the two teams at home, which came during a recent stretch where the Bears have gone 5-1 and picked up three key wins for their tournament hopes.

Thursday could be the clincher.

Let’s start talking about that, shall we?

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

No. 1 Kentucky survives without Tyler Ulis in lineup

Tyler Ulis
AP Photo/Chuck Burton
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Less than a week after giving No. 2 Maryland all they could handle, Illinois State went into Lexington and gave No. 1 Kentucky fits.

The Redbirds never really threatened UK in the second half, but they went into the break tied and were within single digits down the stretch, eventually losing 75-63.

Kentucky was flustered. They turned the ball over 15 times compared to just eight assists, they shot 2-for-12 from three and just 29-for-46 (63 percent) from the charity stripe. They simply did not handle Illinois State’s pressure all that well.

And there was a reason for that.

Tyler Ulis didn’t play.

Sometimes it’s difficult to appreciate just what a player brings to a team until that player is not in the lineup, and that was precisely the case with Ulis on Monday night. It was crystal clear what he provides Kentucky. Beyond leadership and the ability to break a press without throwing the ball to the other team, he’s a calming presence. He doesn’t get rattled when a defender is harassing him and he doesn’t get overwhelmed by a situation like a mid-major threatening the No. 1 team in the country in their own gym.

He’s everything you look for in a pure point guard, and for as good as Jamal Murray and Isaiah Briscoe have looked at times this season, it should be crystal clear who the most important player on this Kentucky team is.

LSU loses to Charleston, eliminates at-large bid margin for error

Ben Simmons
AP Photo/Kathy Willens
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Ben Simmons scored 15 points and grabbed 18 rebounds, the second time in his six-game career that the LSU freshman has collected that many caroms, but that wasn’t enough for the Tigers to avoid dropping a game on the road to the College of Charleston, 70-58. It was the third straight loss for Simmons’ crew, as they fell to Marquette and N.C. State at the Legends Classic last week.

But here’s the thing: LSU didn’t just lose.

The game really wasn’t close.

LSU was down by as many as 23 points. It was 39-17 at the half, and that was after Charleston had a shot at the buzzer called off upon review. They made a bit of a run in the second half but never got closer than seven. When LSU would cut into the lead, the Cougars would respond with a run of their own, killing LSU’s spirit while keeping them at arm’s length.

[RELATED: Ben Simmons’ one college year a waste?]

Now, there are quite a few things here to discuss. For starters, LSU’s effort was, at best, apathetic, and, at worst, regular old pathetic. The team has a serious lack of leadership that was plainly evident on Monday night; would Fred VanVleet let his team fold against a program picked to finish at the bottom of the SoCon? Would Tyler Ulis? For that matter, would Tom Izzo or Mike Krzyzewski or John Calipari?

Perhaps more importantly, does any of that change when Keith Hornsby and Craig Victor get back?

Simmons did show off his potential — 18 boards, four assists, he even made his first three of the year — but he also showed precisely why there are scouts that are trying to curtail the LeBron James comparisons. Simmons was 4-for-15 from the floor with seven turnovers against a mediocre mid-major team. There are so many things that Simmons does well, but scoring efficiently — particularly in half court setting — and shooting the ball consistently are not on that list.

But here’s the biggest issue: LSU may have put themselves in a situation where they aren’t a tournament team. As of today, they’re 3-3 on the season with losses to a pair of teams that, at best, seem destined to be in the bubble conversation on Selection Sunday in addition to this loss to Charleston. The rest of their non-conference schedule is ugly. The only game worth noting is at home against No. 6 Oklahoma at the end of January.

The NCAA factors in non-conference schedule strength when determining at-large teams. You need to at least try, and LSU didn’t try; they have one of the worst non-conference schedules in the country.

The great thing about being in the SEC — as opposed to, say, the Missouri Valley — is that the Tigers will have plenty of chances to earn marquee wins. Six, by my court: Kentucky twice, Texas A&M twice, Vanderbilt on the road and Oklahoma at home. They probably need to win at least two or three of those games to have a real chance, and that’s assuming they can avoid anymore horrid losses in the process.

The season isn’t over six games in, not by any stretch of the imagination.

But LSU has done a hell of a job eliminating their margin for error.