Countdown to the Draft: 60 Prospects in 30 Days by JNixon (28&27)
28: Allen Crabbe, 6’6 197, SG, Cal, Jr.
Crabbe checks in at #28 in my countdown after having a very good career at Cal in terms of production. He was a 3 year starter for Coach Mike Montgomery, and was one of the most prolific scorers in Cal basketball history for his career. Many know Crabbe as the guy Coach Montgomery shoved during a timeout for lazy effort, and led to a huge comeback win and heroic effort from the Jr. wing. Still, Crabbe developed nicely over his career and has worked his way into probable 1st round selection territory. 2010 Mr. Basketball in California. Pac 12 Fr. of the Year, and 1st Team All-Pac 12 as a Soph and Jr., and Pac 12 Player of the Year as a Jr. Physically, Crabbe is just about the prototype for a SG prospect. He stands a legit 6’6, has a long build and a 6’11 wingspan, and has a near 200 lb frame that can easily get to about 215 or so in time with no problem. Athletically, Crabbe is good but not great. He’s a more fluid athlete than explosive, and his leaping ability, quickness, and speed are all pretty average.
On offense, Crabbe standout skill is definitely his jumper…Looks really good coming off screens and hitting shots…Not going to miss many spot up jumpers, especially when left open…Shoots an effortless, pretty shot, very good touch and accuracy…Very good form and follow through with his shot as well, footwork is good and release his high and quick…Able to hit shots off the dribble as well…Can score in bunches with his shot…Will fall into the habit of settling for jumpers, even in the face of good defense…Ball-handling needs work…Shows very little in terms of being able to create his own shots with the ball in his hands…Part of the reason his 3 point percentage dropped this season is because his lack of handle allowed teams to defend for his jumper more as he became the top scoring option for Cal…Rarely gets to the rim when he isnt playing in transition….Not a guy you want to have the ball in his hands for much time, usually is less effective the more he dribbles…A pretty one dimensional player…Doesn’t really force action at all on the court, and kind of seems to be laid-back and more of a guy who plays with a strong sense of feel for the game…With that though, he will go through moments were it seems like he is floating and blending in though….Effort on the court at times leaves a lot to be desired…One of the main questions with scouts is how tough Crabbe is, and he definitely seems like a guy who will have to work on playing with more fire…Rarely gets to the free throw line…A decent transition player due to the fact that he can be good as a trailman shooter, and he actually looks like a good athlete and finisher when in the open court…Not the type who looks to play a physical game, very finesse game…Gets to the foul line at an OK rate, and is good when there….He is a guy who teams can use given that he can space the floor and is versatile about the ways he can get jumpers, but he is a bit one dimensional
Defensively, Crabbe really was not very good in college….His laid back attitude shows much more of this end than anywhere else…Really falls asleep a lot and can give up easy shots at times….There are a lot of times where he plays that style of defense were he kinda runs beside his man when he slashes to the rim and half-assingly puts up his hands when he’s already made it all the way to the rim…Really looks bad when matched up with stronger players, who can get into his chest or keep his thinner frame on their hip on the way to the rim. He does have the length to get the occasional steal and maybe even block…Not a terrible rebounder really…Crabbe is far less devoted on this end than he should be
Overall, Crabbe has a standout skill with his jump shot….He can get his shot spotting up and is an impressive guy at moving off the ball to stick jumpers…His ball-handling skills need improvement, and his defense was pretty weak…On top of that, there are legit questions about how tough Crabbe is and about how he plays with low energy at times….He has some questions, but his size, jump shot and how easy he plays are very good starting points…He will need to be a bit less one dimensional to be as good as he can be, and he will at least have to kinda sorta try to defend…Crabbe will be a 1st round selection more than likely, whether mid 1st or late, but he could fall to the early 2nd as well but not as likely
27: Lorenzo Brown, 6’5 189, PG, NC State, Jr.
Probably my favorite prospect, we have Lorenzo Brown checking in at #27. Brown is one of the more experienced backcourt guys in this class, and played on some talented NC State squads. As a Fr., Brown played on a talented but fairly inexperienced NC State squad led by former coach Sidney Lowe, and spent a lot of time off the ball as current Kentucky PG Ryan Harrow ran the offense. Harrow transferred after the season, and with new coach Mark Gottfried coming in, Brown moved to the PG spot he seemed more comfortable playing and flourished as a Soph., leading NC State to a Sweet 16. As a Jr., expectations were high for the team and they had NBA talent at just about every spot on the court. But Brown didn’t really show a lot of improvement and NC State underachieved all season long before bowing out to Temple in the Round of 64 in the tourney. Brown declared early and his draft stock is in question now. Was a highly touted recruit; probably was a McDonalds AA snub. A Georgia guy. 2nd Team All ACC as a Jr. Physically, Brown is one of the best PG in the class. He is an oversized guy who stands a legit 6’5, and has passable length with a 6’7 wingspan. He’s a thin 189 lb guy, and doesn’t seem to be over strong. Athletically, Brown is extremely smooth and fluid, but not particularly explosive. He really seems to glide and has nice quickness and speed, and his body control and agility are impressive, but he is not an explosive leaper.
Offensively, Brown is an unselfish distributor who is at best when he can push the tempo….Really shows outstanding instincts and passing skills when he plays up-tempo…A bit flashy and plays with a swagger about him that makes him very intriguing when he’s at his best….Very dynamic playmaker with flair…Can be very exciting to watch…Handles the ball well…Floor vision is excellent, probably aided by his height differential he usually enjoys over his matchups…When he has an athletic teammate(s) to play with, Brown can really feed them well and cater to their strengths well (was responsible for quite a bit of CJ Leslie’s more impressive finishes)…Often appears to be gliding on the court and plays the game at his own pace it seems…Even with his gliding style, he seemingly gets wherever he wants on the floor…Understands how to play at different speeds, and is a tough cover with his 1st step and shiftiness with the ball…Brown isnt the best floor general in half court offense though, and it wasn’t rare to see NC State struggle at times getting organized when the game slows down….Sometimes will risk possessions for passes and can get turnover prone a little…Often was not as vocal and assertive as a leader as he needed to be…Is a good pick and roll distributor and will be a good alley-oop partner for someone….Not a standout scorer out of the pick and roll though….Even though he has quite a few scoops and finger rolls he tries, Brown often tries to get too cute as a finisher around the rim, and doesn’t really explode at the rim, causing him to miss some close range shots…Doesn’t really play strong or tough…Sometimes flashes a floater in the lane, but isnt an impressive finisher amongst the trees for the most part…A finesse player…Jump shot isnt very impressive….He can make spot-up jumpers when he has time and plenty room, but he has a flat, set shot and really is below average as a range shooter…Got to the foul line at a decent rate, wasn’t bad when there but wasn’t super impressive either…Never really developed his jumper or ability to finish at the rim like he needs to in college…Was a bit inconsistent at times at NC State, looking like a lottery pick one game and a disappointment the next…Sometimes his even demeanor and ‘easy’ style makes it seem like he isnt trying hard…One of the most entertaining distributors in the class though
Defensively, Brown is a guy who has the ability to get steals and start transition opportunities, but fundamentally he isnt the best…He is a gambler, and he gets his hands on passes well, but sometimes he appears to be really lax…NC State as a whole didn’t defend very well, and Brown was not excused….Can be lazy about getting in a stance at times…Can be a huge problem when he plays motivated, and has the size and foot speed to be a huge problem for smaller guard…Rebounds good from the guard spot as you’d expect at his size
Overall, Brown is one of the most fun to watch prospects in the class IMO. I love tall PG’s though, and Brown brings the size and a very nice flair to the game. He really plays at his own speed, is a saavy distributor, and can make the fancy play. He never developed into quite the consistent player many thought he could’ve been after a very nice Soph. season, but he showed flashes during the year of being an extremely intriguing prospect. He would fit best with a fast paced, athletic team, but he really needs to compete harder, work on his jumper and get stronger. Brown is a likely 2nd round selection, but could sneak into the 1st round possibly.