BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) - Pac-12 Player of the Year and leading scorer Allen Crabbe will forego his senior season at California and enter this summer's NBA draft.
Crabbe announced through Cal on Wednesday that he would declare for the draft, a long-expected move by the junior guard. Crabbe, the conference freshman of the year in 2011, ranks 10th on the school's career scoring list with 1,537 points in 98 games.
The 6-foot-6 Crabbe is projected to be a first-round pick in this summer's draft after leading Cal to a surprising second-place finish in the Pac-12 and an NCAA tournament berth.
"It has been a dream of mine to play at the next level for a long time and I feel deep down in my heart this is the right decision," Crabbe said in a statement released by the school. "I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Cal and learned a lot from my coaches and teammates. I will miss a lot of people at this University both in basketball and in school. I will always be a Golden Bear at heart."
After an opening win against UNLV, 12th-seeded Cal lost to fourth-seeded Syracuse 66-60 to miss a chance at the NCAA tournament's round of 16. Crabbe was held to eight points on 3-for-9 shooting in his final game for the Golden Bears, who finished the season 21-12.
He averaged 18.4 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. An honorable mention All-America selection, Crabbe's 15.7 career scoring average is 12th all-time at Cal.
Coach Mike Montgomery wished Crabbe well, saying, "Allen is an exceptional player and even greater person," and praised his work ethic.
"Any time a player feels like he's ready and that he's going to be a first-round draft pick, he should go," Montgomery said in his office Wednesday. "He feels like he's ready and done everything at this level. That's just the way it is. If you can get taken in the first round and make some money, let's do it."