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March 7, 2011

Crabbe, Gutierrez snag big honors

After averaging 16.4 ppg in Pac-10 games, freshman guard Allen Crabbe was named the Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, the league office announced Monday.

In addition, junior guard Jorge Gutierrez was also voted first-team All-Pac-10 and to the all-defensive team, while junior forward Harper Kamp made the All-Pac-10 second team. Crabbe also garnered All-Pac-10 honorable mention honors.

This is the second straight season Gutierrez was named to the all-defensive team. He leads Cal with 49 steals on the year. For Kamp, who returned to action this season after redshirting last year due to a knee injury, this marks his first all-conference honor.

Crabbe becomes the seventh Cal player to win the Freshman of the Year Award and the first since Leon Powe in 2004. The other winners are Dave Butler (1983), Leonard Taylor (1985), Jason Kidd (1993), Tremaine Fowlkes (1995), and Shareef Abdur-Rahim (1996).

Crabbe finished the regular season averaging 13.0 ppg and a team-best 16.4 ppg in conference games. His name can be found on a number of school freshman lists, including second in free throw percentage (82.3), third in three-pointers made (54) and fourth in three-point percentage (40.6).

Crabbe set his season high of 30 points back on Jan. 13 in the Bears' overtime win over Washington State at Haas. He became the second Cal freshman, and first since Shareef Abdur-Rahim in 1995-96, to score 30 points in a game. Most recently, he notched a game-high 24 points against Stanford last Saturday in the regular-season finale. Since returning after a brief absence due to a concussion he suffered at Washington on Feb. 10, Crabbe is averaging 19.2 ppg.

Gutierrez and Kamp co-lead the team at 14.6 ppg, but it has been Gutierrez who has provided the spark for the Bears all season. Gutierrez has reached double figures in scoring in 23 of the 30 games this season, including a streak of 10 in a row at one point. In Cal's overtime victory over UCLA on Feb. 20, Gutierrez totaled a career-best 34 points, tallying nine of those 34 points in the overtime period. Gutierrez is sporting 49 steals on the season, two just shy of cracking the school's single-season list. Taking on more of a role as a scorer, Gutierrez has seen his points per game average rise significantly this season from last year by a margin of 9.1 ppg.

Kamp has been Cal's steady presence in the front court all season. After missing the 2009-10 campaign with a knee injury, Kamp has been a key component to the Bear's success in 2010-11. He has six 20-point outings to his credit, including last Saturday against the Cardinal (20 points). He also posted a career-best 33 points in the triple-overtime thriller against Arizona on Feb. 5, part of his second career double-double (personal-best 10 rebounds). Kamp has also helped remarkably in the rebounding department, currently second on the team at 5.7 rpg. He has also been sound from the charity stripe, boasting a season percentage of 81.1 (120-148) that ranks seventh in the Pac-10.

Having lost four starters from the 2009-10 Pac-10 championship squad a year ago, the Bears were predicted to finish seventh in the conference this season. With a conference record of 10-8 (17-13 overall) Cal finished Pac-10 play tied for fourth with USC. The Bears and Trojans will meet in the first round of the Pac-10 Tournament Thursday, March 10, at noon from Staples Center in Los Angeles.


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