Cal’s emotional come-from-behind victory Sunday over USC will be overshadowed by an exchange between head coach Mike Montgomery and his best player, Allen Crabbe.
After a timeout call early in the second half and behind 44-32, Montgomery shoved his junior guard Crabbe with two hands to the chest. Crabbe, obviously shaken responded, “Don’t touch me” while having to be calmed down by his teammates Richard Solomon and Justin Cobbs.
Following the game, Crabbe, who finished the night with 23 points, 14 of which game after the shove, had this to say:
“It was coach using his way of motivating me,” Crabbe said. “There was nothing wrong with it. It was just spur of the moment. An emotional game was going on at the time and he was trying to motivate me. But everything’s fine. It’s under the bridge. He’s my coach. No hard feelings about it.”
Montgomery and Cal athletic director both issued apologies after the game.
This wasn’t as bad an incident as Sean Wood’s one game suspension for pushing and getting into one of his players’ face. Montgomery should still expect a call from the Pac-12 about a potential suspension.