International experience will fill the 2011-2012 California Golden Bears. First, the whole team is taking a trip to Europe, where they’ll play national teams and experience the foreign lands. Now, sophomores Allen Crabbe and Richard Solomon will be trying out for the USA Under-19 basketball team. What does this mean?
Beside Solomon and Crabbe, other notables include Arizona commit Josiah Turner and Anthony Brown of Stanford. There are plenty of other notable players that will or have already made their impact on the college game; many are some of the nation’s top recruits, or instant contributors for their university. One thing’s for sure; Solomon and Crabbe will be fighting against great competition to make the team.
As for their chances to make the team, you have to figure that Crabbe has a great chance to make it. He is the most accomplished of all the invites, as he’s the only Freshman of the Year from a major conference. As for Solomon, he’ll have to fight his way onto the team. None of the other post players are overwhelmingly impressive either, so he at least has a fighting chance.
For both of them, this is a great opportunity to improve against the players in the country at your age. Crabbe has already shown he has what it takes to be a star in the Pac-12. For Solomon, it’s a different dynamic; he can better himself against other posts and get a diversified look at different bigs that he doesn’t see every day in practice. He also gets to work with great coaches such as Paul Hewitt (George Mason) and Randy Bennett (St. Mary’s). Bennett in particular has produced great bigs at St. Mary’s.
Overall, this is a great chance for both Crabbe and Solomon to develop their skills and get better against the best of the best. The more experience the players can get against top level competition that isn’t in actual games, the better. Go Bears! Make the team!