SAN JOSE -- Cal junior guard Allen Crabbe declined to discuss his future with the Bears following a 66-60 loss to Syracuse on Saturday in HP Pavilion.

But Crabbe was willing to address his frustration with a Syracuse zone defense that limited him to eight points on 3 of 9 shooting in the third round of the NCAA Tournament.

"They keyed in on me," Crabbe said. "The shots that I thought I would probably get weren't there.

"You've got to give them credit. I tried to shoot over them a couple times. They were there, contested it. I was in the air passing the ball, deferring."

Syracuse plays zone defense all game, every game, season after season, decade after decade. The 2-3 alignment features long-armed, quick-footed players who close ground on shooters and rotate seamlessly. It's the reason the Orange are No. 10 nationally in 3-point field goal defense, holding opponents to 29 percent from behind the line.

"They did a great job of getting to Crabbe and locating him," Bears coach Mike Montgomery said.

"We don't face many teams that play zone the whole way. And if we do, it's not the same kind of zone that was. It was difficult."

When Crabbe came off a screen on the wing, Syracuse was there. When he dribbled into the lane, it Syracuse was there. When he spotted up at the top of the key, Syracuse was there. His only open shots came when he backed up to 27 feet and let it fly.


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"He was getting frustrated," Syracuse guard Brandon Triche said. "We were pushing him out. He did a good job trying to penetrate and find guys. But we made sure he didn't get in a good shooter rhythm."

Crabbe's frustration mounted as the game unfolded, peaking when he stepped out of bounds during an important second-half sequence. At one point, Montgomery gave him a pep talk.

"He told me to play through the frustration, that the team needs me," Crabbe said. "I was pretty frustrated with the way I played. I felt I could have helped the team more."

Now the question is whether the Pac-12 Player of the Year will help the Bears next season or enter the NBA Draft.

"I don't have any comment," he said. "It would be pretty selfish to talk about my future after we just lost a game."

Asked about Crabbe's future, guard Justin Cobbs said: "That's Allen's decision. Allen's going to do what's best for him and his family."