Basketball: 20 Questions with Justin Cobbs

Today, we meet . . .

Position: Point guard
Height: 6-2
Hometown: Los Angeles

How have you handled your red-shirt year after transferring from Minneosta? I’m starting to get impatient now. Only (a few) games left. I’m getting ready to better myself for next year. I just do what I can in practice, trying to make other people better and emulate the other team.”

What sort of impression do you think you’ve made on your coaches and teammates? I think a fairly good impression. They see what I can do. And I know what I have to do in the offseason so next year I can have an impact on the team. Just working on trying not to make a (big) play everytime. Just make the easy pass. And working on being a consistent shooter.

What do you envision your role being: Just a playmaker, getting other people involved to score. Playing defense. Just doing whatever I can to help my team. We’ve got a lot of weapons.

If you could play 1-on-1 with any player in basketball history, who would you choose? Probably Michael Jordan, because he’s one of my favorite players and one of the greatest to ever play basketball.

Hypothetically, I have $10 to bet on who wins. Tell me why I should consider you: I’d just try to beat him. He’s old now. In his prime it’d be tough. Yeah, I want to play him now. Back then I don’t know if that would have worked.

What’s your basketball career highlight so far? Probably in high school my senior year, we played in the playoffs against Inglewood. In the first half I had about 23 points and I didn’t play the whole second quarter because of foul trouble. I finished with 50. We lost on a buzzer-beater.

Who’s the best dunker on the Cal team? Me, yeah. You haven’t seen me jump. I can jump pretty well.

Give me one word that describes coach Mike Montgomery: Unpredictable. You can’t really tell what he’s thinking. He doesn’t really say too much. He’s really hard to read.

When you’re not playing, do you prefer to watch college basketball or the NBA? I watch college. The NBA is a different game — more spacing, a lot more one-on-one. We’re more team-oriented, not just get the ball to one guy and clear it out. I watch a lot of college and it’s more helping, more defense. The other games are exciting to watch, but I’m not there yet.

When you were younger, other than basketball, what was your favorite sport to play? I used to play football. I was recruited for football in the 10th grade. I played free safety and wide receiver. I stopped because my mom thought I was going to get hurt.

Aside from you, who is the best athlete in your family? Probably my brother Gregory. He was a big-time baseball player. He was a shortstop. He played for Arizona State, but he stopped after his freshman year because he had knee problems.

Before basketball, what did you first want to be when you grew up? I wanted to be like a Lil Romeo and sing on TV. I thought that was cool. Or be an actor. I just found basketball.

Greatest vacation you’ve ever taken?  Where did you go?  Who was along? It was with my family, we went on a Disneyland cruise. I was probably 10 or 11. I’d never been on a ship that long, and seeing `Titanic,’ I thought I was going to go down a couple times. I was nervous. But I got free ice cream. And they had about seven swimming pools. It was pretty fun.

What’s your favorite place to eat on or near campus? Me and Richard (Solomon) and Allen (Crabbe) go to Thai Basil a lot. Every night about 10 o’clock, that’s our last meal.

Favorite Cal class? Probably my media studies class. After basketball or whenever, I want to be an analyst or broadcaster, someone who stays around the sport. That’s something I’m really interested in.

What Cal athlete you’ve met who is not on the men’s basketball team has impressed you? Probably (women’s basketball player) DeNesha Stallworth. She’s a hard worker, but she’s kind of quiet. She’s always humble. She never says anything about being this or that, but she works hard behind the scenes.

The best movie you’ve ever seen? I just saw “Takers” with Chris Brown. I liked that movie a lot.

Your favorite TV show? The Game.

Your favorite website? Facebook or Twitter. I’ve got to watch what I say.

What was the last book you read that wasn’t assigned? I read John Wooden’s book last summer. It was given to us by (Minnesota) coach (Tubby) Smith. I read it on road trips. It was good. It talked about how he sent Bill Walton home one time because he didn’t shave. It was interesting that he didn’t care who you were. But (Walton) came back the next day without a beard.

Jeff Faraudo

  • David

    Excited to see him play next year, but he may need to tone it down a little. I don’t think anyone answered the ‘Best Dunker’ question as un-humbly as he did.

  • Otro Dan

    I think he probably meant it in a tongue-in-cheek sort of way.

  • HungryCalBear

    I dunno about this guy – when asked about career highlight he was thinking about a personal achievement even though his team ended up losing. Still … 50 points in a game is quite impressive!

  • Cali4nia

    I like this kid. We need more guys with swagger on the team.

  • Dave

    swagger or delusion. NO ONE on the team answered Cobbs Every guy answered Murray, Solomon or Thurman. Solomon (who is also younger) even mentioned he wouldn’t say himself.

  • Bears

    Cobbs and Smith could form a great combo at PG next year. Hope these two work hard and mesh into a fearsome tandem to lead the Bears. If these two don’t get it done our team will not reach its potential.
    It will take both to reach our goals.

  • milo

    You guys should know better…how a statement appears in the written form, on the internet, can be different then the intention.

    To me the best slam comment does sound conceited…but he redeems himself with other parts of the Q&A.

    If he can play and isn’t a Franklin-esque distraction, no problem here…he’s what 20 y.o. and he plays D1 hoops, he better have something.

  • Beast Mode

    Give him the benefit of the doubt, guys…he’s a 20 year old kid who will eat his share of humble pie just because basketball is a difficult sport to play. I just love his confidence and am looking forward to seeing Cobbs next year. Dude reminds me a little of Mike Conley with his lefty all around game. Cali4nia is right. We need more guys with swag on the team, and it doesn’t hurt to have it at the PG position.

  • AKBear

    Don’t take this stuff too seriously. We’re in a blogger’s world!

  • K1W

    I look forward to seeing Justin Cobbs play next year. Some of you takes these “interviews” too seriously. I thought his answers were very entertaining.

  • HungryCalBear

    Don’t take these comments too seriously either 🙂

  • Yoda

    Anyone ripping on the kid for the dunk comment should not that while many players said they would like to play MJ one on one and came up with some reason to bet on them, Cobbs is the only one to say that he wanted to play MJ now rather than in his prime because he knows he’d get his butt kicked.

    I think it’s a bit more arrogant to say you’d like to play MJ in his prime and that there is any reason on earth to bet against MJ.

  • Yoda

    That should have been “note”, not “not.”