Basketball: Cobbs’ recovery going well

Not quite a month after undergoing surgery for a broken right foot, Cal senior point guard Justin Cobbs said he is running on a treadmill with no pain and perhaps ahead of schedule in his recovery.

“Everything’s feeling good,” Cobbs said. “Just taking my time.”

Practice begins Sept. 27 and Cobbs wouldn’t speculate on how extensively he will be able to participate at first. But he’s been assured the foot will be stronger than ever after having a screw put in to stabilize the metatarsal bone.

“I feel really good about it. I’m not worried,” he said. “Just stay healthy and stay focused. I should be back 100 percent.”

Cal’s season opens Nov. 8 against Coppin State.

The Bears’ top returning scorer at 15.1 points per game last season, Cobbs injured his foot while coming down with a rebound on Aug. 12 in a San Francisco Summer Pro-Am League game. He had surgery a week later.

He said he first felt discomfort in the foot before Cal’s season-ending NCAA tournament game against Syracuse in March. Doctors examined him and reported he had a minor stress reaction.

But the pain subsided and Cobbs resumed playing in the spring and summer, convinced he was healthy.

“I probably should have paid more attention to the signs, but at the time I had no pain in it for a period of time,” he said.

The injury left Cobbs initially depressed, but he said talking to other players who have experienced the same break convinced him he would come through it.

“I expect to have a big season, improving my game, becoming a leader, and just trying to lead this team as far as possible,” he said.

Cobbs said he broke the same bone in his foot that sidelined guard Ricky Kreklow for most of last season, but that the injuries were different. Cobbs suffered a straight-line fracture which should be secured by the screw, he said.

Kreklow, penciled in as a starter before last season, also is doing well, Cobbs said.

“People are going to finally see Ricky Kreklow for the type of player he is because he’s not going to have to worry about that foot,” Cobbs said. “He’s Jorge (Gutierrez) with a little jumper.”

Gutierrez, who won Pac-12 Player of the Year honors two seasons ago, gave the Bears a high-energy defender.

“Ricky very active. He loves physicality, diving on the floor, getting under people’s skin on defense,” Cobbs said. “That’s what we need.”

Here’s more from Cobbs:

— On sophomore guard Tyrone Wallace: “Tyrone’s looking good. He’s grown a little bit. He’s about 6-5 now. He’s filling out. He’s been working on his jump shot, changed his mechanics a little. I do see an improvement. A lot of it was just confidence. It’s tough during the season to kind of get your confidence going when teams are backing off you. It messes with you mentally. Now, if he’s open, he’s going to shoot it and knock it down with confidence.”

— On post players Richard Solomon and David Kravish: “Richard’s looking really good. He’s still got that big frame, a 40-inch vertical. He’s crazy athletic. He’s got a jump hook, been working on his post moves. David’s put on a lot of weight. His mid-range shot is automatic. His touch is amazing. Those two big guys are going to have breakout years.”

— On freshman Jabari Bird: “Me and Jabari played on the same summer league team. He’s a scorer. He just scores at will. He can get any shot he wants. He’s a knock-down shooter. If you leave him open, it’s going in. He’s very athletic also.”

— On freshman Jordan Mathews: “Jordan plays with a lot of confidence. He can also shoot the ball and has a strong body. He’s kind of like myself in the body, how he can get to the basket. I think he’s going to be effective for us this year.”

— On where the Bears will fit into the Pac-12 race: “I think always at the top, with the talent we have. We’re missing Allen (Crabbe), but it’s not too much of a dropoff with the (five-man freshmen) class we have coming in and Ricky coming back. Depth is a big factor in the improvement this year, having guys that can come off the bench without dropoff.”

Jeff Faraudo

  • calfanz

    Uh OH! Lots of good stuff. 😉

    Can we dream big for a change?

    #gobears #mauiherewecome

  • Jim Hart

    I wonder why the mention only of Bird and Mathews, among the five frosh.

    Was this because Faraudo asked only about these two? If so, why?

    My speculation is that Rooks is more likely than Mathews to be part of the rotation. But speculation aside, it would be good to hear Justin’s take on all the guys coming in.

  • BlakeStreetBear

    This will be the best Cal basketball team since ’96-’97 and they can make a DEEP RUN in the tourney if all the important players are healthy come March.

    There is immense talent, shooting ability, athleticism, size, depth and of course Monty’s brilliant coaching.

    Can’t wait to see these guys surprise in Maui!

    Go Bears!

  • Batmansf

    Seriously, the most uplifting Cal sports-related item I have read in AGES! Can’t wait to watch this team!

  • wehofx

    I sure hope JC is going to a diff foot specialist than the hack who treated Kreklow.

    This team promises to be a lot of fun to watch develop through the season. Just remember, w so many frosh playing – I hope – significant minutes, there are going to be a few head-slapping-WTF moments every game, esp before we get into pac12 play.

  • Gobears49

    Glad Wallace took my advice (based upon a pro scout’s comments that were repeated on a Cal post game show) to change the mechanics on his jump shot and Soloman took my advice to develop some post moves (a good jump hook shot would be great). Just kidding — I’m sure the Cal coach’s would have given those guys the same advice if I hadn’t. Looking forward to a great season, but I’m still concerned about our thin front line.

  • Gobears49

    And I’m sure the Cal coach’s did give Wallace and Soloman that advice.