Basketball: Cobbs on Cousy Award watch list

Cal senior Justin Cobbs has been named to the 50-player preseason watch list for the Bob Cousy Award, given to college basketball’s top point guard.

Cobbs enters the senior season as the Pac-12 Conference’s active career assist leader with 327 assists in only 67 games over two seasons at Cal.

A transfer from Minnesota following his freshman season, Cobbs owns a 4.9 career assist-per-game average, which ranks fourth all-time at Cal.

At Pac-12 media day last week, Cobbs told me one of his goals this season is to dish at least 200 assists and chase Jason Kidd’s single-season school record of 272. Only three times in Cal history — Kidd twice, Keith Smith once — has a Cal player totaled 200 assists in a season.

Cobbs last season was among the Pac-12 leaders in scoring (10th, 15.1 ppg.), assists (4th, 4.8 apg.), free throw percentage (4th, .841) and assist-to-turnover ratio (6th, 1.5) last season. His .822 career free-throw percentage is seventh-best in school history entering his senior season.

Cobbs started all 33 games last season for the Golden Bears’ 21-12 squad that finished second in the Pac-12 and advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament.

He led Cal (or tied) in scoring eight times with double-figures in the scoring column in 28 contests. Cobbs averaged 6.0 assists over his final eight games of the season.

Others nominated for the Cousy award include Cobbs’ Pac-12 rivals Jahii Carson of Arizona State, Kyle Anderson of UCLA, Spencer Dinwiddie of Colorado, Dominic Artis of Oregon and Nigel Williams-Goss of Washington.

Jeff Faraudo

  • BlakeStreetBear

    Cobbs is the key. If he can distribute and hit his open shots this team will be deadly. His main task all season though will be to ensure that Bird is involved, especially on the break. This team is gonna be devastating on the break. Bird is truly the real deal and will be on Sportscenter more than a few times with some vicious posterizations. Oh, and he can shoot the rock too.

    And, I’d rather have the 18 year-old Bird running the floor at Hass than last season’s pouty Crabbe, any day of the week. Bird is an Eastbay baller (Mosswood park anyone?), while Crabbe was a typical so-cal prima donna who could shoot.

    Got my season tickets yesterday…woohoo!
    Go Bears!

  • Gobears49

    Cal needs decent production from a third big man this year to do really well. Not sure who that is going to be.

  • BlakeStreetBear

    I expect Cal to be able to go smaller this season and still be effective on the interior because of the athleticism and size at the guard position and because Solomon and Kravish are excellent defensively. Expect Rooks to be that third guy by February.

    Bird’s game will have you forgetting about Frid Gobears… 😉

  • Gobears49

    Going small is almost never the answer. Teams will just pound the ball into the paint and Cal will have no answer for that, no matter how athletic they are.

    Only time I remember it working was years ago, at UCLA, when they had Hazzard and Goodrich at guards, Fred Slaughter (all 6’5″ of his at center. Think a small forward could have been Keith Erickson.

    Maybe, as a sort of trivia contest, people can suggest when a go small lineup worked well at the college level.

    Yes, I will miss seeing if Frid could develop into anything. He seemed to be a very coordinated guy but not tested at all when big bodies were being thrown around. Will try to follow him to see how he does elsewhere, if he continues playing.

  • Gobears49

    Don’t see how Cobbs is going to get 200 plus assists. He likes to shoot too much and last year forced a ton of shots.

    I said last year he is so much more effective when he doesn’t force his shots and waits to shoot when he is open I don’t think he shoots well enough to play shooting guard in the NBA so he had better be much more disciplined this year and show his skills as a passer and setting up other players, rather than always looking for his shot. That will be a total transformation for him and it will probably take some time.

    Looking to see if Soloman has developed some true post moves as he has advertised. If he wants to get to the next level, he will need to do that, plus show he can move and then shoot. May be too much of a change for him, too.

    The player I am really looking to see how much talent he has is Kreklow. Looks like a VERY disciplined player. Want to see if he can shoot.

    And speaking of shooting, I want to see how Wallace has corrected his shot. As true readers of this blog may remember, I passed along some post-game radio comments that a pro scout indicated Wallace needed to change his shot. Lo and behold, that goal was announced right after the end of the season. Want to see how that project is moving along. Wallace, with all of his athleticism and defensive skills, is a sure pro if he develops a good shot.

    And finally, I am looking for Kravish to break some records for blocked shots. Only guy I have ever seen who primarily does that with his feet on the ground. A good, disciplined shooter who needs to force the ball up more. He’s a very good college player but can’t see him playing at the next level.

  • Gobears49

    Of course, I am looking to watch all the freshmen, primarily Bird and Matthews. Want to see if all of the pub on Bird is justified.

    We all will be watching how Crabbe does in the NBA. I doubt he will play much his first year and maybe not much after that, but of course I could be wrong. As many have commented, he needs to improve on creating his own shot, which he could have developed by staying at Cal. From what I have heard, Bird has no problem in doing that.

  • LongtimeBlue&Gold

    GB49, for an example of a successful college team going small, you can look at another ucla team, from 1980. If memory serves, they made it to the ncaa final with 6-6 Michael Sanders at center.