* 3 p.m. Saturday at Haas Pavilion (Pac-12 Networks)
For Cal senior point guard Justin Cobbs, the job doesn’t end with scoring (14.0 points per game) and dishing assists (6.6).
Cobbs also must help nurture his five freshmen teammates so that the Bears get the best from them.
His simple message: “Confidence. Just confidence, confidence, confidence. It’s all about building these guys up. It’s okay to make mistakes, but we just have to bounce back.”
The Bears (7-3) bounced back from a loss at UC Santa Barbara a week ago Friday to beat Nevada 92-84 on Tuesday.
On Saturday afternoon, they hope to stay unbeaten at Haas Pavilion when they face Fresno State (6-4).
Jordan Mathews, who replaced fellow freshman Jabari Bird in the starting lineup against Nevada, is averaging 17.5 points the past two games.
“Justin’s taught all the freshmen that you can’t really dwell on plays, because the game’s coming at you so fast,” Mathews said. “In high school it was like `Ah, I messed up, but I can get it back.’ But here your memory has to be really short.
“He’s taught us by example that your confidence almost has to border on cockiness because the guy you’re playing is just as confident in his abilities as you are in yours. So we’re just learning from the older guys every day. If they have anything to say to us, we learn.”
Bird remains the team’s third-leading scorer at 12.6 points after scoring 16 points off the bench Tuesday. Mathews is at 8.3 points per game and adjusting to greater expectations in college.
“Jordan is a coach’s son,” Cal coach Mike Montgomery said, referring to Phil Mathews, the former USF head coach and UCLA assistant. “He takes criticism. His dad has probably told him a thing or two that would peel paint off the wall.
“He’s a tough guy and he wants to learn, so he asks questions. Justin likes people to come to him.”
Montgomery said Cobbs, who has handed out at least six assists in eight of Cal’s 10 games, needs to make special deliveries at this point to the freshmen.
“Jordan and Jabari are two of our better shooters but he’s got to give them the ball where they can be effective,” Montgomery said. “He understands that.”
Three of Fresno State’s six victories have come in overtime. One of the others was at the expense of San Diego Christian, an NAIA school.
The Bulldogs are led by sophomore guard Marvelle Harris, averaging 18.4 points. Among his four 20-point performance was a 30-point effort in the season-opener vs. UC Irvine.
Sophomore point guard Cezar Guerrero, a first-year team member, has scored at least 10 points in all 10 games. Freshman forward Paul Watson had 20 points in a loss to Utah.
Guard Tyler Johnson, a senior from Mountain View, averaged 14.3 points through the Bulldogs’ first six games, including 25 vs. Pacific. But Johnson has missed the past four games with a leg injury.
Cal’s 92 points against the Wolfpack were the most it’s scored since a 107-105 triple-overtime loss vs. Arizona on Feb. 5, 2011. The Bears hadn’t scored more in a regulation game since a 95-70 win over Arizona on Feb. 25, 2010, the year they won the Pac-10 title.
Junior forward David Kravish, averaging 13 points and 8.4 rebounds for the season, is scoring at a 15.5 clip the past six games after notching 16 on 8-for-9 shooting against Nevada.