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Basketball: Off-day notes

By Jeff Faraudo
Thursday, February 13th, 2014 at 2:21 pm in Basketball.

Wednesday night’s game at Washington State wasn’t the first time Justin Cobbs has scored all of his points after halftime in a Pac-12 game this season.

The Bears needed all 22 of them in an 80-76 overtime win over the Cougars after Cobbs failed to even attempt a shot in the first half.

At Oregon State last month, he scored all 20 points in the second half of an 88-83 win.

And against Arizona State two weeks ago, he scored 21 points in the first half, then was shutout in the second half of an 89-78 overtime loss.

Seems scoring all of them in the second half works better than the other way around.

Through 10 Pac-12 games, Cobbs is scoring 59.4 percent of his points in the second half of games.

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Colorado’s 92-74 loss at UCLA on Thursday night dropped the Buffaloes out of a three-way tie for third. Cal and Arizona State now share that spot at 7-4, one game behind the Bruins, who improved to 8-3.

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The win at WSU inched the Bears up two spots to No. 49 in the latest RealTimeRPI rankings.

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Cal is now 4-2 in conference road games. A victory at Washington on Saturday would equal the most Pac-12 road wins by the Bears during Mike Montgomery’s six seasons.

The Bears were 5-4 on the road in 2010, ’12 and ’13. They were 4-5 in 2009 and ’11. Cal hasn’t won six Pac-12 games away from home since the 2005-06 campaign.

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  • BlakeStreetBear

    7 reg season games left and what do we think?

    I think this squad could go anywhere from 2-5 (winning 2 at home vs $c/ut/cu) to 6-1 and possibly tying for the title.

    We know what it will look like if they go 2-5, we’ve seen that. But what would a team that wins 7/8 heading into postseason look like? First of all, I think they’d look awesome!

    But there are so many areas to improve on and if they can improve in each of these areas then they can get on a roll and still win a bunch of games.

    1) Show up with ENERGY – its hard to win games when the other team is up double digits in the first 10 mins of the game, regularly, even at home. Will the Hunter Pence of this squad please stand up already!?

    2) Solomon, Solomon, Solomon… – he could play himself into a lottery pick or right out of the draft entirely. Its on him to keep his head straight and begin making ALL the right decisions at ALL the right moments. No more going for head-fakes from the 6-3 guards then fouling terribly when you’re fooled, no more obvious elbowing fouls when you’ve got 4 and overtime has just begun, no more leaving the best shooter open on the botched screen-switch. More rebounds, more dunks, more made free throws: that will get him PAID!

    3) Mathews/Bird have to produce something every night – they don’t need to combine for 20 and 10 every night, but it sure would be nice to see them get between 6-8 looks from 3 with a couple/three alley-oop plays a night for Bird thrown in the mix. These guys can FILL IT UP when playing with confidence, we’ve seen it. We need to see more of it.

    4) Cobbs – I’m starting to think he’s actually the 3rd best Cal PG in my time (Kidd, Randle, Cobbs) and almost as exciting as those other 2, certainly at times he is. But he can’t be getting shut out of halves, any halves. He needs to start AND finish games strong. Some of the recent close games should not have been so. Why did he not take a shot vs wsu before halftime? I just don’t understand that. Were they doubling him every time he touched the ball? No they weren’t. Yes, we were up 9 at halftime, so what? If he plays aggressively ALL game then maybe they are already up 16 at the half, game over, and he rests for the final 5-10 minutes of the game. So that is why the “he’s saving himself” argument is a fallacy. If he goes hard in the beginning vs these crap teams then he doesn’t even have to play in the final minutes. Its not like the lane magically opens up for him at the end of games and he can score the final 12 points or whatever of the game, the lane is always open for him, if he wants it, he can be that good, at times. Go for it Justin!

    5) Monty needs to step it up too – the other night vs furd at home there were numerous dubious at best calls against the Bears and sure, Monty let the zebras know he was pissed but man, I miss the Monty of the 90′s. That Monty regularly intimidated the refs early in games, even drawing the occasional T, only to regularly get calls down the stretch, even on the road. I saw it so many times vs the Bears over the years. Braun vs. Monty back then was like Yogi vs Wolverine. I don’t think he has a T yet this year. I’d like to see that change. The refs suck. But they can suck in your favor if you let them.

    Man, if my work knew how long I spend on these rants…

    Go Bears!

  • Mitch

    Interesting post. On point #4, I have a different
    tack. Early in the game, Cobbs is trying to get his teammates involved.

    A PG who can score has a tough balancing act.
    Maybe Cobbs could look for his shot a little more early on, but he doesn’t want players standing around and watching. The fact that five players average double digits is one indicator that what he is
    doing is successful.

    It would be nice if there was someone else who could step up to share the scoring load late in the game. But I’m glad we have a player like Cobbs who can score (almost) at will.

    Overall, I think Cobbs makes really good play-to-play decisions.

    Do you recall late in the ASU game when Carson threw it to Bachynski outside the paint? Bachynski couldn’t do anything with it (Kravish was all over him) and it almost cost them the game.

    Cobbs wouldn’t make that mistake.