This isn’t where Justin Cobbs wanted to be.
“Nobody wants to play in the NIT,” the Cal point guard said a couple weeks ago as the Golden Bears were pursuing an NCAA tournament bid.
But Cobbs and the Bears (19-13) find themselves in college basketball’s consolation tournament Wednesday night, taking on Utah Valley (21-11), regular-season champs of the Western Athletic Conference. Tipoff at Haas Pavilion is 7:30 p.m.
If Cobbs isn’t entirely satisfied by the final chapter of his senior season, he no longer harbors the doubts about his own game that followed him to Berkeley as a transfer from Minnesota in the fall of 2010.
“I just didn’t know if I was good enough,” said Cobbs, who averaged 2.1 points as a freshman with the Golden Gophers before jumping to Cal. “I put expectations on myself to at least go in and contribute, at least help the team in some way. I went in and really didn’t do anything.”
Cobbs has delivered for Cal, even while struggling at times to find a balance between his dual roles as scorer and floor leader.
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Cal announced that (presuming a victory Wednesday) it would host a second-round game against Arkansas (a 91-71 first-round winner over Indiana State) either Sunday or Monday.