Thursday, April 15, 2010

Fare thee Well, Justin Cobbs

As you have probably heard by now, Justin Cobbs is "probably" transferring, presumably to be closer to home in California, and I'm pretty sure the "probably" means "definitely but not quite committing to anything just in case."  I'd expect him to turn up at a second-tier school in California like Fullerton or Pepperdine and he'll probably turn out to do quite well.

I know a lot of people thought Cobbs was pretty bad and not really a Big Ten caliber point guard, but I saw a freshman with potential who never felt confident in himself.  Now, by potential, I don't mean star potential, but I think he would have been a solid back-up and possible starter by his senior year.  Sure, he made a good amount of mistakes, but he was a freshman.  Freshman make mistakes, and when they're pulled from the game as soon as they make one it limits their minutes considerably and each miscue seems magnified.  I saw the mistakes, but I also saw what looked like a smart player who understood how to play the point as a pass-first guard, to the point where he seemed to rarely even look for a shot.  This, despite the fact that he won the team's preseason three-point contest.

I really do just think it was a matter of confidence and time, and Cobbs didn't have enough of either.  All in all, going someplace like a Santa Clara or Long Beach will be good for him, and I wish him luck.  I wouldn't rank losing Cobbs up there with losing Carter, in fact, it will probably affect the team little, if at all, so everybody wins.

Naturally, rumors abound that Cobbs decided to transfer because Cory Joseph has let it be known to the team that he's coming to the Gophers, but these reek of homerism and/or blind optimism.  Cobbs seemed unhappy almost the entire season, things were pretty clearly not working out, and rumors about his transferring have been buzzing since mid-year, so I don't think this has anything to do with Cory Joseph (and please please please please please stop calling him CoJo.  Please).  Of course, I hope it does, but I also hope the Deschanel sisters show up at my door step one day and say "choose."  (To which I'd say "both" and then they'd say "ok.")

Things do get interesting if Joseph doesn't choose the Gophers and Cobbs does end up leaving, because the academically and offensively challenged Al Nolen becomes the only actual point guard on the roster.  Despite his Jacque Vaughn/T.J. Ford-level jump shot there's no doubt Nolen is a Big Ten starting point guard, and Devoe did do an admirable job filling in, but the team would be well served to get some PG-depth if not for next year, then for the future.

For 2010, it sounds like the Gophers have some interest in 3-star PG Ben Brust, a former Iowa commit who luckily escaped due to the coaching change and is also getting heat now from Wisconsin, Cal, and Wake, but he looks like one of those annoying white dudes who always go to Iowa or Purdue and he's more of a combo guard anyway, so I'll pass.  There is also a rumor that Johnnie Lacy, late of Providence College, is interesting in becoming a Gopher, but he's facing assault charges for putting the beat down on some poor sap who shouldn't have been standing there so I'd imagine there's no way Tubby would be interested in dealing with another legal headache.

I'm much more intrigued by Shane Larkin, Rivals #22 point guard and #96 player for the Class of 2011 who is described as a "floor general" and a player who excels at the "drive and kick" offense.  Sounds perfect.  The Gophers haven't offered him yet, and right now his only high-major offer is from Clemson, but it sounds like Georgia Tech, Wake, and Cal are getting into the mix as well as the Gophers.  He's from Florida and likes to play a wide-open style so I'd bet he ends up in the SEC some where (I'm going to predict Arkansas), but he's a name to remember for the future and a player I'm interested in.  Not sexually, though, perv.

Oh, and if you are thinking Bryant Allen is the answer at point guard you are completely out of your damn mind.


Sid Hartman said...

Good Call on Cobbs Shooter!

WWWWWW said...

Believe or not, I don't have sources within the team, so I kind of have to go off what the local paper reports.