Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports
What did the California Golden Bears prove after they swept the Oregon Ducks and the Oregon State Beavers? Justin Cobbs showed he could take control late.
Ugly wins, but necessary. What were the biggest positives from the victories, and what were the things Cal really needs to work on coming home?
Vincent S: Regarding the week: the fact that we won. Regarding the OSU game: the fact that we won despite struggles from Allen Crabbe. Cal cannot be a one-trick pony, and winning despite an off night from the leading scorer of the conference is an encouraging sign. Cal still could use work on mental toughness - when the game is not going our way, we tend to become very frustrated and chippy. The fact that we've come back from several deficits at this point speaks encouragingly to Monty's work on that end, though.
Ohio Bear: The biggest positive from the Oregon trip (besides the obvious -- two wins!) for me was to see how Cal held it together and did not fold when the team was clearly not playing well and faced a difficult challenge from the opposition. Against Oregon, Cal could have very easily folded when down double digits in the first half and the team not getting anything going offensively. But the team clawed back. And against Oregon State, after Cal blew almost all of a huge lead (a lead that should have been even bigger, but for missed opportunities to really step on the Beavers' collective throat), Cal still managed to stay ahead even though its leading scorer was having a woeful shooting day.
On a related positive: Justin Cobbs. Wow. Without him, Cal doesn't win either of these games.
FrankCohen: One of the big differences between the disappointing Cal team early in the season and the red-hot squad in contention for the conference title now is that the Bears now have the look of a team that truly believes they are going to win. These days, Mike Montgomery's squad is displaying a lot of resilience and doesn't fold the first time momentum swings the other way.
Sure, you can nitpick here in terms of issues in these games, but I'll just say: if it ain't broke, don't fix it! The Bears are finding ways to win now in a variety of manners and, at the end of the day, as long as the Bears win, I'm a happy camper!
LEastCoastBears: The biggest positive from this past week are the two W's that registers in the win column (more importantly for the Oregon State game, it is the lack of the L). The Bears managed to outscore the opponents by a total of 3 points, just good enough to win both games and stay in a good position with regards to making the NCAA tournament and possibly a share of the conference title (which I would rate to be more important than a cameo in the tournament).
You could make a good point that Cal wasn't good enough to win by more (particularly against OSU) or you can call it "clutchness" (Cobbs' long jumper at the end of the Oregon game was all net although his long jumper at the end of the Oregon State game was bad) but the result is that the Bears survived and got a key road sweep. Is future opponents going to give more attention to Cobbs in similar situation so that Crabbe may be more open? Or would the Bears go again to Cobbs and let him take another long jumper because he had made one? The former is a better take away than the latter.