Last week we hosted the Round of 32 matchups from the Joe Kapp region. Here are the four who advanced to the Sweet 16:
- The Cinderella story lives as 16-seed Lamond Murray defeated (9) Bobby Shaw 67%-33%.
- (4) Cameron Jordan cruised to a 65%-35% victory over Bob Melvin.
- (6) Steve Bartkowski upset (3) Kirk Everist 62%-38%.
- And in our closest matchup of the week, the (2) 2010 Men's Basketball Seniors defeated (7) Justin Forsett by a mere five votes.
(1) Justin Cobbs
In our Remembering the Seniors post we reflect on our favorite moments of Justin Cobbs' career. There were many favorite moments from this past season, but none bigger than this:
Ruey Yen: Maybe it's because he came to Cal as a transfer, but every since he was able to get on the floor, Justin Cobbs has produced for the Golden Bears - playing nearly 35 minutes a game with at least a dozen+ points and 5 dimes. Of course, Cobbs also steadily improved his game over the year to become the most consistent player for the Bears in his senior year. A combo guard that was forced to become more of a pure passer later in his career, there is no doubt that those buzzer beaters that Leland alluded to will be what Cal fans remember (or see the in replays) for years to come. The play where he takes one step inside the 3 point line and then elevate to take that high arching jumper has produce the same sequence of thoughts in my head every time. It goes from "why did he settle for that shot" to "maybe it will go in" to "he's done it again! [or "I knew that was a terrible shot"]. One thing that you can count on Justin Cobbs is that he will be the one taking that final shot...including the very last one of the Mike Montgomery era at Cal.
Vlad Belo: I will remember Justin Cobbs as clutch. His game winning shots at Oregon in 2013 and against #1 Arizona this year are memorable moments not only for his career but also two if the most memorable moments of the Mike Montgomery era. Cobbs was a guy who WANTED the ball at the end of the game to take the last shot.
More often than not, Cobbs was a steadying influence on the floor, a good floor leader. Monty trusted him and that gave me confidence I'm him as well. And while he wasn't quite Jerome Randle at the FT line (who is?!?), there was no one these last two years I wanted to see at the line late in games more than Cobbs.
Avinash Kunnath: Justin will always be a favorite Golden Bear of mine considering the load we put on him the past two seasons. Whether he liked it or not, anytime he stepped onto the court he had to be the leader because no one else could be. And I think he performed very well given the talent he had to work with. This year he had two bigs who rarely posted up, a bunch of wings who struggled to shoot, and a head coach who was mentally pondering about the best fishing spots along the West Coast next few years. That's a load for any point guard to handle, and it gets even worse when our five-minute offense pretty much became "let Justin do something with the ball". Somehow this team nearly went to the tournament anyway and was a few bounces away from the Dance (nail a shot against ASU or Colorado or Utah here and there...).
So I really appreciate that about him. He had to shoulder the offensive load on a team bereft of offensively gifted players, play WAY too many minutes (particularly his junior year, when he and Allen Crabbe sat maybe for 3-4 minutes a game), and still ended up producing extremely efficient offensive seasons. He was probably more comfortable shooting rather than distributing, but he grew into his role as the primary point guard and kept them from completely unraveling when things got tough. He took each loss in his final month with Cal extremely hard, knowing how perilously close we were to falling off the bubble. It was saddening but really endearing, and I'll miss watching him lead the Bears.
I just wish he didn't have to do so much heavy lifting.
Cal Mens Basketball 1998-99. Highlights from NIT Championship Year (via DubOutfit)
For Lampley, as Ohio Bear, said, 4 years at Cal and a Pac-10 POTY. The second leading scorer in Cal history, whose career was mirrored almost to a key by the new scoring leader in Randle. He was balling in Melbourne, Australia, last I checked (well, before he spent much of this season with front row tickets at Haas nervously watching Jerome break his scoring record. He didn't seem too bummed about it though.). Also he and Dennis Gates were best buds.
Twist: It was so many years ago, I struggle to remember, but I feel reasonably confident that I attended the game where Lampley broke the Cal scoring record. I remember nothing about it. I just have this feeling. Man, I'm probably making it all up. But if I was there (I was, dammit!) I saw Cal beat WSU and march towards the first NCAA bid in many years.
It was a move that Sean Lampley had made a zillion times in his four years at Cal.
Receiving the ball on the right block, the senior forward spun around his defender and banked a quick shot from the edge of the lane.
But this basket was far from ordinary. With 10:03 left in the game and the noise-level at Haas Pavilion approaching unbearable, Lampley's bucket pushed his career-point total to 1,689-one more than Lamond Murray's 1,688-and gave Lampley the prestigious honor of being Cal's all-time leading scorer.
Yes, Sean Lampley, who would have a rough career in the NBA before going to the Australian Basketball Association. But at Cal, he's still the best. Note this from his Wikipedia page: Lampley ended his career as the only player in school history to rank in the top 10 in points (1,776, 1st), rebounds (889, 4th) and assists (295, 10th).