Around the Rim: Nevada at Cal Preview
Justin Cobbs 6-4 Senior Guard
If there is any question to who Nevada must stop on Tuesday if they want to stay competitive with the Golden Bears, we can answer that question now. It's Cobbs. The guard, a native of Los Angeles, is unquestionably the most talented and likely the most important player for Cal not only in this game, but in this season. Cobbs is a play maker in every sense of the word. Not only can he create his own shot by getting to the basket and finishing strong, but he can set up his teammates. On the year, Cobbs is averaging 13.9 points and 6.4 assist per game, which is good for 6th best in the nation. If there is a downfall to Cobbs game, it is his inability to shoot effectively from 3 point range, only 23.1% this year. Nevada this year has had trouble guarding the 3 point line, so having a guard who likely will not hurt you in that aspect is a plus. To guard Cobbs, Coach David Carter will likely have to put Michael Perez or later in the game Deonte Burton, depending on foul trouble. If Cobb goes off for 31 points (like he did against Dayton) or 15 points and 7 assists (like he did against Arkansas) it will be difficult for Nevada to pull off the road upset.
Richard Solomon 6-10 Senior Forward
What does Nevada struggle with defensively? Everything would be the cheeky answer. But defensive rebounding would be the most accurate answer. It seems every game, teams take advantage of the lack of size in the Wolf Pack frontcourt. Now, what does Solomon do better than anybody else on the Cal roster? That's right, offensive rebound. That's strength against weakenss when it comes to the likes of Ronnie Stevens and Lucas Strivins against Solomon. Ninth in the nation in rebounding (10.9 per game), Solomon does most of his damage by grabbing offensive rebounds and getting easy put backs. Solomon is averaging 3.4 offensive rebounds a game, so if Nevada cannot effectively keep the senior off the glass, look for the game not only to be a Cal win, but a Cal blowout.
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