In some sad news for incoming Gopher PG, Justin Cobbs; his team lost a heart breaker on Saturday in the Division IV State title game. I'll let the LA Times story explain the situation... (link here including VIDEO of the final moments)
Leading by one point with seven seconds left and their best player, Minnesota-bound guard Justin Cobbs, at the free-throw line, the Knights had to like their chances to win the Division IV state title.
But in a game of wild momentum swings, the last one was easily the biggest.
When Cobbs missed the front end of the one-and-one opportunity, Salesian's Desmond Simmons dribbled frantically upcourt but lost the ball. Guard Jabari Brown picked it up and fed sophomore Kendall Andrews underneath the basket for a layup at the buzzer that set off a wild celebration in which Andrews immediately ripped off his jersey and was mobbed on the court.
"You can blame it on me," said Cobbs, who finished with 24 points and had made all four free throws before his final attempt. "We shouldn't have been in that situation if I made the last two free throws."
The final play was indicative of how quickly things had changed all game, with Salesian (31-4) going on an 18-2 run in the first half and Bishop Montgomery (28-5) countering with a 17-0 run to close the second quarter and open the third.
What a tough situation for the young Cobbs and I feel really bad for him. Eventually he'll move on, as most of us do, and high school sports will take a backseat to your college team. But this is the kind of thing that will haunt a competitive player for a long time. Not haunt as in negatively affect his play or destroy his confidence to the point he'll be incapable of picking up a basketball again. According to Sid, Tubby was in attendance for this game, I wonder what he had to say to Justin and his family after such a difficult loss. I doubt it will do anything but make him better in the long run but he will never forget it.
I'm sure many of you have seen the stories of Tom Izzo, who missed free throws in a similar situation in his high school days. To this day he shoots a ton of free throws before every practice thinking about the ones he missed decades ago. I know as a kid I pretended I was shooting free throws to win State or taking the shot at the buzzer to win it, nobody dreams of missing the ones that count.
Cobbs did have a fantastic season leading his team to the state title game, scoring 24 points on the big stage and had a 47 in a game earlier this season. He should be a great addition to the roster giving us some depth at PG. I hope in four years or so he'll be at the line ready to ice a national championship for the Gophers, I doubt given a second chance he'll miss again.