Sunday night's first game of the season was. ...well, a first game of the season.
There was the expected sloppiness and letdown once a big lead was established.
Cal coach Mike Montgomery had plenty to talk to his team about following the Bears' 78-65 win over Cal State Bakersfield at Haas Pavilion.
But there wasn't much fault to be found with starting point guard Justin Cobbs.
It wasn't just that Cobbs had 22 points on 8-for-11 shooting, six rebounds and three assists. It was more the way he went about his business. He was a calming influence. He was aggressive yet under control in the open floor. He ran the Bears' offense smoothly.
"He knows what we're trying to do," Montgomery said. "He's very comfortable out there. It was a pretty economical effort."
The Bears scored 20 fast-break points, and a handful of them came on Cobbs' playmaking ability. Cobbs made the right decisions in transition, sometimes finishing himself and other times giving it up for a better option.
Cobbs brought the crowd of 8,715 to its collective feet with a spectacular finish in the second half. He took an outlet pass, rushed down the court, crossed over the key and avoided a defender with a dipsy-doo layup, using a little English off the glass to convert.
"The point guard is supposed to lead the team and control the tempo of the game, and did a great job of getting us in the right situations to make sure we execute," said Cal guard Allen Crabbe, who went for 27 points, including 20 in the first half. "Justin definitely did a good job of that tonight. It's good for us too because Justin has scoring ability, so if they take certain things away from us, that can open things up for Justin. He did well tonight making sure everybody was under control and that we were executing."
Montgomery used Cobbs at both point guard and shooting guard Sunday - Cobbs played without the ball in his hands when senior point guard Brandon Smith was on the floor. While Cobbs is a scoring point guard, Montgomery would like him to be even more aggressive in terms of finding shots for himself.
"He's better with the ball in his hands, or he likes having the ball in his hands," Montgomery said. "He's a little reluctant shooter. He doesn't always catch and shoot."
Much has been made in the preseason about the backcourt combination of Cobbs and Crabbe, who form what many consider the top returning backcourt in the Pac-12. Considering the duo combined for 49 points on 19-for-28 floor shooting, they are certainly off to the expected start.
"I love playing with this man," Cobbs said, sitting next to Crabbe in the postgame interview room. "We feed off each other. God has blessed us both with talent, and we try to get each other involved. I'm very excited to play with Allen."
NOTES: Freshman guard Tyrone Wallace made his college debut and six points, five rebounds and three assists in 23 minutes. "He was a little nervous," Montgomery said. "But I thought as time went on he did a good job. Tyrone is a smart player. We're really encouraged with Ty. He's a little tentative. He's not really sure what to do all the time. But 23 minutes was a pretty good stretch for him." ... The 22 points was Cobbs' most since scoring a career-high 28 last season against Oregon. That was also the last time the Bears had two 20-point scorers in a game. Harper Kamp also scored 20 in that game. ... David Kravish and Richard Solomon led Cal with nine rebounds apiece.