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Returning Player Refresher: Farad Cobb

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Cobb was a stellar option off the bench last season and should continue to dominate in that roll in his second season in Cincinnati.

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Farad Cobb seems to have finally found a home. As outlined in our season review from last year, Cobb didn't make his way to Cincinnati in the most traditional manner, beginning his college career at Chattanooga before transferring to Northwest Florida State College. He put together enough footage for the highlight tapes in those two spots to warrant an offer from the Bearcats, and he finally got to see the floor for them last season.

After two years away from the Division I circuit, Cobb looked fairly comfortable back at the top of the college basketball world. He made nine starts, but was used much more often than that stat would indicate, with 34 games and a total of 821 minutes played. That works out to a 24.1 minutes per game average, making him one of Mick Cronin's favorite plug-ins off the bench. With how physically demanding it is to play for Cincinnati, primarily because of its aggressive nature on defense, having fresh bodies is a major benefit. It's a service Cobb will continue to provide with the Bearcats' starting lineup from a year ago largely intact.

But Cobb proved to be more more than a replacement when he got into games. His progression from his freshman year at Chattanooga to his junior campaign with Cincinnati is startling, and I mean that in a good way. He struggled to adjust to the pace of the Division I level on offense and defense with the Mocs, posting an offensive rating of just 91.0 and a defensive rating of 105.7. His work at NWFSC clearly helped him get up to speed, as he turned it around on both ends last season. His offensive rating (109.3) was fourth on the team among players who played in more than 10 games. Meanwhile, his work on defense (95.8 defensive rating) fell right in line with Cincinnati's stellar work as a team.

Let's examine the offensive side of Cobb's game a little more. His biggest contribution came from beyond the arc. For a team that rarely ever relied on 3-point shooting, Cobb was the most prolific sniper, if not its most efficient gunner from long range. He drilled 53 triples (a team-high), while also launching the most of any Bearcat (159). He also had a 3-point attempt rate of 61.4%. On the season, Cobb made a total of 46 2-point field goals, while attempting only 100 shots from inside the 3-point arc.

Kevin Johnson (.350) and Troy Caupain (.408) were both more efficient in 3-point shooting, so its difficult to say that Cobb is the team's best option from distance, but he is certainly the most fearless. And, in games when he really gets going, Cobb can scorch a team seven ways to Sunday, like he did when he drained six treys against Morehead State en route to a 24-point effort, or when he sank four threes against SMU and Tulsa, scoring 18 and 22 in those games, respectively.

In total, Cobb was an 8.5-points per game scorer for the Bearcats, providing a steady kickout option for Caupain, Octavius Ellis or anyone else making moves in the paint. In addition, he proved to be judicious with the ball, turning it over only 37 times, while handing out 49 assists. Limiting his mistakes came with plenty of exciting moves with the ball in his hands. Just take a look.

A note should be made about Cobb's efforts in league play. His game was incrementally better in those important clashes. He scored 9.4 points per game and shot a bit better from 3-point range (37 percent), while hampering opposing guards to the tune of 2.2 steals a contest. In fact, 23 of his 33 total steals came against conference competition.

So what should we expect from Cobb this season? More of the same would be just fine. That would mean a healthy amount of 3-point attempts and, hopefully, improved efficiency, as well as strong play off the bench on both ends and a few ankle-breaking highlights. Put it all together and you get one of the better reserve options around.