Berkeley Homecoming 2011 - Cal Women's Basketball Open Practice 10.15.11

After speed walking up to the SAHPC, I came back down to meet up with PaleoDan and CalNet for the Women's Basketball Open Practice at Berkeley's Homecoming on 10.15.11.  Normally, I can't take advantage of the Homecoming events, because a football game is being played on that day.  Complete fealty is demanded and instead of WBB or baseball events, I spend all day in a parking lot.  

But with the Cal-USC game on Thursday 10.13.11, Saturday was wide open.  And why not take in the open practice?  On the way down to Haas, I bumped into OskiWeeWee, who told me about CBKWit taking on Cal basketballer Jorge Gutierrez in the Alumni Homecoming dual basketball challenge.  Jorge won!

When we got there to Haas, we were told to head to the club room.  When we got there, Coach Lindsay Gottlieb was finishing up a talk about the team.  Sadly, we missed most of what she said.  When we walked in, people were laughing, though.  So, it was something good.

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Please, join me after the jump to see more photos of the Women's Basketball Open Practice!  GO BEARS!

The joke that Coach G made related somehow to assistant coach Charmin Smith.  Here she is with another coach Daron Park.  

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The club room was pretty packed for the speech:

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From the patio, I could see the baseball team and baseball alumni team warming up for their exhibition match later in the day (more on that in a future post).  

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Family and friends had already started showing up and bbqing.  

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But enough baseball, let's get back to the basketball.  Coach G finished up her speech and everybody headed over to the court for the practice:  

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Coach G was mic'd up, so you could hear what she was saying.  There were some technical difficulties, though, so at times it was hard to hear what she was saying.  

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They started off with a drill which consisted of players passing the ball back and forth as they approached the basket.  It ended with a lay up.  There are probably official names for these drills, but I sadly do not know them.  

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There were drills about receiving passes:  

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Mikayla Lyles had a faceguard on.  Apparently, she recently broke her nose in practice.  Hope she is OK!  

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They have a male scout team, which came out to help with the drills.  Apparently, these guys get paid in gear.  They probably do it to have the opportunity to assist the team and stay around the basketball program.  It seems like a lot of fun, although I bet they are good high school players who couldn't quite make it at the collegiate level.  

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This drill was basically the 3 guys at the perimeter doing the classic Ben Braun offense of passing the ball around.  And around.  And around.  The women's basketball players would crowd towards the male player with the ball.  They would be yelling something, although it was a bit hard to hear at times what they were saying.  I could make out "ballballballballball" in some instances.  I guess this was a drill to work on communication.  

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One of the guys had red shoes on.  RED SHOES?!?!?  WHAT THE WHAT?!?!?!

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Then, the team was split into 2 parts.  One wore their jerseys with the yellow side up and the other wore their jerseys with the blue sides up.  Blue would take on the male scout players while gold stood on the side lines and then vice versa.  It wasn't really a game, more of a very specific game-style drill.  The male scout players would try to score a basket and then the women's players would try to stop it.  After the first shot attempt, the women would take over and try to score a basket at the other end.  

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I wish I had a stronger appreciation of the practice.  I just don't know a lot of the finer aspects of basketball and basketball drills.  I could tell that Coach G was working on specific items, because she would stop the drill and provide instruction about a very specific part.  For example, at one point, she stopped a drill to work on the technique for a player sprinting up to the male scout team player and getting her hands in his face the right way.  

BTW, on the way out, I noticed that the statue of Pete Newell in the club room has him wearing a sweet double breasted suit.  Never noticed that before.  

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So, there you go.  Some of the action at the Cal Women's Basketball Open Practice.  Up next in the Homecoming series for this week, the Baseball alumni game.  GO BEARS!

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