GAME DAY, BEARS! Here is video of the Cal Women's Basketball Final Four Press Conference:
When I attended the pre-season kick off for WBB, Coach Gottlieb was talking about embracing expectations. No false modesty, realizing that the pressure is on to be excellent. She continued that message here.
Q. You've been pushing a rock up a hill for a long time, that being your neighbor to the south. You've beat them in the regular season. You're here and they're not. Do you feel like you're up over that hill finally?
COACH GOTTLIEB: Well, I think all along we've got such a tremendous respect for Stanford. And even going through this year, Tara and I shared text messages through the postseason. I've told her: You make it look easy, and it's not easy. I have respect for the consistency of excellence.
That being said, it's been for us about trying to create another elite program in the Bay, trying to make Cal basketball one of the programs across the country that gets to do things like this.
So we see it as, wow, we've achieved one of those goals. We've gotten Cal to the Final Four. We are in the elite. And we think that's great.
It doesn't really kind of factor in for us, oh, and Stanford's not here. I think we were just focused on us getting to this level. I think they've been supportive of us trying to get here. And we hope for years to come that we're at this level, and if that means competing with them more regularly, then great. But it doesn't feel any better that they're not here; it just feels great for us to be here.
Some reporter asked a fairly shmucky question, but Coach Gottlieb was extremely gracious in her answer. Who asks the question "You really shouldn't be here, but got super lucky, what's up with that?" THIS IS WHY JOURNALISM IS DYING IN AMERICA, PEOPLE!
Q. Along the line of not playing Baylor, seems like this tournament you've been a little bit
fortunate, didn't have to play Texas Tech on its floor. Got away with the fouls against South Florida, and you didn't have to play Gonzaga didn't make it to its own regional. Didn't have to play Stanford. There's an old saying about being more lucky than good. Do you feel you all were lucky in who you didn't have to play?
COACH GOTTLIEB: I definitely agree that a lot has to go right in order to get to this point. But I also think there's a huge impact that our players have in making things go right. I thought Fresno State was a terrific 15 seed. I thought South Florida was one of the best teams we faced all year. That's a team that took Notre Dame to overtime.
And I thought LSU and Georgia were tremendous competition for us. So have we won pretty every single game? No. And I think we can play better. But I think the teams that were in front of us at each stage were really formidable and we had to get the job done. And so I think we looked at the task at hand and got it done and feel very excited and fortunate to be here. But "luck" isn't the kind of word that comes into it in my mind.
There is a lot more in there (like 7 pages worth of quotes), so watch the video and check out all the quotes in anticipation of the game later today. Thanks and GO BEARS!