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Pac-12 WBB media day Open Thread + Link Dump

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Lindsay Gottlieb and Mikayla Cowling will be on the Pac-12 Network around 12:25 as part of their WBB media day coverage!

Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

While we've all been occupied watching a thrilling series of games from Cal football, basketball season has snuck up on all of us. In one month the Bears will be tipping off with an exhibition game against Westmont before the regular season begins against Austin Peay.

For today, the big news is Media Day! Tune in (or DVR) the Pac-12 Network's media day coverage and take advantage of the perfect opportunity to shake the cobwebs off after a long, six month off-season without women's basketball.

Over the next month we'll have our usual slate of preview material - a general preview, schedule preview, player previews, Pac-12 preview, etc. Today we're going to keep it tight with a quick summary of news bits from a long offseason.

Mercedes Jefflo dismissed from the team

Sigh. I still don't want to talk about it because it makes me sad. Cal now has just one junior (an, obviously, zero seniors) projected to play significant minutes. If nothing else, this will be the ultimate no-pressure season, when we can calmly enjoy the development process of our uber-talented youngsters without worrying when youthful mistakes lead to defeats.

Open Practice Recap

Viet Nguyen has a typically excellent recap of Cal's open practice on Saturday. The biggest tidbit is how Cal is looking to tweak their offense to take advantage of their positional flexibility in the post Boyd/Gray era.

Bears receive 2016 recruiting class commitment from Jaelyn Brown

Brown is a 4 star 6'1'' wing out of Murietta who had received lots of attention and offers both locally and nationally, which makes her a very solid get for the Cal coaching staff. Scouting-wise, her evaluation fits the recent mold of Cal players - fast, athletic, up-tempo, high intensity on both ends.

She'll come in likely playing the same position as Courtney Range, who will be a senior Brown's first year, allowing Brown to come off the bench her first year. Meanwhile, we're all very much hoping that Jaylen Brown decides to spend two years on campus so that we will all have the opportunity to mix them both up.

Bears receive 2016 recruiting class commitment from C.J. West

West, a club sports teammate of Brown, is a 6'2'' center, generally regarded as a 3 star, borderline top 100 prospect. Her star total belies an impressive offer list that includes South Carolina and Texas A&M, an indication that media talent evaluators might be behind the curve. She should add to Cal's imposing post rotation alongside Kristine Anigwe and Chen Yue.

What's left for the class of 2016?

Cal currently has 10 scholarship players on the 2015-16 roster, and all ten will have eligibility left for 201-17. Thus Cal could take a maximum of five players to add to those ten. Two have already committed. Historically, Lindsay Gottlieb has been hesitant to use all fifteen scholarships. How many more players might she add this year?

It probably depends on which players might commit. Cal has hosted top 10 national prospects Sabrina Ionescu (point guard) and Natalie Chou (guard) on official visits, and both players have actionable offers. Cal also has high interest in top 50 guard DiJonai Carrington. Would Cal take all three if they all decided to come to Cal? Almost certainly. If they somehow landed all three, in addition to West and Brown, it would probably be the 2nd best recruiting class in the nation. It would also require Cal to beat out teams like Texas, Notre Dame, Stanford, Baylor, South Carolina . . . you get the idea. But the Bears seem to have solid shots at each player, which is all you can ask

Bears making waves in the pros

If you didn't follow the rookie campaigns of Brittany Boyd and Reshanda Gray, rest assured - they both had solid debut seasons. Boyd quickly found a niche as New York's first guard off the bench, a change-of-pace injection of energy on both ends of the court. She displayed her usual well-rounded play and is being groomed as New York's point guard of the future. Check out this interview with Boyd and New York head coach Bill Lambier to get a sense of her development at the professional level.

Reshanda Gray, meanwhile, found herself riding the pine with a veteran Minnesota team with a short rotation. Luckily, a mid-season trade to rebuilding Atlanta gave her an opportunity to play some minutes, and she's been showing off the high-volume, high-efficiency scoring that we all saw at Cal. She's also been fouling a lot, which luckily isn't quite as damaging for a bench player.

And of course there's Layshia Clarendon, who set career highs in essentially every category - both counting and percentage stats - and is poised to potentially be Cal's first WNBA champ with Indiana (Tonight at 5:00!). Her playing time has decreased in the playoffs as Indiana has tightened to basically a six player rotation, but she was a key cog during a successful regular season.

That's three players from Cal's Final Four team who are looking like long-term WNBA players - no mean feat with only 144 total roster spots available in the entire league.