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Golden Nuggets: SF Gate Features Article on Asha Thomas

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Calbears.com has some cool articles on some of the Olympic sports beginning (or ending) play this month.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 19 Women's - Cal at UCLA
I am loving that more and more Cal WBB games are showing up in the Getty photo bank.
Photo by David Dennis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Basketball

  • Not sure anyone wants to relive this week’s losses, but here is Cal’s Youtube page where you can see the press conferences from the week. I’ll post some quotes here from the Arizona State game.

Head Coach Wyking Jones

On what allowed Darius and Marcus to play well:

”They’re an undersized team, and so we knew we wanted to look at exploiting that with Marcus and King. Marcus goes 10-for-13 and gets to the line 10 times, and gets their guys in foul trouble. He did a really good job. Outside of that, we had seven assists against Arizona, so I challenged our guys to look to make the extra pass in this game, and we ended up with 13 assists, which is much better. Offensively, the biggest focus was getting the ball inside and playing inside-out -- get the ball in the paint, whether it was a post up, or off a penetration -- so I think we did a good job of that.”

On Justice Sueing’s performance in Pac-12 play:

”He has been our most consistent player in conference play. We have a lot of faith and trust in him to go out and make plays. We put a lot of pressure on him to deliver for us, and he’s done a great job at this point, and I don’t anticipate that changing.”

California Senior Forward Marcus Lee

On coming out strong:

”This new year, we’ve tried to be more aggressive. Aggressive in our two-three and aggressive in our press. And today, we had to switch it up because of who we’re playing against so we had the opportunity to be a little bit more aggressive with the person we’re with. So that’s what we’re still working on, being aggressive and starting with better energy and better start.”

On taking advantage of his opportunities:

”After the first touch, [the team was] like ‘alright, you have an advantage so we’ll keep going to you.’ So the confidence that my team gave me, that they saw, kind of helped me keep going.”

California Freshman Guard Darius McNeill

On being aggressive:

”It came down to me just being aggressive and playing my game. The past couple of games, I was just being timid like the first couple games of the season. This game, my coaches sat down with me and told me to play my game and just play through our offense and be aggressive at all times. So that’s what I did.”

  • Find out how Nick Hamilton has made the most of his educational opportunities at Berkeley.
  • Published before the UCLA loss, SF Gate and SF Chronicle posted a great article on Asha Thomas.

She’s averaging 11.7 points per game, a continued season-by-season bump in her production; leads the Pac-12 at 86 percent free-throw shooting; and, with 34 three-pointers, is on pace to break the school’s season record.

Things haven’t always been so hunky-dory. After winning three state titles at Bishop O’Dowd-Oakland, Thomas endured quite a jolt in going 4-14 and 6-12 in conference play during her first two seasons at Cal.

“I was not used to it. I wouldn’t say I was depressed because of the adversity, but I was shocked,” the contemplative media-studies major said. “My family could see it. I thought I would jump in, go along with the past success and eventually take it higher.

“But, I guess it was meant to be.”

Thomas’ family buoyed her through the dark days, which she said included questioning what she had done wrong to create the hardships.

A naturally observant person with a penchant for keeping her feelings to herself while exploring the world around her and being actively interested in the people she meets along the way, Thomas finally realized that the struggles were for the best.

Football

  • Ryan Gorcey caught up with Miles Owens, an offensive tackle commit, as he played with his high school basketball team on MLK Day. (It does not appear he will be a two-sport athlete with us, but it never specifically says either way in the article or any other sources I’ve googled... but it would be cool if he did.)
  • After Jon Wilner posted that story about the Pac-12 issues, GoldenBlogs did a roundtable where we offered our solutions for fixing the conference. Now Scout is doing the same thing, with each Pac-12 writer offering up their fix. Here is some of Gorcey’s answer.

#Pac12AfterDark is cute and all, but more often than not, it’s caused by wonky officiating. The Pac-12 needs to commit to having full-time officials, and better training. No other conference has a hashtag associated with its officials (#Pac12Refs) and we’ve repeatedly seen Pac-12 referees embarrass the conference on national TV during bowl games. If they can’t something so small (yet so fundamental to quality of play) correct, it’s tough to expect much quality in the product as a whole.

”Pac-12 After Dark is also made possible by absurd kickoff times dictated by how many East Coast drunks passed out with the TV on. Larry Scott told us during the Cal-Washington game (another post-8 PM kickoff) that the conference’s late-night games consistently get the best ratings in their time slots on the East Coast. That’s nice and all, but that doesn’t necessarily mean those ratings are objectively good. It just means that they’re better than juggling monkeys on late-night shows and paid programming advertising pasta makers. Late-night kicks -- especially mid-week games, and teams playing late-night mid-week road games after a late road game the week before -- allow the conference to cannibalize itself.

Misc.

Here are five features from Calbears.com involving our fine Olympic programs.

  • MSWIM: Karl Arvidsson and Nate Biondi are having great careers at Cal, just like their fathers.
  • WSWIM: Kathleen Baker has overcome many obstacles, including Chron’s disease, to become an “exceptional” swimmer and... Rubix cube solver!
  • WWP: Carla Carrega, the only Italian born player in NCAA Women’s Water Polo (ever), has begun her senior season. Find out about her story of her transition from Italy to the USA.
  • Kindred Paul wants you to learn more about the Water Polo team and get excited for the start of the season (which began yesterday).
  • BVB: Beach volleyball has begun training camp, looking to have their best season yet in their 5th season of existence.

Go Bears.