- It will be an emotional day in Haas Pavilion for two reasons. One, for the first time in the Gottlieb era the Bears will play the team she left Cal for.
There’s A Lot To Learn About Being a Head Coach
You actually have to do something to learn how to do it. You can read a book about riding a bike, but you don’t learn until you actually have to pedal for yourself. At UCSB, with a lot on the line, I had to learn how to do this craft, one seat over from where I had been for nine years as an assistant.
I remember being in the restaurant of a hotel on the morning of a game, writing on napkins because I’d had an idea for a wrinkle to a play the night before. I remember not going to sleep at night (for, like, many many nights straight in season) until I had watched every last second of film that was possible to watch.
Don’t get me wrong: I still watch more film than your average head coach, and I still have crazy ideas that I come up with and have to share with my assistants ASAP. However, there was a different feeling then of having to do more all the time.
- Two, that UC Santa Barbara squad also has alumna, former Cal assistant coach, and Final 4 participant Eliza Pierre on the coaching staff.
“You fall in love with sports,” Pierre said. “I’ve loved basketball and my teammates. I loved that I got to play a team sport; you learn so much about yourself and about other people. I think that piece was missing while I was training on my own… There’s nothing like being a part of something every single day.”
Pierre soon returned to the Bay Area, taking an internship at the Pac-12 headquarters in San Francisco as a Sports Management and Championships fellow. After a year at the conference offices, Pierre came back to Berkeley and joined the Golden Bears’ basketball operations staff for the 2016-17 season.
- Something maybe no Cal fan likes to hear, or at least without thoughts of “DOOM” in their heads. Is this Cal squad comparable to the final four team of 2013?
“Sometimes you have this memory of the Final Four team being larger than life and think everything was perfect,” Gottlieb said. “We were down and throwing up clunkers on offense and running into screens on defense, but what stood out to me was: When we were down ... they never looked flustered.”
Gottlieb got the same vibe from her current roster in last week’s game in Moraga.
Down 15 with five minutes into the third quarter or still facing a double-digit deficit with 41 seconds to play in the third quarter, Cal’s demeanor didn’t change. The Bears didn’t lead at all in the second half, needing a Kristine Anigwe shot with two seconds left to send the game into overtime.
Overall thoughts: ”I’ll start off with saying, Cal Poly played a great game. We knew that Donovan Fields was going to be a focal point of their offense tonight and they know that we switch 1-4 and sometimes even 1-5. We just said, you know what, we’re going to make him make tough shots and he did that tonight. He takes 21 of their 52 attempts and he hit some tough ones we made him hit some tough ones. It seems like every one was contested. Defensively, we haven’t been zone this year. We are a really good shooting team and shots didn’t fall tonight. I am very happy with my team, my young team finding a way to get a win. At the end of the day, that’s what’s most important. I see them growing, I don’t know if we win that game last year. Happy that Paris hit the shot, it gives him a lot of confidence. He’s been doing everything that we’ve asked of him, it was good to see him hit that shot.”
On Paris’ game-winner: ”I knew that they would switch, so I had Justice go set the screen, anticipating a switch. They ended up switching with the five-man (Hank) Hollingsworth. So once Paris saw the switch, I said to him, Paris you have a couple options, you come off the ball screen; you have Justice on the pop and shooters in the corners. He saw the switch, he knew that the bigger guy was guarding him and that he could get a clean look, so he took the shot.”
- Post-game notes from the match. Paris Austin was held scoreless in the first half but scored ten in the second including the game winner.
- Trace Travers analyzes who benefits the most from the extra game and practices.
When the Bears [got] back into action [last] Friday, it’ll be a similar pattern to what they did this past weekend, with a focus on developing the younger players and giving the high-rep guys a bit more of a break. Justin Wilcox said [the previous] Friday that some of the younger guys would see around 50 reps per practice, so in these first six days of practice, that extrapolates out to 300 reps. Multiple coaches have called it an ‘extra spring practice,’ which should help some of the players develop
”It’s guys who have redshirted or haven’t played as many reps,” Wilcox said, “we get some extra work with them, it’s our stuff and working on what we do as far as fundamentals.”
These first two weeks are to get guys off the scout teams and to knock the rust off them at running Cal’s playbook, both sides of the ball. There’s a handful who will benefit from this more than the rest though.
Beat the Gauchos!