#37 California Women's Basketball 2016-2017 Preview

California Golden Bears
Overall Rank: #37
Conference Rank: #6 Pac-12
Cal suffered through a very difficult and disappointing 2015-2016 season. The Golden Bears won just four Pac-12 games. However, with four starters returning, Cal has high hopes to turn things around in 2016-2017. Kristine Anigwe was one of the few bright spots for the team. As a freshman she averaged 20.5 points and 9.3 rebounds. The 6-4 forward is a massive presence in the paint and very difficult for the opposition to deal with on both ends of the floor. With a year of experience under her belt, the Cal offense should be much more efficient and effective when they work through Anigwe.
2015-16 Record: 15-17, 4-14
2015-16 Postseason: None
Coach: Lindsay Gottlieb
Coach Record: 118-51 at Cal, 174-90 overall
Key Departed Players (starters in bold)
Gabby Green, Guard, 5.4 ppg
Key Returning Players (starters in bold)
Kristine Anigwe, Sophomore, Forward, 20.5 ppg
Courtney Range, Senior, Forward, 13.4 ppg
Mikayla Cowling, Junior, Forward, 11.4 ppg
Asha Thomas, Sophomore, Guard, 8.3 ppg
Penina Davidson, Junior, Forward, 5.7 ppg
Ma’ane Mosley, Sophomore, Guard, 2.8 ppg
Chen Yue, Sophomore, Center, 2.0 ppg
KC Waters, Senior, Forward, 2.0 ppg
Key New Players
Sara Anastasieska, Sophomore, Transfer from UTSA, not eligible
Jaelyn Brown, Freshman
Mi’cole Cayton, Freshman
Celeste West, Freshman
With Courtney Range and Mikayla Cowling, Cal has plenty of size. Range and Cowling were both double digit scorers last season and can shoot from long range. The bigger issue will be in the backcourt. Asha Thomas is back after averaging 8.3 points and 4.4 assists as a freshman. Like Range and Cowling, she can shoot from long range too and led the team with 48 three-pointers made last season. While Thomas grows into her new leadership role on the perimeter, Coach Lindsay Gottlieb will have to find some more options on the perimeter. With a strong recruiting class, led by forward Jaelyn Brown, there are options and a ton of size. The size and new found experience should be enough to get California back to the middle of the Pac-12 pack and working towards a spot in the NCAA Tournament.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 67.6 (103rd in nation, 6th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 66.5 (229, 10)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.8 (35, 2)
Field-Goal Defense: 39.9 (195, 6)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.0 (205, 8)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.4 (112, 9)
Free-Throw Percentage: 65.2 (291, 11)
Rebound Margin: 2.0 (105, 7)
Assists Per Game: 16.0 (31, 1)
Turnovers Per Game: 17.8 (278, 12)
Madness 2016 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#44 Jaelyn Brown
#75 Celeste West
#103 Mi'Cole Cayton