#14 California Women's Basketball 2012-13 Preview

California Golden Bears

Overall Rank: #14
Conference Rank: #2 Pac-12
California Women's College Basketball 2012-2013 Team Preview
California Team Page


The initial season under new head coach Lindsey Gottlieb was a very prosperous one as Gottlieb was the first head coach in program history to lead the Cal program to over 20 wins in her first season in Berkeley. A very athletic, experienced and confident team returns to Strawberry Canyon in 2012-13 for a potential run at dethroning Stanford from atop the Pac-12 Conference.

2011-12 Record: 25-10, 13-5
2011-12 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Lindsey Gottlieb
Coach Record: 25-10, at Cal, 81-49 overall

Layshia Clarendon is the leader of this team; she can shoot the ball solidly, and is a force on the defensive end of the floor and caused 51 steals for the Golden Bears during the 2011-12 season. Super sophomores, Reshanda Gray and Brittany Boyd, look to build on excellent freshman seasons where they both averaged just over ten points per game and made opponents’ lives very difficult to match up with since they can’t just lock in on Clarendon. There are plenty of weapons that can beat you on this Cal team.

This team is going to have to be better from the foul line as they only shot just over 60 percent during the 2011-12 season. Also, the ability to create more turnovers and take better care of the basketball will be essential to this team’s capability to make a run deep into the NCAA Tournament. Cal had about 16 turnovers per game in 2011-12 and created about 16 turnovers per game. In addition, the ability to block more shots and alter more shots is going to be a huge key for the Golden Bears to address as opposing teams had about one and a half more blocked shots per game last season. Developing the shot blocking threat more is going to force teams to have to win from the perimeter and that is where the backcourt of Clarendon and Boyd will be able to impose their will on opponents.

Final Projection:
The overall experience and depth of this Cal squad is what is going to be the catalyst to a potential run at ending the reign of dominance in the Pac-12 Conference by Bay Area rival Stanford. Also, the fact that it is year two under Coach Gottlieb is very important as the players return knowing what to expect system wise and should be able to hit the ground running from day one. In addition, having Clarendon, the experienced senior, in the backcourt is going to be important during tough non-conference games against Duke in Durham on December 2nd and at home against Kansas. The talent is unquestionably there in Berkeley, it is just a matter of this team coming together and building on the confidence gained from last year’s 25 win campaign that almost knocked off Stanford in Maples Pavilion last spring. The likelihood of an upper-tier conference finish is very high and should position this squad to be a top four seed, and possibly a Sweet 16 or Elite Eight run in the NCAA Tournament.  

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Layshia Clarendon, Senior, Guard, 12.8 points per game
Brittany Boyd, Sophomore, Guard, 10.2 points per game
Gennifer Brandon Junior, Forward, 8.9 points per game
Reshanda Gray, Sophomore, Forward, 10.5 points per game
Talia Caldwell, Sophomore, Center, 3.8 points per game

Madness 2013 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#28 Layshia Clarendon