#8 California Women's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview

California Golden Bears

Overall Rank: #8
Conference Rank: #2 Pac-12
#8 California Women's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview
California Team Page


The California Golden Bears had an epic record breaking season in 2012-13, as they knocked off Stanford and made program history with their first ever run to the Final Four. Three starters return in 2013-14 for third-year head coach Lindsey Gottlieb, who has quickly raised the bar by elevating the Cal program to elite status.

2012-13 Record:  32-4, 17-1
2012-13 Postseason: NCAA
Coach:  Lindsey Gottlieb, 3rd season at Cal
Coach Record:  57-14, at Cal, 113-53 overall

The Golden Bears were absolutely dominant on the glass last season. The key to the rebounding dominance returns for Cal this season as redshirt senior Gennifer Brandon will be the anchor down in the low blocks. Brandon averaged a double double last season and had a very impressive 19 double doubles, which has her positioned heading into this season as a National Player of the Year candidate. In the backcourt, Brittany Boyd is another National Player of the Year candidate.  She averaged 12.5 points per game last year and her veteran leadership is going to be key in bringing along some very talented incoming freshman players that will join the Golden Bears this season. Boyd is going to be relied upon a great deal to pick up some the scoring slack created by the graduation of Layshia Clarendon, who has gone on to the WNBA.

There are not a lot of weaknesses with this Cal squad as a whole. However, they do need to get better in some key areas, such as the free throw line where the Golden Bears shot just 61 percent. In order for Cal to knock down the national championship door, that percentage has to make a healthy jump to at least the 70 percent range. The other big thing to address is being a little more explosive from the perimeter and hitting more three point shots to make the offense even more dangerous to deal with. Keep an eye on freshman Courtney Range to make a potential early impact on the perimeter shooting for Cal.

Final Projection:
Cal will hit the ground running in the opening weekend of the season when they host fellow Final Four threat Duke in Berkeley on November 10th. This matchup with the Blue Devils will give the Golden Bear coaching staff an excellent early read on where the team stands in regard to competing for a national title. It will also be a great opportunity for Cal to make a continued statement about women’s college basketball on the west coast being about more than just bay area rival Stanford. Another signature non-conference matchup will be on December 22 at the Maggie Dixon Classic at Madison Square Garden when the Golden Bears get their shot on a neutral court against defending national champion UConn. The ability to get a win out of the two games will be a significant boost for Cal in their quest to be a number one or number two seed in the NCAA Tournament. In conference play, rivalry week against Stanford when they play them home and home on January 30 and February 2, is going to be a huge week. It could be argued that the Golden Bears’ win at Stanford was the turning point in their epic run of last season. If they can split like a year ago, they will once again be right on Stanford’s heels for the conference title. Overall, this team is loaded and if they can deal the target on their back this season, Cal will once be again be a contender to get back to the Final Four in Nashville.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NCAA

Projected Starting Five:
Brittany Boyd, Junior, Guard, 12.5 points per game
Afure Jemerigbe, Senior, Guard, 7.4 points per game
Mercedes Jefflo, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season
Gennifer Brandon, Redshirt Senior, 12.3 points per game
Courtney Range, Freshman, Forward, DNP last season

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 71.8 (19, 1)
Scoring Defense: 58.5 (90, 4)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.3 (47, 2)
Field-Goal Defense:  37.8 (128, 7)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game:  4.3 (229, 8)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 30.2 (154, 6)
 Free-Throw Percentage: 61.0 (332, 12)
Rebound Margin: 11.4 (3, 1)
Assists Per Game: 13.0 (147, 5)
Turnovers Per Game: 14.1 (40, 4)

Madness 2014 WNBA Draft Rankings:
#10 Gennifer Brandon

Madness 2013 Women’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#47 Kendall Waters
#48 Courntney Range
#90 Mercedes Jefflo


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