Dishin & Swishin 10/30/14 Podcast: Lindsay Gottlieb & Cal look to take the next step

Cal coach Lindsay Gottlieb. Photo: Golden Bear Sports.
Cal coach Lindsay Gottlieb. Photo: Golden Bear Sports.

It is Halloween time, so we can forgive the members of the Pac-12 for thinking that favorites Stanford and Cal may be playing a trick on them.

Stanford is putting their vaunted triangle offense in the closet, going for a guard-friendly up-tempo approach. Cal, known for their in-the-paint, powerful post game is looking at playing small ball, with four guards on the court at a time. What kind of cruel tricks are these? Because they are sure not treats to the other Pac-12 members!

On today’s Dishin & Swishin podcast we go out West and welcome back to the podcast the coach of the Golden Bears, Lindsay Gottlieb. When we last talked to Gottlieb, she was one of our panelists breaking down the Final Four  this past April. Now she has her eyes set on Tampa, and she may have a Cal team strong enough to get there.

The next step they wish to take first, however, is an outright Pac-12 conference title of their own, something Cal does not have on their resume (although they have a co-championship with Stanford in 2013).

While the coaches narrowly selected Stanford as their preseason conference favorite over Cal, the media selected the Bears as their preseason conference favorite. The Pac-12 is extremely deep this year with potential NCAA bids accessible also to Oregon State, UCLA, Washington, Arizona State, and USC.

The optimism is high, and it is justified. Cal returns two senior All-American candidates, guard Brittany Boyd and forward Reshanda Gray. They welcome two HoopGurlz top fifteen freshmen, wings Mikayla Cowling and Gabby Green. Along with Penina Davidson, a member of the New Zealand national team, it is an impressive freshman class.

While the freshman will be important, it is Boyd and Gray that are the unquestioned stars and leaders. Boyd, who lists Cappie Pondexter as her favorite player, put up numbers the WNBA star would be proud of last season, averaging 14.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 2.9 steals per game. She was an honorable mention AP and WBCA All-American, and a candidate for the Dawn Staley award. Gray, who came off the bench in a three-post rotation the first two years of her career, exploded as a starter, scoring 17.6 points per game and pulling down 9.0 rebounds. Both have WNBA first-round draft choice potential and their continued growth will be a highlight of the Cal season.

The excitement for the start of the season is apparent in the discussion with Gottlieb; topics covered include:

  • Boyd and Gray, their strengths, what to look for this year
  • The Impact of Cowling and Green, how they change the game and the game plan this season
  • The Pac-12 getting stronger with outstanding recruiting and coaching
  • Getting an audience for the West Coast and scheduling, and Cal’s decision not to come too far East this year (farthest is Kansas)

It is a fun conversation with one of the rising stars of the coaching profession. Only in her fourth season at Cal, she has already won coach of the year in the conference and been a Naismith coach of the year finalist. The sky is the limit for the Gottlieb and the Golden Bears!

Enjoy the podcast!

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