Stanford-Cal Preview, Q & A Part II

And now, here is NorcalNick from Cal Golden Blogs with his answers to C and R's Q's:

(Oh, check out his blog with his questions about Cal-Stanford WBB and our answers plus Scott from Stanford's Rule of Tree. Very informative. and Rule of Tree did their own Q and A with Cal Golden Blogs. C and R are getting dizzy.)

C & R Q: You have a new head coach, Lindsey Gottlieb (Who likes to use Twitter, no less, her handle is @CalcoachG), what type of energy does she bring to this team?

A: Well, in the literal sense she brings the energy of a new, fast-paced style of basketball that has the Bears racing up and down the court when given the chance. But in a metaphysical sense (that's what it's all about, right?) Coach Gottlieb seems to have brought a renewed sense of fun and confidence to the Bears. There were some chemistry issues last year, but team camaraderie and cohesiveness seems improved. Maybe the old adage about winning making everything better applies here.

The twitters and other social media outreach has been a fun bonus for the fans. We Bears don't have an embedded ESPN reporter like Stanford (so jealous!) but the staff has done a remarkable job keeping the fans informed and engaged to a team and sport that doesn't get much attention from mainstream media.

C & R Q: We've been hearing all about the one and only Brittany Boyd (her twitter handle no less, is @ONEandONLYbboyd, and we are sensing a theme). Just how good is she, and is she really Alexis Gray Lawson in disguise trying to have four more years of college eligibly?

She's an unbelievable amount of fun, because she plays with a flair and excitement that I find very infectious. Obviously as a freshman she presumably has not reached her full potential, but she has already shown a gifted ability to pass the ball, and her ability to get to the basket has added a dimension the Cal offense has generally lacked over the last few years.

The Alexis Gray-Lawson comparison is hard to avoid because of similar statures (Boyd is one inch taller), positions (guard), and backgrounds (East-Bay locals) but the main similarities they share is the aforementioned ability to drive to the basket. The point guard Boyd is a better passer while shooting-guard Gray-Lawson is the more gifted shooter. But despite the differences it warms the cockles of my heart to see a 5'7''/8'' guard barrelling through the lane with no fear.

C & R Q: Nneka and Chiney clean up any and all rebounds. What do you see Cal doing to keep them off the boards? (Short of breaking legs?)

Frankly, this issue concerns me - not as a basketball fan, but as a member of the human race. If Gennifer Brandon and Nneka Ogwumike both jump for the same rebound, I fear the extreme physics involved may rip some kind of hole in the space-time continuum or create some kind of quantum vortex. Physicists from both campuses are researching preventative measures as we spea. From meta-physics to actual physics we go!

I think the reality is that both Cal and Stanford will get their fair share of rebounds, which probably benefits Stanford. I fear that Cal is much more dependant on their ability to control the boards to earn a win. But watching these two teams battle for missed shots is worth the price of admission alone.

C & R Q: What's with no last names on the home shirts? Can your uniform maker not spell? How will we tell whom Nneka is dunking over?

Well, being a public school, I'm guessing that the players huddled up and decided to forego names to save the taxpayers of our great state a few bucks on stitching. It's tough fiscal times and the Bears are nothing if not conscientiuos California citizens! (hee hee, good one, C and R).

C & R Q: Down by one against Washington State, Brittany Boyd loses her shoe but continues playing, passes and Cal scores, she gets an assist. Was that a planned ploy to distract the other team? (An our Toni Kokenis beat her to it last year, she ran so fast she ran right out of her shoe yet had the presence of mid to throw it back to the bench).

I think Brittany's game is all improv. If, in a split second decision, she decides her shoe needs to come off to make a play, then that shoe is coming off. Although now that I hear that Stanford has a similar issue, I think we may need to launch a shoelace investigation to prevent the scourge of loose laces from ever again terrorizing our basketball playing youth!

C & R Q: Breaking news, Cal players campaigned on Twitter to get a disco ball on bus on way to Stanford (no really, we saw it on Twitter, look in Coach G's timeline!). Do you see that as a help or distraction?

My guess is that it depends on the song choices. If the team is getting properly pumped up it could be an advantage. Of course, my choice of pump up music is likely vastly different from your typical 19 year old woman, and also isn't the type of music that generally matches with a disco ball. My guess is that they coaches and players will take the chance to remind themselves of 'this is how we do it,' and then hopefully proceed to then 'do it.' It being winning, I would presume.

C & R Q: See ya at the game!

Click here for Part I.

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