Despite a 70-58 loss to the Duke Blue Devils on Sunday afternoon at Haas Pavilion, California Golden Bears coach Lindsay Gottlieb was optimistic about her team moving forward and sounded particularly excited about freshman forward Courtney Range as reported by Viet Nguyen of BearInsider.com.
For a second game in a row, Courtney Range exhibited her all-around game, grabbing a tough rebound then taking it coast to coast. On the next drive, she again drove into the lane, this time to create a better angle to dish off to Gray inside, and Cal was again within single digit, 46-37 with 12:34 to go.
"She's not like any player I've ever coached," said Gottlieb about Range. "A lot tall kids who want to be a guard, but they don't have the perimeter skills. She's legitimately a wing."
Range went the length of the floor again, and her free-throw closed the gap to 46-38. But it was a close as Cal would get on this day.
The development of Range along with fellow freshman Mercedes Jefflo - whose ability to handle the ball and score while replacing Eliza Pierre's energy on defense about as well as anyone could hope for - is certainly something for Cal fans to watch as the season wears on. Gottlieb mentioned this in the press conference and it's hard not to agree: this roster might be the most versatile she's had at her disposal since returning to Cal as coach.
For more on the game, stay tuned to our Cal-Duke storystream.