Thanks for the thoughtful and informative interview, Pearbear. It appears Layshia missed, or ignored, your question about whether her handling the point last season improved her all-around skills. Nonetheless, it's clear she found stepping into the PG role a tough grind, and it affected her ability to score. No doubt, her PG stint did force Layshia to pay more attention to her on-ball skills. Boyd's emergence and development at PG this season will enable Layshia to return to her familiar SG role with greater appreciation of the overall game from her experience at the point. She also likely reflects an appreciation by the team over Lindsay's selection as HC, and anticipation for working with Gottlieb and her staff of respected assistants. Layshia is a potentially key scorer on a talented Bear team, and the hope is that Gottlieb & Co can help to help her and the team to realize their full potential. Good work, Pear.
Haven't heard much from you this summer. Have you been away?
Hi, wvit. Yes, sorry I have been so MIA, but I have been busy with work. Actually, I decided recently to take a break from being an elementary school principal (my real job) after 15 years as a teacher and an administrator in Oakland Unified. It has been very difficult and emotional, especially since I was the founding principal of my school...
But in any case, I knew that I would not be available this spring/summer for Bear Insider. But hey, it's the quiet off-season, right? Then of course we had the most hectic off-season in years (DeNesha, Joanne, new coaches, commitments...). Thank goodness for Jim McGill!
I'll be off on vacation for the next few weeks, but I wanted to get a couple of interviews in before I go. And I do plan to continue to cover Cal wbb this coming season.
[QUOTE=puget sound cal fan;545215]Thanks for the thoughtful and informative interview, Pearbear. It appears Layshia missed, or ignored, your question about whether her handling the point last season improved her all-around skills. QUOTE]
That was probably my fault. Instead of just asking her how playing point guard helped her game, I gave her an either/or. So she chose "the second one," that she had to set aside some of her shooting-guard skills. She was very cognizant that this was a sacrifice she had to make (and was willing to make) for the good of the team, though. I could have followed up with a question about whether playing point improved her court vision, basketball IQ, leadership, etc... though, huh?
I found Layshia super "chill" (as she calls Kai). She is one of those people who probably doesn't sweat the small stuff and makes peace with things quickly. Can't wait to see what she'll do when the offense is built more around her.
Thanks, Pear. I expect the offense under LG to help to better exploit Layshia's all-around scoring ability at the SG, as well as the perimeter marksmanship of Sherbert and Lyles. The keys will be penetration and kick-outs led by Boyd, as well as passes into the post and outlets to open shooters. With a full compliment of talented bigs, scoring opportunites will open-up for other players. I think this will be fun to watch.
The biggest plus I see out of the interview is that she recognizes that she is a natural 2 and not a point. I think the biggest problem Cal had last year was her at the point. It wasn't until almost towards the end of the season that I realized that Boyle was clueless in that respect. I had just thought LC was playing the point by default. In retrospect I think Boyle always wanted to turn her into a point as evidenced by the starting her at that position the previous year the first few games.