Bears allowed UCLA back into the game then closed out the Bruins! Payback, baby!
Bears allowed UCLA back into the game then closed out the Bruins! Payback, baby!
Best thing about the game we won! Game was ugly ! Per coach lindsay "UCLA does a really good job of making you play ugly". Sorry can't put all of the blame on the Ruins ..we contributed a lot with our 25to and our stagnant have court game.
Other game thing about the game...was coach feller, coaches, and most of the VB team watching on game.
Last edited by OBear073akaSMFan; 02-10-2012 at 05:58 AM.
The best part of the win - besides the win - was hitting free throw down the stretch - those "free" throws have been such a nemesis for so long.
in her post-game comments. But, ucla is not the reason for the ugly win. ucla did not force Cal to play ugly. Lindsay's team showed an alarming willingness to play ugly in this game. the 25 TO's only tell half the story. The other half is Cal's willingness to play ignorant situational basketball. They rushed shots when they did not have to. They made stupid, unnecesary passes. They played horribly against the ucla press. Had problems inbounding the ball. And constantly failed to recognize what needed to be done late in he game when they saw their 10 point lead dwindle to 2 points, due almost exclusively to their own ineptitude. I wouldn't trade Boyd for any other freshman PG, but she made terrible late game decisions and needs to really learn from this game. Great players recognize game situations and adjust to them. Simple as that.
Good to get the win. But, ucla is not a good team and we should have beaten them going away. Hope we have our brains fully engaged Saturday against SC.
I can't believe UCLA pressed us with only 7 players available. They were more effective with the press than us..especially on throwing the ball in. The other problem UCLA continue to drive towards the hoop...but our weakside help instead of stepping to help they stayed with their own player....leaving an open lane for the driver. I can only assuming that is how Lindsay is teaching the players because everyone but Brittany was doing it..no weak side support!
Last edited by OBear073akaSMFan; 02-10-2012 at 08:59 AM.
That's hard to figure, OBear, since Lindsay and her staff have probably been coaching and drilling defensive fundamentals all season.
Gocal, I have seen Brittany play several times, both in high school and as a freshman at Cal. When you say you hope she learns from her 11 turnover game last night, I really wish I could share your optimism. Her "out of control" play has remained basically the same since the first time I saw her in a Berkeley High game. The coaching staff at Cal has certainly not been able to instill any improvement. Yes, her aggressiveness on occasion pays dividends, but IMHO the net result in many respects is a liability. She must play smarter to drastically cut down on her il-advised passes, silly charging fouls, and sometimes careless play.
Brittany could be such a wonderful player - speed, strength, hustle, occasionally a good finisher, and potentially effective with the ball when she doesn't try to do too much. And she really is an excellent defender , easily staying with her defensive assignment and making frequent steals. Her outside shooting, however, continues to be very questionable.
I'll be pulling for Brittany to make the improvements that could help her become one of the top Div 1 point guards. I just wish I could see a more encouraging trend in this direction.
Lafy, I'm not sure it's Brittany that needs to make the improvement. The other players got caught several times not watching where the ball was going. They need to be more aware that those passes come quick and hard and be ready for them.
Can the bigs catch better? Sure they can. Just like Brit can use better judgement with her passes. The thing that bothered me last night was Brit forcing the play when there was no reason to do so. In fact, the only way that ragtag Ruin bunch got back into the game was thanks to Cal playing like they were down by 10 rather than up by 10 in the closing 5 minutes. Twice in the final 2 minutes, Boyd made quick ill-advised passes that were not going to be caught, even by Gray, who catches just about everything Boyd throws at her. At that point in the game, the score and clock is your friend. Why act like your hair's on fire, when it is actually the other team that is at the disadvantage? Boyd should have understood this and backed the ball out, set up the offense and ran clock. Would have been a lot less drama and an easy win. For once, we were hitting our FTs and our FG % in the 2nd have was excellent. So, why panic? Especially on your home court?
These are the situations Boyd needs to recognize in order to be a top flight PG. Heck, if she gets smarter with running the team, becomes more conisistent with her FTs and develops even an average outside shot, she could be All-World. But, it's time to at least play smarter. Our freshmen have almost an entire season under their belts and the adjustment period should be behind them. Playoffs and NCAA's are on the horizon. Time to step it up!
My take is that the team and Brittany have definitely learned and improved over the course of the season. But I think that applied knowledge becomes very situational, and maybe the players are still struggling to recognize that.
Here's what I mean: The UCLA game served as a particular mile-marker obviously because we lost to them earlier. So I think the players went into it focused on correcting the mistakes they made in that previous match-up. As I believe WayneBear pointed out, Cal was out-toughed in that game. So for Reshanda, in the first half, it was making sure she is strong with the ball after rebounds. Sure enough, Markel Walker tried to rip it from her, and Gray protected it like a cub with her body and extended elbows. Walker mugged her, but no call was made until Walker finally reached in for a steal and got whistled (which I thought was a bad call, btw). Then the next time she got a rebound, instead of learning that she got bailed out against Walker (or that she found the right level of aggressiveness for these refs), Gray got even more demonstrative with her elbows and got called for an offensive foul. So on the one hand, did Gray learn from the debacle in LA? I would say yes, she learned that she needed to be stronger with the ball. But has she learned to make in-game adjustment to the refs and situation. In this case, no. But then again, Gray's determination to be aggressive carried over into other parts of her game and saved the Bears early in the second half.
OK, with Boyd, maybe the same thing. She had a horrible game in LA, and the Bear offense was so ineffective there, especially when forced to operate in the half-court against that zone. So maybe Boyd's lesson from that game was that to attack whenever you got the chance, before UCLA could set up. Again, this served the Bears well early in the second half. But then later in the game, maybe she still had that mentality. When she broke the press, instead of realizing time and situation and that either running off clock or throwing up a shot (Brandon was running with her in one sequence) would be a better choice, she tried to pass and committed those turnovers. Who knows, maybe she didn't take the shot bc is a pass-first guard or maybe bc she knows she's not good at the line, should she get fouled. And maybe if she had pulled the ball back out and then we chucked up a forced shot and came away with nothing anyway, today we would be saying, "Boyd had a two on one, pass the ball! Don't play not to lose!" To be fair, the way everyone on our team was throwing the ball away at that point, I'm not sure we could have run clock. One thing I will say is that Boyd was more subdued in the post-game conference than she was even after the Stanford loss, so I take that as a good sign that she's cognizant of how she could have done better, despite the win. And I do like the way she pulled herself together after those errors and ran the team and then even hit those free-throws late.
And Gray and Clarendon with 4 fouls: Layshia is rarely in foul trouble, even with the minutes she plays. But she was chasing the Bruins through multiple screens and trying to stay aggressive and picked up a couple of fouls that way. But with four fouls, she adjusted; she still managed to stay aggressive and played D with her feet, even picking up a charge late in the game. And Gray did well to avoid her 5th as well, despite UCLA putting Costa on her down low in the last few minutes.
So, while our players still haven't learned everything they need to respond perfectly to a specific situation, they are learning and improving and encouragingly, it's enough to pull out these wins. Do we wish they would not make these mistakes? Of course. But I am encouraged about the mentality of this team. While they were floundering on offense in the last 10 minutes, they actually played pretty decent defense to keep UCLA at bay. And we never got to meltdown.
For UCLA: Markel Walker is a great player and can get her own shot at any time. When they cleared out for her, she scored or got to the line. Cal had no answer except to double her. Why did she pass into turnovers instead? Well, maybe bc she's a team player or maybe she was struggling at the foul line... Or maybe bc in her mind, she just got herself a POW with a triple-double and that's how her team has won 4 in a row. But in this game, maybe she could have take over more. Maybe that's what her team needed. I'm sure their fans could also lament about lost opportunities.
On a side note, I am very impressed with the job Close is doing this season. To lose all those players and be in third place is remarkable. She has really developed her players and put them in the position to succeed. I shudder to think how they'll be next year with Dixon back and the additions of transfer Brewer and newcomer Fields.
Also, just watched the USC-Stanford game, and USC played hard. Sure, they're short-handed, but the players they have are very talented. And they are long, so Cal had better watch all those skip passes that they like to air out. Let's hope the Trojans don't get hot from long distance, either.
It's a lack of maturity, poise and discipline.