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Cal Women's Basketball

Bears' Stellar 2020 Class Gets Deeper With Swedish Guard, Alma Elsnitz

April 2, 2020
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For the second time in their stellar 7th ranked 2020 class, the Bears dipped into international waters for backcourt talent with their newest commit -5’11” Swedish combo guard Alma Elsnitz. She’ll be joining Albanian point guard Ornella Muta and an amazingly-talented froncourt quartet of 5 star 6’4” forward Delayah Daniels and 5 star forward Michelle Onyiah along with 5 star 6’3” post Fatou Samb and 4 star 6’8” post Sela Heide.

“Cal reached out to me in the beginning of the year,” said Elsnitz. “We started talking and already the first time I spoke to Coach Charmin, it all felt really good. Me and Coach Charmin were supposed to meet each other at a tournament that I was going to play in Riga in the beginning of March. Unfortunately because of the corona virus, the tournament got canceled and so was my planned visit to Cal in April. Instead my visit happened virtually and I then got to know the whole coaching staff even better, as well as the campus, the dorms and all other things that I would otherwise have been able to see on a personal visit. They really made the best out of the situation and made me even more sure about my decision to commit to Cal.”

The Bears’ recruiting class helped Elsnitz comfort-level that she’d be joining a program on the rise in Cal.

“I think they are building something really good and with the potential to even become great in the years to come,” said Elsnitz. “I know we are a young team but seeing the group finishing this season the way they did, with many players that will still be on the roster next year having key roles, is encouraging and inspiring also for us freshmen.”

Often with international players, Cal’s academic reputation often gets the program on the radar first but in this case, Cal’s basketball prowess was the initial door-opener.

“To be honest, in the beginning, I knew more about Cal's great basketball program and that they played in Pac-12 than about its academic reputation,” said Elsnitz. “After my initial contact with the coaching staff at Cal. however I became more than aware, both from my parents and also from others I talked to, that Cal has this unique combination of both a top world university as well as a fantastic basketball program.

“The fact that Cal is a great academic school definitely made my decision to commit even easier. I know I will not be able to play basketball for the rest of my life, even though I wish I could, so a degree from Cal will definitely help me in my future life and career. I, therefore, feel like Cal is the perfect combination of a top academic school as well as a top basketball program in a truly competitive conference. A perfect mix!”

Playing away from home is nothing new for Elsnitz, though Berkeley will be quite a bit further than she’s used to.

“Right now I live in a small city up in the North of Sweden called Luleå,” said Elsnitz. “My family lives in Stockholm and that is also where I grew up. I moved up to Luleå -one flight hour North of Stockholm- about 3 years ago as I was admitted to the best and federation supported basketball school in Sweden called RIG Luleå.”

As a senior playing against senior-level competition a step above typical high school ball, Elsnitz averaged 16.4 points per game, shooting 45.9% from the field and 32.4% from the arc, 79.1% from the line, 6.6 rebounds per game, 3.2 assists per game and 2.5 steals per game.

“I would say that I’m a hardworking player on both ends of the floor. I’m also a strong player for my size and do have a good scoring ability/mentality and good court vision,” said Elsnitz “This season I have been both the leading scorer and the one with most assists on my team. Our record this season was overall 31-4.”

The ultimate clincher for Cal was Elsnitz’ all-around comfort level with the staff and program, even without a visit.

“A good relationship with the coaching staff is, of course, essential for me, coming from abroad and crossing the Atlantic, which I definitely feel with Cal,” said Elsnitz. “The recruiting process with them has therefore been great and I couldn’t be more excited to be a Bear!”

Other stories:

Moore Building Recruiting Momentum

Did Cal Actually Get Better In Pac-12 Play?

Discussion from...

Bears' Stellar 2020 Class Gets Deeper With Swedish Guard, Alma Elsnitz

5,697 Views | 18 Replies | Last: 6 mo ago by Schroeder71
BearBint
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All these promising young rookies! If even three of them are solid, high-ceilinged, etc., that will be great, but I'm guessing more than that.
CalFanatic
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A fully virtual/remote recruiting process. Wow. What a time to be alive.

The stat line is very in line with all of her videos on YouTube. Generally strong in all aspects of the game.
puget sound cal fan
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Elsnitz appears to possess solid basketball skills and a high hoops IQ, She also appears to be strong as her play demonstrates. Elsnitz's team also seems to play "fast", which should help her at Cal, where Charmin is geared-up to play that style. This is a good addition to a team whose talent level has dramatically improved.
ClayK
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Let's just remember that a lot of those highlights were against Albania ...
Intuit
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ClayK shows how to lace skepticism with a bit of sarcasm
IssyBear
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Don't forget that all of our recruit's videos are just against high school kids.
puget sound cal fan
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"Yup, so? (to both)
IssyBear
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Just a poor attempt at humor.
GATC
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IssyBear said:

Just a poor attempt at humor.


It thought I was pretty funny. Then again I thought ClayK was making a Dilbert joke.
IssyBear
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GATC said:

IssyBear said:

Just a poor attempt at humor.


It thought I was pretty funny. Then again I thought ClayK was making a Dilbert joke.
Well I can't disagree with it.
ClayK
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So the thread got me thinking -- how would Albania's national team compare to a strong American high school team? Or probably more to the point, fare in the Nike EYBL circuit where the Power 5 recruits play?

So first and obviously, the Albanians are much older and are experienced at the international level than any American high schooler. If Albania were to play Archbishop Mitty, say, I'm guessing Albania wins with strength and experience. Though I think it would be an interesting game.

But more to the point, I think, is how would the Power 5 Mitty players (there are two, most likely) look against Albania? Would they be able to do the things Elsnitz did?

My sense is yes, because the athletic advantage the Mitty girls enjoy would allow them to get to the rim, create shots and space, and defend.

At the EYBL level, though, I think Albania would struggle with the sheer athleticism of the Americans. Remember, most EYBL teams are stacked with Power 5 players and elite mid-majors (Anya Choice, my Player of the Year in Northern California for Cardinal Newman, came off the bench for the Cal Stars), and that league is where difference-makers in the Pac-12 come from.

Bottom line: I would like to see some Elnitz highlights against very athletic players to see if she can duplicate the success she had against experienced, stronger players. I have no opinion either way, really, and if there is a season next year, we'll find out soon enough.
HoopDreams
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ClayK said:

So the thread got me thinking -- how would Albania's national team compare to a strong American high school team? Or probably more to the point, fare in the Nike EYBL circuit where the Power 5 recruits play?

So first and obviously, the Albanians are much older and are experienced at the international level than any American high schooler. If Albania were to play Archbishop Mitty, say, I'm guessing Albania wins with strength and experience. Though I think it would be an interesting game.

But more to the point, I think, is how would the Power 5 Mitty players (there are two, most likely) look against Albania? Would they be able to do the things Elsnitz did?

My sense is yes, because the athletic advantage the Mitty girls enjoy would allow them to get to the rim, create shots and space, and defend.

At the EYBL level, though, I think Albania would struggle with the sheer athleticism of the Americans. Remember, most EYBL teams are stacked with Power 5 players and elite mid-majors (Anya Choice, my Player of the Year in Northern California for Cardinal Newman, came off the bench for the Cal Stars), and that league is where difference-makers in the Pac-12 come from.

Bottom line: I would like to see some Elnitz highlights against very athletic players to see if she can duplicate the success she had against experienced, stronger players. I have no opinion either way, really, and if there is a season next year, we'll find out soon enough.
interesting point. I don't know anything about the int'l games, but when I see Elnitz play, she doesn't strike me as particularly athletic, fast or quick. I don't see her driving to the rack and scoring. But she looks fundamental in a way that enables many of the top international players to be very successful in D1.
IssyBear
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HoopDreams said:

ClayK said:

So the thread got me thinking -- how would Albania's national team compare to a strong American high school team? Or probably more to the point, fare in the Nike EYBL circuit where the Power 5 recruits play?

So first and obviously, the Albanians are much older and are experienced at the international level than any American high schooler. If Albania were to play Archbishop Mitty, say, I'm guessing Albania wins with strength and experience. Though I think it would be an interesting game.

But more to the point, I think, is how would the Power 5 Mitty players (there are two, most likely) look against Albania? Would they be able to do the things Elsnitz did?

My sense is yes, because the athletic advantage the Mitty girls enjoy would allow them to get to the rim, create shots and space, and defend.

At the EYBL level, though, I think Albania would struggle with the sheer athleticism of the Americans. Remember, most EYBL teams are stacked with Power 5 players and elite mid-majors (Anya Choice, my Player of the Year in Northern California for Cardinal Newman, came off the bench for the Cal Stars), and that league is where difference-makers in the Pac-12 come from.

Bottom line: I would like to see some Elnitz highlights against very athletic players to see if she can duplicate the success she had against experienced, stronger players. I have no opinion either way, really, and if there is a season next year, we'll find out soon enough.
interesting point. I don't know anything about the int'l games, but when I see Elnitz play, she doesn't strike me as particularly athletic, fast or quick. I don't see her driving to the rack and scoring. But she looks fundamental in a way that enables many of the top international players to be very successful in D1.
Re-watched her highlights and I think she is adequately athletic, she played solid D with good footwork, and ran down the court well when she turned it on. She is not point guard quick, but she is not too far off from some very successful college players of her size. My concern is that from the videos I've seen, the height of her competition is not comparable to what she will be seeing in the PAC-12. I saw very few tall players, and none that were dominant. Her release point on most of her drives was waist high and she leaned-in on her 3 pt shot. Unless she is wide open, these will be blockable. The one thing that stands out is her intensity. She seems to love to play the game. In the Justin Wilcox terminology, she is Our Kind Of Guy Women.
annarborbear
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As with Chen Yue, Sara A. and Evelien, we will just have to wait and see what they've got.
dimitrig
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Well... Ornella Muta is Albanian and signed with Cal so I hope they aren't horrible!

From her highlights she reminds me of a very solid PG with quick hands, a good handle, and excellent BB IQ. Her shooting is a weakness. She is sort of slow, but I don't think that will hurt her as she has a good ability to change pace to keep defenders off balance.

She is sort of a Swedish high school Jeremy Lin. I would consider that a compliment.




HoopDreams
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dimitrig said:


Well... Ornella Muta is Albanian and signed with Cal so I hope they aren't horrible!

From her highlights she reminds me of a very solid PG with quick hands, a good handle, and excellent BB IQ. Her shooting is a weakness. She is sort of slow, but I don't think that will hurt her as she has a good ability to change pace to keep defenders off balance.

She is sort of a Swedish high school Jeremy Lin. I would consider that a compliment.






I watched much of the game between Alma's team and Ornella's team

I was impressed with Alma's game, but not so much with Ornella. She seemed to force it, and take wild forays into the paint, and didn't look strong enough to defend pac12 guards
ncbears
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Schroeder71
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HD-I believe Sweden had a much stronger team than Albania. It's hard to evaluate a player in such a situation.
You may be correct in your comparison but we shall see in November IF women's basketball is played next season...GO BEARS!
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