I watched the Cal at #17 Rutgers game online today. The Scarlet Knights looked better than they have in years in their 73-70 victory. The Cal Bears were ridiculously good considering how young they are. Basketball veterans have been here before…..you can see the potential of the team, and it’s frightening. Three of the four Bears in double figures weren’t starters, and two of them – Brittany Boyd and Reshanda Gray – are freshmen.
The future is bright in Northern California, indeed.
Meanwhile, back in that area, Stanford forward Nnemkadi Ogwumike erupted for 33 points in the #5 Cardinal’s defeat of visiting Gonzaga, 76-61.
#10 Maryland avenged last season’s NCAA Tournament loss to #11 Georgetown by beating them 72-53.
Baylor Coach Kim Mulkey collected her 300th win in her team’s 91-31 thrashing of Chattanooga.
Oklahoma’s Whitney Hand is back in convincing style, putting up 18 points today in the Sooner’s 117-55 pounding of Sacramento State.
Maybe UCLA isn’t so bad after all: they’re 2-0 after beating Tennessee Tech today, 74-52. Rebekah Gardner had a career-high 21 points and 10 rebounds to pace the Bruins, and Antonye Nyingifa added 16. Sophomore Thea Lemberger and freshman Kacy Swain also stepped up.
For the rest of you Pac-12 aficionados, Oregon upended Cal Poly, 102-93; Washington State took out Cynthia Cooper-Dyke’s UNC Wilmington team, 72-60; Arizona State pulled out a 56-52 overtime win against Colorado State; and Oregon State put one on Montana State, 83-53.
Tennessee defeated Pepperdine 89-57. But the bigger stories are that 1. Coach Pat Summitt received the Mildred “Babe” Didrikson Zaharias Courage Award before the contest began, and 2. She is no longer speaking to the media after games – she’s leaving that to her assistants:
Summitt didn’t address the media after the game and plans to rely on her longtime assistants to handle postgame news conferences among their other expanded duties this season.
Associate head coach Holly Warlick channeled Summitt easily during her interview, criticizing the Lady Vols’ defensive efforts.
“I thought today we played in spurts,” Warlick said. “We came out in the second half and shot the ball really, really well, but I’m really disappointed in our one-on-one defense. We put a lot of time in on that, and we just weren’t very good.”
The Lady Vols told Summitt in pre-season, “we have your back.”
ESPN’s Graham Hays has his standout picks for opening weekend, plus a look at the week ahead.