Three of my favorite Southern California Division I teams had their final exhibition game last night, and all came out on top.
USC defeated Westmont, 77-65, behind 23 points from #23, senior Jacki Gemelos. Tugce Canitez put up a whopping 33 points for the Warriors. Ashley Corral, Briana Gilbreath and Ariya Crook added 17, 14 and 10 points, respectively, and freshman Alexyz Vaioletama grabbed nine boards for the Trojans.
UCLA beat Vanguard 81-52. Bruin junior Antonye Nyingifa exploded for 22 points and 16 rebounds, and senior Rebekah Gardner added 11 and 11. Freshman Kacy Swain came off the bench to add 17 points, and frosh Moriah Faulk put up 14.
San Diego State beat San Diego 79-60. Chelsea Hopkins, Melissa Sweat and Courtney Clements had 17, 13 and 10 points, respectively.
USC opens the season at home this Friday, as they take on Fresno State at 5 p.m.
UCLA is also home, and face McNeese State at 2 p.m. Friday in the first round of the pre-season WNIT.
San Diego State plays their first counting game Monday, as they take on Arkansas-Pine Bluff at home.
#11 Nirra Fields of Mater Dei High School has committed to UCLA. This is the third major committment for the Bruins from the class of 2012, and word has it that their recruiting class ranking is going up.
Sports Illustrated notes that new Cal Coach Lindsay Gottlieb is already making her mark on the Bears:
“Lindsay is high energy,” Barbour said. “Here’s a coach who knows how to motivate young people. She certainly is a student of the game and an outstanding coach from an X’s and O’s standpoint, but I think her real strength, and that of her staff, is their ability to connect with these young people to motivate them both athletically and academically. I just think she is the perfect fit for Cal and the sky’s the limit for the kind of success we can have as a women’s basketball program.”
And therein lies a crucial key.
Lets take a Pac-12 twitter survey…….
Washington Coach Kevin McGuff and UCLA Coach Cori Close both post on twitter, but infrequently.
Stanford Coach Tara VanDerveer and Arizona Coach Niya Butts rarely tweet.
Oregon Coach Paul Westhead doesn’t have a twitter account, but his assistant Shandrika Lee does. She posts rarely.
Arizona State Coach Charli Turner Thorne used to have a twitter, but she’s on sabbatical.
Washington State, Oregon State, Colorado and Utah coaches don’t have twitter accounts that I know about.
USC Coach Michael Cooper tweets fairly often.
Gottlieb and her three assistants – Charmin Smith, Kai Felton and Daron Park – all have twitter accounts, and post everyday. They tweet their players, each other, other coaches, and former players. They are humorous, interactive, and they demonstrate what the story talked about: they connect with young people.
This should be a fun season.