Women's Basketball Opens Season
November 4, 1998
Mon. Nov. 9 Riverland Raiders New Arena, Oakland 6:00 p.m. Thur. Nov. 12 Alvik New Arena, Oakland 6:00 p.m.
BEARS OPEN SEASON WITH TWO EXHIBITIONS: The California womens basketball team opens the 1998-99 season with exhibition games Monday, November 9, against the Riverland Raiders of Australia, and Thursday, November 12, against Alvik of Sweden. Both games are at 6 p.m., at the New Arena in Oakland, the front end of double headers with the Cal mens basketball team.
SEASON OPENER: Cal tips off the regular season Tuesday, November 17, against Pacific at 7:30 p.m., at Kaiser Arena in Oakland. Cal has won 18-straight home openers, beginning with the 1980-81 season. In last years home opener versus Cal Poly, Cal won 94-58. Cal leads the all-time series with the Tigers, 20-2, but lost at Pacific last season, 64-63.
FOUR STARTERS RETURN: The Bears return four starters from the 1997-98 season, including two seniors and last years co-MVPs and Top 2 scorers in junior F/G Paige Bowie (11.0 ppg) and sophomore G/F Masa Radovic (10.9 ppg, 2.4 apg). Radovic was selected to the 1998 Pac-10 All-Freshman team. Senior Jennie Leander (8.5 ppg), one of the perennial rebounding leaders in the Pac-10, returns at center. Leander corralled 7.1 boards per game last season, sixth in the Pac-10 and tops for Cal for the second-consecutive season. A healthy senior Sherisse Smith (4.8 ppg/2.7 apg) leads the Bears at point guard after battling numerous injuries throughout her career. Not only is Smith relied upon as a ball distributor, she earned Cals Best Defensive Player award last season.
OTHER RETURNEES: Stanley boasts a solid contingent of young and improving players, including a pair of 5-8 sophomore backcourt players in Kenya Corley and Courtney Johnson. In the frontcourt, the Bears return senior forwards 6-0 Kobi Kennon and 6-1 Jamilla Churchill, both three-year letterwinners, along with 6-2 sophomore forward Lauren Ashbaugh, Cals top returning FG shooter at 60 percent. Junior center Geneva McDaniel (6-5) will likely redshirt the 1998-99 season.
THE NEWCOMERS: One commodity Cal added this season is size. The Bears welcome 6-4 Shavaki Jackson and 6-4 Latifa Lewis of Berkeley, 6-2 Ami Forney of Newark and 5-8 guard LaShanthi Rhodes of Houston, Texas. Jackson was a fourth team Parade All-American in 1996-97 when she led Berkeley High School to a 29-3 record and the Division I state title. Lewis earned All-City and All-Metro honors as a senior at Berkeley High School. Forney brings scoring and rebounding prowess to Cal tallying 23.0 ppg and 16.0 rpg as a senior. Rhodes adds depth to the point and a well-rounded game, averaging 20 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals as a seniors. Additionally, the Bears have a talented walk-on in Janet Franey, a 5-8 guard from San Diego. Franey averaged 29.3 points as a senior at Helix High School, third in California and first in San Diego County.
1998-99 Pac-10 Conference
Pre-Season Coaches Poll
7. Arizona State
8. Washington State
9t. Oregon State
BEAR QUICK FACTS
1997-98 Record: 6-22
Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 10/3
Starters Returning/Lost: 4/1
CAL ON RADIO: For the 17th consecutive year, KALX (90.7 FM) will carry all California home games and most of the road games. All of the Pac-10 road games are anticipated to be broadcast. Each broadcast begins five minutes prior to tip-off.
BEARS ON TV: At least five Cal games will be broadcast this season. Those games are vs. Northwestern (FSBA), Dec. 17; at Stanford (FSBA), Jan. 8, at Washington State (FSN), Jan. 23; vs. Washington State (FSBA), Feb. 18, and vs. Washington (FSN), Feb. 21.
HEAD COACH MARIANNE STANLEY: Marianne Stanley enters her third season at the helm of Cals womens basketball program. A native of Upper Darby, Pa., Stanley is a 19-year coaching veteran and winner of five national championship titles as a player (2) and coach (3). She owns a career record of 392-192 (.671), which ranks 26th in victories among all active NCAA Division I womens coaches. Stanley, 44, will become the 12th youngest coach to reach the 400 victory plateau this season.
Stanley has earned four conference coach of the year honors and national coach of the year honors kudos twice, in 1979 at Old Dominion and 1996 at Stanford.
Stanley is joined at Cal by third-year associate head coach Barbara Thaxton and first-year assistant coach Jualeah Woods.
Best time to reach Stanley: Tuesday and Wednesday from 11 a.m.- 1 p.m. by appointment scheduled through the media relations office.
BEARS PLAY AT KAISER ONE MORE YEAR: While Haas Pavilion is under construction on campus, Cal will play all of its regular season home games for one more season at the Kaiser Arena in Oakland. Kaiser seats 4,000 for basketball and is located adjacent to the Oakland Museum and across the street from Laney College.
ABOUT RIVERLAND RAIDERS : The Riverland Raiders from Adelaide, Australia, are 0-2 on their 10-game U.S. tour. The tour opened with an 87-65 loss to Cal State Fullerton and a 111-51 loss to UCLA. Prior to playing the Bears, Riverland plays UC Irvine (Nov. 4), UC Santa Barbara (Nov. 6) and Fresno State (Nov. 8). The team is comprised of players ranging from age 16-30. The Bears have a considerable size advantage as only three players are over six feet with the tallest being 6-2 Sally Mostert, who is only 16.
ABOUT ALVIK: Alvik from Stockholm Sweden at 0-3 is also off to a slow start on their nine-game U.S. tour. Alvik lost to Idaho (66-85), Washington (55-105) and Oregon (65-99). Alvik wraps up its U.S. tour against Cal and before visiting Berkeley plays Oregon State, USF, Stanford, San Jose State and St. Marys. The players range from ages 17-27. Again, the Bears have a considerable size advantage as only three players are over six feet, the tallest being 6-4 center Johanna Bjorklund.