March 15, 2007
As the Golden Bears travel to the NCAA Tournament, California players will take time to sit down with CalBears.com and share their thoughts and experiences on the road. Freshman Lauren Greif is the first guest, recapping Cal's first day of the NCAA Tournament season.
It's been a long day so far, but with a lot of excitement the whole day through. We went to classes until 11 this morning, then the band sent us off on the buses and we had a long plane ride to Pittsburgh. I've been to the east coast before, but this is my first time in Pittsburgh. Even though it was a long trip here, it wasn't too bad because traveling was different than our usual trips. We flew on a charter, which was nice. It really makes you feel good. This is how it should always be done!
We found out where we were going and who we would play when we watched the Selection Show at the Bear's Lair. It was exciting with the band coming and the great atmosphere; it is hard to believe that it's us. The eight seed may not be exactly where we wanted to be, but we're going to take it and run with it. This whole experience is one of the main reasons I came to Cal; I knew that this team would make it to the NCAAs and I wanted to be a part of all this.
We had a couple of days off after the Pac-10 Tournament, which was nice to get our legs back. We started working on preparing for Notre Dame pretty early, but just a little bit at a time. We would prepare for one of their plays and then work on us, before going back to them. We tried to keep the practices short, but they weren't too short! It was good week or so of practice and I definitely think we're ready to go. We still have two more days of practice and some time to get ready and get used to the time difference, but then it's go time.
Notre Dame is a real aggressive team that wants to get to the basket; they will run in transition a lot, it will be very important for us to get back. They are very scrappy on defense; they will probably play a zone to try to defend Ash and Dev, but we'll see.
We have had people taking pictures and video-tapping us on the trip so far, which is exciting; it reminds me of an ESPN: The Season type of thing. But the main thing is for the team not to get lost in all that, to stay focused. We are here for a basketball game and then another basketball game.
I have had a lot of highlights so far at Cal, but I think my first NCAA Tournament game will go pretty high on my list, even though I haven't done it yet. Probably my biggest highlight so far has been my first game, putting the Cal uniform on for the first time and playing with so many great players and just being part of the team.
Another highlight has been the Cal fans; they have been great. We have so much student support; they've been great, they showed up at the Bear's Lair, they send cards to us; it has been so much fun. We're going to continue to get more and more.
But right now, we're just getting ready to play. We're focusing on Notre Dame and getting ourselves ready to play. I am going to leave it all out on the court, it's one and done, you can't hold anything back. I just want to help spark my team, get some shots up and knock them down and just look for Dev and Ash!