Nov. 3, 2005
BERKELEY, Calif. - Cal head coach Joanne Boyle addressed the media at the team's annual tip-off media gathering. Boyle begins her first season in Berkeley after directing Richmond to three straight 20-plus win seasons.
The Bears opened 2005-06 with a 94-72 exhibition victory over the Bay Area Pro Am Nov. 2.
On the first exhibition game last night and where the team is at right now
"Obviously, we are down in numbers. It was just a matter of us going up and down the floor a little bit and trying to get a feel for where we are at this particular time. We haven't been able to go up and down as much as I would like because there has been so much teaching going on. I wished they (the Pro Am) would have played more man. We have been working on man, and they ended up playing zone the whole time. It really exposed us with some of our shortness of people; it's just something that we are going to have to work on this year in particular. Overall, I was really happy with the first half, but I thought we petered out in the second half."
On how important it was to get the team going so early in the season with such a young team
"At this point, it is good to watch film, break film down and have them see our strengths and where our mistakes were, where our growth needs to happen. It gives us a baseline to work from. Ultimately, it was good a week in advance of the NIT first game. It exposed us in some areas that we need to work on in the next couple of days."
On what you saw that you liked and disliked in the exhibition game
"Lexi (Alexis Gray-Lawson) and Ashley (Walker) are gamers. I think both of those kids being freshmen and playing as many minutes as they did and contributing as much as they did early was a bright spot. We have been spending a lot of time on defense, just principles. I felt like, except in transition when they got tired in the second half - I think we held the team to 28 points in the first half - I was pleased with how we have grown in that area. Disappointment - execution against the zone, turnovers, ability to fight through when we are tired, those are more of my main concerns."
On seeing Ashley Walker play last night
"I think the bright spot is that I didn't know what I was going to get from Ashley come game time, but I think that she is going to get a lot of minutes this year, and she will be a better sophomore, junior and senior for it."
On coming to a new program and your excitement
"I really felt that Nov. 2 you're not ready to start with half your team being freshmen, but it was good last night to have them go through a game and see what its going to be like. There is a lot of excitement with these younger kids and adapting the older kids into a new system. The people around here are so supportive and waiting for our team to do well. That is an added pressure as a coach, but at the same time, people are in tune and excited about the potential."
On the local kids in the program and if that helps the support for the team
"I think for them it does for their fan support. Hopefully, we are going to get a lot of local media coverage, and the young kids will bring a lot of media attention to the school because they are local. That's exciting. The good and the bad, they are right on top of you and everyone has an opinion about them. I guess you take the good with the bad."
On it being unique to have local kids as opposed to the previous schools Boyle has coached at
"This is the first time because I have been at two private schools and had no local kids at either one. At Richmond, we had one local kid from Virginia and at Duke we had no local kids from North Carolina. The good thing about that is you can really just run your team, not a lot of influence from outside. The good here is that there is going to be a lot of support from the community, in particular their friends and family."
On Renee Wright and her role on the team being the only senior
"Last night, Renee showed that she has played at this level. She had to play 40 minutes. It's being able to push through when you are tired. That is what she was able to do. I watched the film this morning, and she played some great defense and really helped out, just did a lot of little things without having to score a lot of points. You always need one of those connector kids on the floor for you, the blue collar, which is her for us."
On Boyle's level of patience with such a young team
"I'll learn. My thing is I am very patient with them learning things as long as they are putting forth the effort. The things I don't tolerate are being late, not working hard, those kinds of things. To me boxing out is all about heart and work ethic, running sprints at workout and trying to be first; all that blue-collar work ethic. If I see that, I am much more resilient and patient with the learning curve. If we have gone over plays and done things for three and four days and you are still making mistakes, I have issues because you are not studying the game and we are always available to come and in to talk about things. We are making progress."
On Sarah Pool and Krista Foster
"Sarah and Krista, we had them early for the first couple of weeks, and they just embraced us in terms of a staff and what we were trying to do. They have had a tough road because there has been so much hype about the freshmen. Those guys have been more of my steady, just come to practice every day, work hard, do what coach asks me, I'm going to find a role for myself. They have been great about embracing all this hype and media about the freshmen, but also letting the freshmen fall into their roles and develop their roles. They have been very resilient to evolve and develop with the changes. As a head coach, it is really nice because you are talking about half of your team being freshmen, and that is a lot to try and work through, and you don't have high maintenance upper classmen pulling you in another direction. It has been nice for us to blend all that together."