Nov. 7, 2012
BERKELEY - California was picked second in the first Pac-12 Media Poll, and senior guard Layshia Clarendon was selected as a Preseason All-Pac-12 honoree, the conference office announced Wednesday afternoon.
The Golden Bears received two first-place votes in the poll with defending champion Stanford selected as the preseason media favorite to win the league. The top five mirrored the Preseason Coaches' Poll with Stanford and California followed by UCLA, USC and Oregon State.
"One of the main goals we had last year as a program was to re-establish an identity for Cal basketball and to make ourselves one of the top programs on the west coast and in the country," head coach Lindsay Gottlieb said. "The accoldaes that we're getting in the preseason speaks to the way our players performed last year. That's a really positive thing. We've made Cal basketball respected and relevant and we're proud of that. That being said, we've set goals this year and what we do going forward is what matters to us. We appreciate the recognition and it's a big step for our program, but everyone at Cal is focused on having a year that puts us at a whole different level than we've ever been at."
Clarendon was one of six players named to the Preseason All-Pac-12 team. A Senior CLASS Award candidate, Clarendon helped lead California to an NCAA Second Round berth and Pac-12 runner-up finish last season in addition to being named a WBCA All-American for the first time in her career. The All-Region VIII honoree was also named to the All-Pac-12 first team, averaging 12.8 ppg. After scoring 20 points in the conference final against Stanford, she was also named to the All-Pac-12 Tournament team. Clarendon will head into the 2012-13 campaign 138 points shy of being in the top-10 in program history in career points scored (1,230).
"When people talk about Cal basketball, they know that we are deep and that we are versatile," Gottlieb said. "We're a team that enjoys sharing the wealth. But it's also nice when our individuals get recognized. There are any number of our individual players that can be mentioned as potential All-Americans and potential All-Conference, but I think it speaks to Layshia really stepping up last year and being the go-to player. There's no question that when we were at our best, Layshia was making plays. She's an incredibly complete guard. She can get to the rim, she can shoot the 3, she has a terrific mid-range game and she plays defense. It's great recognizition for her and our team, but we'd all say we want to be there at the end of the year."
Cal returns four of its starters and 11 of its letterwinners from last year's squad that went 25-10 and 13-5 in the Pac-12. Earning the No. 2 seed in for the Pac-12 Conference Tournament, the Bears advanced to the championship game for the second time in program history.
No. 13/15 Cal opens the regular season on Friday, Nov. 9 when Lehigh visits Haas Pavilion. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m., and any fan with a Washington or Oregon game football ticket will be admitted for free. Dave Williams will make the call on CalBears.com, and the game will be streamed live on the Pac-12 Platform at http://pac-12.com/live/calbears.aspx. Single game, season ticket and mini-plan packages are available through the Cal Athletic Ticket Office or by calling 1-800-GO-BEARS.
2012 Preseason Media Poll Results