Cal Women's Basketball Video: New Coach Charmin Smith Must Alter the Bears' Style
Charmin Smith's task in her first head-coaching experience will not be easy. Cal lost it top four scorers, including Kristine Anigwe, a second-team All-American and a first-round WNBA draft pick.
A year ago, the top priority in every Cal possession was to get Anigwe the ball in the low post and give her some room to maneuver near the basket.
Obviously, Cal cannot do that this season, and Smith was quick to respond to the question of whether Cal's style will change dramatically this season.
"Yes," she said in the video. "Last year we focused pretty much on getting Kristine Anigwe the ball, so we're going to be doing some other things this year."
Smight sees some advantages to a more balanced attack.
"We'll be a lot more difficult for opposing teams to scout," Smith said, "because they don't know if it is going to Sara (Anastasieksa), is it going to Jaelyn (Brown), is it going to CJ (West).
"So I think that will make us harder to guard, give some people the opportunity to have some freedom on the court."
Just creating a starting lineup will be a chore, and fresmen will have to play an important role.
"We lost four starters so inevitably there's going to have to be changes to fill those roster spots," Smith said.
One of the players Smith mentioned is Anastasieksa. She missed all of last season and much of the 2017-18 season with back problems. She claims to be healthy now, and the Bears and Smith no doubt rely on Anastasieksa and her outside shooting.
Because of the lack of proven players the Bears were picked to finish 11th in the conference in the preseason coaches poll.