Monday, November 17, 2008

Part of our identity was missing

When your team wins by 24, all must be going well, correct?

Not necessarily.

After her ninth-ranked Bears won on Friday night, Cal's women's coach Joanne Boyle gathered her players in the lockerroom and let them have it:

"I'm really disappointed with the way we started the season. I don't care what the score is. I know my team best. It was unacceptable. I think there's a lack of focus. I think there's a lack of discipline. I think there's a lack of accountability. I think our chemistry is nowhere to be found and people are on their own page right now. We have to get on the same page if we're going to do anything this year.

This team needs to attack, not be tentative. Why do we look scared?

We've talked all year long about going in and playing Cal basketball. Until they really understand what that means, we're going to have games like this. If we say these things, talk about our mission statement in the locker room and play like this, we have to re-evaluate who we are.

I don't usually come in here and be so hard when we have a 25-point win. That is not who we are. They have to decide what they want for their season. We have to regroup. Part of it is just mentally."

Coach Boyle's team responded two nights later, downing Nevada, 67-53. After the win, she explained the difference between Friday night's game and Sunday's game:

"We had talked about the things that were missing. There was a lack of passion, a lack of energy, no one was running, there was no cheering on the bench. That was part of our identity and that was missing. I think the kids came out and were much more focused. The energy and the passion from the floor and from the players on the bench were much better."