I have suggested in the past in my Doughnut grades that Doughnut deserves low marks for his stewardship of women's basketball- he kept Kathy Olivier too long, then he could not keep Nikki Caldwell from leaving, and there has been a basic lack of success in this sport since Doughnut arrived. Invariably, there are favorable comments in response about Cori Close, not in rebuttal to Doughnut's grade, but in the spirit of "things will get better- Cori Close is a definite keeper."
I want this to be true. And there may be extenuating circumstances this year. But the Bruins lost tonight to $C at OPUG, to fall to 6-7 on the season. In the preseason conference poll, UCLA was picked to finish 5th, and $C was picked to finish 6th. So losing to the projected 6th best team in the conference at home doesn't bode well for this season.
It would be great if somebody who really follows this program could provide some background. Is the problem injuries? Is the problem a lean cupboard inherited by Close, who needs time to restock the shelves?
As long as Tara Vanderveer remains at Stanford, they will be a national powerhouse. Not winning the conference while she is around is no great shame. But it seems like we have taken a giant step backward compared to Cal. Lindsay Gottlieb is entering her 3rd season, same as Cori Close. The year before Gottlieb arrived, Cal was 18-16, and got bounced in the 2nd round of the women's NIT. Since she arrived, Cal is 65-17, including a trip to the NCAA Final Four.
The Bruins were 28-5 the year before Close arrived, losing in the 2nd round of the NCAA's. Since she arrived, UCLA is 46-31, and has not advanced beyond the NCAA 2nd round.
It seems to be a pretty clear picture of two programs following very divergent paths with coaches hired the same year.
Again, there could be some clear explanations as to how UCLA got to its current state, and why things will definitely turn around in the future- if not this year, then definitely next.
If Cori Close is the answer, why isn't this showing up in our record? Please help clear up my confusion. Thanks.
Go Bruins !!