Cal Women's Basketball: Charmin Smith Sees a Path to Competitiveness in 2019-20

Even with a roster depleted by graduation, Smith believes returning players can find ways to improve this season

New Cal women's basketball coach Charmin Smith understands what the Golden Bears won't have next season. It starts with their three leading scorers from 2018-19, led by All-American Kristine Anigwe.

But as she embarks on her debut with the Bears as their head coach -- after 12 seasons as an assistant under Joanne Boyle and Lindsay Gottlieb -- Smith looks at the glass as half full, even if others worry it may be three-quarters empty for now.

"I'm excited about really working with our young women on the little things that will help us, I think, win games in the long run," she said. "We're not going to have Kristine Anigwe next season -- I'm aware of that.

(Click here for a video on how Smith's WNBA experience affected her.)

"But there are so many places for us to get more out of what we already have that we weren't using. That's what excites me about this opportunity."

-- On the Pac-12, Smith said, "It's extremely competitive. There are a lot of teams that are really good. I think that's a positive, right? We're so motivated.You can't take a night off."

-- On recruiting: "I think it's really easy to recruit to this conference because you're playing in such a competitive environment, night in and night out."