Cal women's hoops is keeping its poise

Dhon Santos/Santos Photography

SAN FRANCISCO – In the Cal women’s basketball offices rest the trophies from the 2013 Pac-12 Championships and the 2013 Final Four. According to assistant coach Charmin Smith, players bring recruits into the office and let them know, “I want another one of those.”

The bar definitely has been raised since Cal went on a breakout run to a shared regular-season conference championship and made the trip to New Orleans last season: The Golden Bears are seen as a lock to challenge Stanford for the Pac-12 title, according to Cal's second-place finish behind the Card in the coaches' poll. But despite the added expectations and pressure that come with great performances, Cal is keeping its poise.

“The standards are a lot higher. We are a lot more confident as a program, but it’s still Cal basketball,” said assistant coach Charmin Smith, who has been instrumental in coaching the program to the top three individual seasons in school history.

Since playing in the Final Four, junior guard Brittany Boyd, one of three returning starters from last year's squad, is eager to make her mark during the 2013-14 season.

“Nothing has changed – we still have the same standards – but now we have to figure out how to use the weapons we have to get to where we want to go," Boyd said.