Following their championship season in 2020-2021, California Baptist Women’s Basketball again played well last regular season. After going 23-9, they ended up losing to GCU in the semi-finals of the WAC tournament. Their excellent play was still good enough to get them into the WNIT where they lost to the University of San Diego in the first round.
Unfortunately for Coach Jarrod Olson and his squad, this offseason saw the departure of some of CBU’s best players.
Four of their top five scorers left the team this offseason, with ten players leaving in total. Ane Olaeta, Britney Thomas, and Georgia Dale all graduated this spring. Reigning WAC Player of the Year Caitlyn Harper transferred to Purdue. Also, Sydney Palma decided to stay in the WAC and head east to GCU.
However, the Lancers were able to recruit some impressive talent to join the squad in the 2022-2023 season. Along with two interconference transfers in Georgia Kehoe from Seattle and Kinsley Barrington from Southern Utah, California Baptist also picked up multiple other promising transfers. They even managed to snag Power 5 conference player Lesila Finau from Colorado.
Although the losses for the team were unfortunate, the new additions look to help Trinity San Antonio and the rest of the squad once again make a championship run.
And since this is the first year since their move to Division I that the Lancers are eligible to play in the NCAA Tournament, California Baptist certainly has their eyes on the prize.
Jarrod Olson (10th Year)
At California Baptist:
2021-2022 Season Record:
23-9 overall, 13-5 WAC
Lost in the Semifinals of the WAC Tournament. Lost in 1st round of WNIT.
Jaelyn Acker – Transferred to Furman
Nicole Avila-Ambrosi – Transferred to South Dakota
Eliana Bravington – Transferred to Cameron (D-II)
Georgia Dale – Graduated
Caitlyn Harper – Grad Transferred to Purdue
Ane Olaeta – Graduated
Sydney Palma – Grad Transferred to Grand Canyon
Britney Thomas – Graduated
Oceane Robin – Signed with Feytiat Basket 87 in France
Taylor Wu – In Transfer Portal
Kinsley Barrington 6-1, So., Transfer (Southern Utah)
Nae Nae Calhoun 5-5, Jr., Transfer (Hawaii)
Lesila Finau 5-9, Grad, Grad Transfer (Colorado)
Georgia Kehoe 6-3, RS Sr., Grad Transfer (Seattle)
Chloe Webb 5-8, Jr., Transfer (UC Irvine)
Trinity San Antonio 5-10, So., G
Brittany Klaman 5-11, Grad, G
Dorcus Wu 6-0, Jr., G
Projected Starting Lineup:
G – Trinity San Antonio
G – Chloe Webb
G – Lesila Finau
F – Kinsley Barrington
F – Georgia Kehoe
For the other teams in the WAC, this potential lineup is an intimidating one. All three guards are huge scoring threats on top of their ability to pass the ball around. The forward tandem of Barrington and Kehoe not only gives the squad some impressive height but also gives the team even more of an offensive edge.
When looking at how the off-season treated CBU, the obvious elephant in the room is the high amount of departures from the squad. Because of this, Coach Olson essentially had to rebuild the team. Luckily, the transfers the Lancers were able to secure are extremely talented.
Arguably the best transfer on paper is Chloe Webb from UCI. In her sophomore season last year, she averaged 10.2 points and led the team in rebounds with 5.7. She also earned an All-Big West honorable mention nod. She is a versatile guard that should be very fun to watch against her new WAC competition.
Something to note is both of the projected starting forwards for the Lancers are interconference transfers. Kinsley Barrington from Southern Utah only played in 5 games last season, but she showed potential to be a fantastic and impactful post presence. In her limited play, Barrington averaged 10.6 PPG and 3.8 REB. In a system where she is perhaps more comfortable, expect her to shine as one of the best forwards in the conference.
The other WAC transfer Georgia Kehoe averaged 7.0 PPG and 4.8 REB in her 25 games at Seattle last year. The 6’3” Senior adds height to an already very tall Lancer squad as well as consistent post-scoring.
Despite the obvious talent, chemistry will probably be the main thing that could keep this team from having real success this season.
When we interviewed Coach Olson last week, he mentioned how building chemistry with his essentially entirely new team is of utmost importance. Before the season starts, the squad has a trip planned to Italy to get in some reps and get to know each other better. This will certainly help the team gel, and only time will tell if chemistry, or lack thereof, will affect what could be a very dangerous squad.
Areas of Improvement:
One of the main things the Lancers will want to improve this season is their defense. Last season, CBU allowed 69.2 points per game (2nd most in the conference). They also allowed the most rebounds in the conference with 41.9. This is definitely a pair of stats Coach Olson would like to improve upon this year.
Considering offensively they were number one in the WAC last season with 75.6 points per game, the defense is what kept them from making another championship run. Bettering their ability to keep opponents’ scoring at bay could truly be the difference maker for this new-look Lancer squad.