New Cal coach Charmin Smith makes no bones about it: She wants guard McKenzie Forbes back.
"I think Kenzie could have an extraordinary role as a member of this basketball team," Smith said during her introductory news conference on Tuesday. "We are her family. She knows how much I lover her. She knows how much I care about her. I hope she decides to stick to this commitment and be here."
Forbes averaged 5.3 points as a freshman coming off the bench last season but announced her plans to transfer after coach Lindsay Gottlieb was hired earlier this month by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Smith, hired as Gottlieb's replacement, understands Forbes and all the Cal players went through a lot during the transition. "Change is hard," Smith conceded. "I'm hoping that me coming back will help her decide to want to stay."
Forbes would be the Bears' No. 2 returning scorer if she remains with the program. The team's only starter back is senior Jaelyn Brown, who averaged 7.9 points and 4.1 rebounds a year ago.