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RE: Gopher Basketball (Womens)

 
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RE: Gopher Basketball (Womens) - 2/7/2020 9:55:21 AM   
SoMnFan


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I just saw highlights, and Lindsay was very visible
Engaged, angry, supportive, and victorious
Typical Lindsay stuff. A Minnesota treasure. She's probably doubting some things this year … I hope she doesn't.

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RE: Gopher Basketball (Womens) - 2/7/2020 10:16:20 AM   
TJSweens


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mr. Ed

I don’t read much besides scores.

Any feedback on how she’s doing as a coach?

The poor baby quitting the team has hurt, but she’s getting some wins.


The rumblings I have heard are that Lindsay showed great restraint in waiting as long as she did to suspend Pitts.

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RE: Gopher Basketball (Womens) - 2/7/2020 10:20:02 AM   
Mr. Ed


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quote:

ORIGINAL: TJSweens

quote:

ORIGINAL: Mr. Ed

I don’t read much besides scores.

Any feedback on how she’s doing as a coach?

The poor baby quitting the team has hurt, but she’s getting some wins.


The rumblings I have heard are that Lindsay showed great restraint in waiting as long as she did to suspend Pitts.



I’m sure a lot was said in the locker room that stayed there.

Pitts pushing a long time seems like a prima Donna move.

Then the hammer hit

And

Ooh I’m a victim!

Have seen this a lot.
Little patience for this.

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RE: Gopher Basketball (Womens) - 2/7/2020 11:42:41 AM   
TJSweens


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The encouraging thing is that two Whalen freshman recruits are leading the way. Sara Scalia from Stillwater has been starting all year. Jasmine Powell, who was the star recruit, took Pitts' place in the lineup as has been putting up big numbers.

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RE: Gopher Basketball (Womens) - 2/14/2020 7:10:00 PM   
Mr. Ed


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AD gets a 2 year extension

Whalen gets another year ext today

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RE: Gopher Basketball (Womens) - 2/18/2020 7:52:26 AM   
SoMnFan


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mr. Ed

AD gets a 2 year extension

Whalen gets another year ext today

When do we slide her over to the mens program?

(I'm only half kidding)
(In fact, I may not be kidding, at all)

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RE: Gopher Basketball (Womens) - 2/18/2020 8:13:15 AM   
TJSweens


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quote:

ORIGINAL: SoMnFan

quote:

ORIGINAL: Mr. Ed

AD gets a 2 year extension

Whalen gets another year ext today

When do we slide her over to the mens program?

(I'm only half kidding)
(In fact, I may not be kidding, at all)

She is definitely experiencing growing pains with this program right now.

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RE: Gopher Basketball (Womens) - 2/18/2020 8:18:16 AM   
Mr. Ed


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quote:

ORIGINAL: TJSweens

quote:

ORIGINAL: SoMnFan

quote:

ORIGINAL: Mr. Ed

AD gets a 2 year extension

Whalen gets another year ext today

When do we slide her over to the mens program?

(I'm only half kidding)
(In fact, I may not be kidding, at all)

She is definitely experiencing growing pains with this program right now.


While Pitino is just painful

Another 500 season for the men

And the future doesn’t inspire

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RE: Gopher Basketball (Womens) - 2/18/2020 8:32:22 AM   
TJSweens


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Agreed. At least with Whalen, you see her recruits stepping up as freshmen to take the lead. Powell and Scalia are stepping up pretty good after Pitts left.

Pitts played with a sense of entitlement and she's gone. The Bello sisters are both seniors and will be gone after making their little solidarity stand with Pitts. Gadiva Hubbard has one more year and will be welcomed back. Other that the roster is pretty much freshmen right now.

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RE: Gopher Basketball (Womens) - 2/18/2020 8:51:42 AM   
twinsfan


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Gopher men are much more relevant than I thought they would be this season.

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RE: Gopher Basketball (Womens) - 3/4/2020 5:37:29 PM   
Mr. Ed


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Broke the losing streak with a big 2nd half/20 point win in the conference tournament. Good for them.

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RE: Gopher Basketball (Womens) - 3/23/2020 4:27:07 PM   
Phil Riewer


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http://www.startribune.com/ivy-league-transfer-laura-bagwell-katalinich-finds-right-fit-back-home-with-gophers/569015592/

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RE: Gopher Basketball (Womens) - 3/24/2020 4:26:21 PM   
kgdabom

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Phil Riewer

http://www.startribune.com/ivy-league-transfer-laura-bagwell-katalinich-finds-right-fit-back-home-with-gophers/569015592/

Good Stats at Cornell. Hopefully that will translate to the Big 10/

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RE: Gopher Basketball (Womens) - 3/27/2020 10:33:55 AM   
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Former Minnetonka star Kayla Mershon (
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RE: Gopher Basketball (Womens) - 3/27/2020 10:35:01 AM   
Phil Riewer


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Nebraska center Kayla Mershon, a former Minnetonka prep star, to transfer to Gophers
Whether the 6-3 center will be eligible next season is uncertain.
By STAFF and WIRE SERVICES MARCH 27, 2020 — 8:40AM
Another former Minnesota high school girls basketball star is headed back home.

Kayla Mershon, a 6-3 center who just completed her sophomore season at the University of Nebraska, announced on her Instagram page that she is transferring to play for Lindsay Whalen at the University of Minnesota.

“I want to thank Nebraska basketball for all that they’ve taught and done for me,” Mershon wrote in the Instagram post. “I have made memories and friendships there that will last a lifetime. That being said, after much deliberation I have decided to return home and continue my career as a Minnesota Gopher.”


A native of Chanhassen, Mershon was a four-time all-conference player at Minnetonka and won a Class 4A state title. She averaged 12.7 points and 9.1 rebounds in her senior season at Minnetonka.

At Nebraska she started 14 of 60 games over two seasons, averaging 2.4 points and 2.8 rebounds.

The biggest question in whether she will be eligible in the upcoming season. Normally a transfer would have to sit out a season. But the NCAA is considering a plan that would allow each athlete one transfer during their college career without having to sit a season. Even if that doesn’t happen Mershon could apply for a waiver.

Should she be eligible, Mershon would add even more depth in the frontcourt for a Gophers team much in need there with the graduation of both Taiye and Kehinde Bello. The Gophers have Klarke Sconiers, who is coming off a strong Big Ten Conference tournament as a freshman, Barbora Tomancova, and incoming freshman Erin Hedman from Wisconsin. Laura Bagwell-Kalinich, a 6-foot power forward and former Holy Angels star, has transferred to the University of Minnesota as a graduate student and will be eligible next season.

KENT YOUNGBLOOD

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RE: Gopher Basketball (Womens) - 4/16/2020 1:49:12 PM   
Mr. Ed


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Minnesota women's basketball head coach Lindsay Whalen announced Wednesday the addition of Kayla Mershon to the Gophers program. Mershon (MERR-shawn) is a 6'3 forward from Minnetonka, Minn., who spent her first two seasons at the University of Nebraska.

Mershon played in all 60 games with 15 starts in her two seasons with the Huskers. She averaged 2.4 points and 2.8 rebounds in 14.6 minutes of action per contest while shooting 35.8 percent from the floor and 30.0 percent on 3-pointers.

"Kayla brings to our program a championship pedigree from winning a state title during her high school days at Minnetonka," Whalen said. "Her experience playing in the Big Ten for two years is something we will rely on greatly."

As a sophomore, Mershon averaged 1.6 points and 2.5 rebounds while playing in all 30 games with one start. She scored a season-high five points in a win over Illinois on Feb. 22, while on Feb. 19 at Ohio State she grabbed a career-high nine rebounds and tied a career high with two steals. Mershon started the final 14 games of her freshman campaign and averaged 3.2 points and 3.0 rebounds on the season.

Playing her prep career at Minnetonka High School, Mershon was a four-time first-team All-Lake Conference honoree and was ranked the No. 14 wing nationally by ESPN. After helping lead the Skippers to a state title in 2016 by averaging a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds per contest, she recorded 12.7 points, 9.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.2 steals per game as a senior.

Mershon becomes the second transfer to the Golden Gopher program after Laura Bagwell Katalinich was added last month. The duo joins a three-member freshman class that is scheduled to be on campus this fall.


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RE: Gopher Basketball (Womens) - 7/15/2020 3:50:36 PM   
TJSweens


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Lindsay misses out on another top in state recruit. Farmington senior center Sophie Hart picked NC State over the Gophers. It looks like the Pitino virus has infected the women's program too.

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RE: Gopher Basketball (Womens) - 8/5/2020 9:47:48 AM   
Mr. Ed


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Former coach Stollings w/issues at Texas Tech



Former Gophers women's basketball coach Marlene Stollings is the subject of an investigative report published Wednesday by USA Today headlined: "Texas Tech women's basketball players describe toxic culture: 'Fear, anxiety and depression' "

Stollings left Minnesota for Texas Tech after the 2017-18 season and was replaced by Lindsay Whalen. In her four seasons with the Gophers, Stollings' teams were 82-47 and made two appearances in the NCAA tournament.

The USA Today report stated: "In a series of season-ending exit interviews, players alleged a culture of abuse in the Texas Tech program since Stollings took over in April 2018. They say a toxic atmosphere has prompted an exodus of players, including 12 of 21 leaving the program, seven of whom were recruited under Stollings. Two players detailed these allegations to the NCAA and were granted waivers allowing them to play the next season."

USA Today reporters Jori Epstein and Daniel Libit partnered with a college sports investigative outlet called The Intercollegiate, which obtained exit interviews with Texas Tech players through a public records request.

Allegations against Stollings are her staff includes sexual harassment by a strength and conditioning coach who has since resigned, foreign players saying they were ridiculed and a player who said she was "admonished by coaches for displaying symptoms of depression."

One former Texas Tech player, Mia Castenada, who transferred to Washburn University in Kansas, told USA Today: “They were breaking not just athletes, they were breaking people. And they didn’t realize that.”

A committee at the school was formed to review the allegation and athletics director Kirby Hocutt told USA Today: "I have thoroughly discussed this review with coach Stollings and am confident that we are taking appropriate steps to improve the relationship and communication between coaches and student-athletes so that we can continue to grow the success of our program both on and off the court."

Stollings said in a statement published in the article: "We know change is difficult and that has been no different at Texas Tech. Some wonderful young women have decided to leave our program and pursue their dreams elsewhere. I hope they have found everything they are looking for at their new destination. Our administration and my staff believe in the way we are building and turning this program around here. Our student athletes are developing a disciplined approach both on and off the court."

Texas Tech has a 31-27 record in two seasons at Texas tech, including 10-24 in the Big 12 Conference.


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RE: Gopher Basketball (Womens) - 8/5/2020 10:07:03 AM   
TJSweens


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I read that article too. It sounds like Stollings wound up being Pam Borton II.

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RE: Gopher Basketball (Womens) - 8/5/2020 12:39:52 PM   
Mr. Ed


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quote:

ORIGINAL: TJSweens

I read that article too. It sounds like Stollings wound up being Pam Borton II.



They had kids pissed off w/new coach

U had kids pissed off w/new coach

Hmmm

trying to instill some discipline and new expectations and behaviors didn't work so well with some players.

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RE: Gopher Basketball (Womens) - 8/6/2020 7:14:34 AM   
Phil Riewer


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Geno is about the only one that can get away with it. Weird that Stollings didn't remember they are still young ladies with crazy hormones at times. The coaches had to back off at times and if they are too strict at the wrong times the girls would just quit.

It was weird how fast they wanted to get Lindsey in over Stollings and maybe we now know why....

< Message edited by Phil Riewer -- 8/6/2020 7:15:41 AM >


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RE: Gopher Basketball (Womens) - 8/7/2020 6:23:03 AM   
Mr. Ed


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And Stollings is fired at TTech

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RE: Gopher Basketball (Womens) - 8/7/2020 12:43:37 PM   
Mr. Ed


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mr. Ed

And Stollings is fired at TTech


Former Gophers player Annalese Lamke, who played under Stollings at Minnesota and was a graduate assistant coach last season at Bethel University, sent this tweet Wednesday which was retweeted by several of her former Gophers teammates:

Unfortunately, these type of incidents weren’t just isolated to Texas Tech... Administrators must do a better job researching who they are hiring to protect their athletes!

Winning doesn’t make a good coach.

Shekinah Henry, who played for Stollings at VCU, tweeted Friday about her experience:

Waking up hearing Coach Stollings was fired from @TexasTech. I'm wearing a VCU practice jersey. Why do I still hold on to gear that was used to make me think that verbal abuse was ok? A testament to the mind games of collegiate athletics. We hold in pain and pretend it's pride


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RE: Gopher Basketball (Womens) - 10/16/2020 1:26:34 PM   
TJSweens


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Five-star additions expected to boost Gophers women’s basketball
Coach Lindsay Whalen’s third season could be a breakthrough year.

By ANDY GREDER | agreder@pioneerpress.com | Pioneer Press
PUBLISHED: October 15, 2020 at 4:13 p.m. | UPDATED: October 15, 2020 at 4:14 p.m.

A talent infusion is hitting the Gophers women’s basketball program with the addition of two five-star recruits: guard Alexia Smith and forward Kadi Sissoko.

Sissoko is a 6-foot-2 redshirt sophomore, Paris native and transfer from Syracuse in the 2018 recruiting class, and Smith is a 5-foot-8 true freshman guard from Columbus, Ohio, in the 2020 class. Together, they could help head coach Lindsay Whalen in a breakthrough third season.

After the Gophers’ first official practice on Wednesday, Whalen, who has a 37-26 record at the U, praised that pair but was careful not to go overboard.

“I think (Sissoko) can have a huge impact not only on our team but on the conference,” Whalen said. “I have to measure my expectations and I have to remember that she hasn’t played in two years, and so she is working and she is getting there. She is a great kid, great team locker-room person, so that has been fun just to see her grow into that as well.”


Sissoko overcame a knee injury early in her freshman year to average 3.2 points, 1.8 rebounds and 9.6 minutes in 22 games for the Orange in 2018-19. Whalen mentioned that Sissoko wasn’t able to practice much due to severe COVID-19 lockdowns in France last spring.

Smith, Whalen said, “is strong, sturdy, someone that can handle the ball at” point guard or shooting guard.

“She is now just getting acclimated a little bit to the speed of the game at this level,” the coach added. “But she is someone who is going to be in the rotation and someone that is going to have an opportunity to have an impact on the team, as well.”

While the Gophers are patient with Sissoko and Smith, they will count on sophomore guards Jasmine Powell and Sara Scalia of Stillwater, as well as senior guard Gadiva Hubbard.

Powell gave her impressions of Sissoko and Smith. “I really think that Kadi’s length is going to be great for us. Alexia is really fast, as well. She is a great on-ball defender. … Driving is both of their best suits. Being able to help us in fast breaks and everything is going to be big for us.”

Despite uncertainty cast on the season by coronavirus, Whalen praised the commitment Powell and Scalia showed with their fitness.

“It just shows their dedication and commitment,” she said. “… You are happy they are on your team because they are two of the players that can help lead, now, the freshman class and some transfers coming in. I think it goes to show how much they love the game, how much they want to make a mark here. They want to have legendary careers here. They want to leave a legacy. Those are two players that want that.”

Whalen’s second season was sidetracked by the suspension and transfer of leading scorer Destiny Pitts. The U finished 15-16.

“That was a year filled with a lot of adversity,” said Whalen, who went to the Final Four as a player at the U and then won four WNBA championships with the Lynx. “Everywhere I’ve been before (and) won, there has been adversity. I look back and it was definitely a situation that I feel badly about. I never want to have that happen again.”

Whalen said her two seasons as a coach gives her a better understanding of what needs to be done with six newcomers this season.

“You have been through it a couple of times now,” she said. “You have a little better grasp of what is going on, and although it’s a pandemic, everybody is going through it. … I feel really energized.”


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RE: Gopher Basketball (Womens) - 10/29/2020 11:02:00 AM   
Mr. Ed


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Lindsay Whalen's attempt to close borders in recruiting is starting to pay off
The Gophers coach, unlike her predecessor, highly values top Minnesota recruits.



In April 2018, when Lindsay Whalen was hired as Gophers women’s basketball coach, Mallory Heyer was a Chaska eighth-grader. Whalen wasted little time making a connection.

“Right when she got the job she reached out to me,” Heyer said this week, days after committing to the Gophers’ recruiting class of 2022, choosing Minnesota ahead of a slew of offers from other schools, including Utah, Iowa and Iowa State. “It was right away. She started recruiting me, we built a good relationship. It just felt right.”

Days after the 6-1 Chaska forward committed, it was Nia Holloway’s turn. Tall and athletic, the 6-1 forward from Eden Prairie had 10 Division I offers, seven of which were from schools in Power Five conferences.

But her first offer came, a long time ago, from Whalen, who started recruiting her right away, too. Holloway had been in the stands at Williams Arena in 2017 when Whalen and the Minnesota Lynx won their fourth WNBA title. As a young girl, she went to Gophers games but never really thought she’d play here. That changed when Whalen took over. Last week she became the second Minnesotan in Whalen’s 2022 recruiting class.

But maybe not the last.

“My final decision was made off wanting to be a part of something special that could happen in Minnesota,” Holloway said. “From wanting to stay home, be around family, knowing they could come watch me play. I think that would be super exciting.”

When Whalen took the job she promised to mine Minnesota for talent, something her predecessor, Marlene Stollings, didn’t do. While there have been notable misses on in-state recruits and work remains to be done, Whalen has been as good as her word.


Making inroads

“On a scale of one to 10, it’s been an 11,” said Carl Pierson, executive director of the Minnesota Girls Basketball Coaches Association. “One of the very first things she and her staff did was invite in our executive board, sit us down and say, ‘What do we need to do to best connect with high school coaches throughout our state?’ They went right to the source. They demonstrated an interest.”

Whalen and her coaches went to state coaching clinics. They connected with local AAU programs. There was a lot of ground to make up.

Stollings didn’t have much of a relationship with local coaches. She inherited Minnesota natives Carlie Wagner and Rachel Banham, and she brought back some Minnesotans as transfers, but she didn’t do much recruiting in the state and the feeling was she didn’t make much of an effort to build relationships with coaches and AAU programs.

“She didn’t have the time of day for anybody,” Pierson said. “Lindsay has been different. It’s night and day. And it’s very welcome.”

Nick Storm is the co-director and founder of the Minnesota Fury AAU team, which Heyer plays for. He said Minnesota coaches felt “scorned” by Stollings.

“Whalen and her staff have gone out of their way to reach out to people,” he said. “They’ve gone out of their way to be visible. And they’re talking to all the kids, not just the top kids.”

Bill Larson is the director of the North Tartan AAU program, which counts Holloway as a member. He said Whalen has been in constant contact.

“It’s refreshing,” he said. “And there is a much better vibe in the state right now when it comes to the Gophers. “People are starting to believe this is going to be a build, and they want to be a part of it.”


But the process takes time. Big-time recruiting starts in the seventh or eighth grades; relationships build slowly.

That helps explain why the Gophers didn’t get a number of top Minnesotans immediately after Whalen was hired. Star 2020 recruit Paige Bueckers was already well down the road with Connecticut, for example. Rochester Lourdes star Alyssa Ustby chose North Carolina over the Gophers in the same class.

With the 2021 class, the Gophers were in on, but didn’t get Farmington’s Sophie Hart — who instead picked North Carolina State. But one of Whalen’s first recruits was Stillwater guard Sara Scalia, who had a strong freshman season last year.

Whalen’s 2021 recruiting class includes Roseau guard Katie Borowicz and Watertown-Mayer guard Maggie Czinano. The bonds formed early with Heyer and Holloway have borne fruit, with the Gophers getting both of the in-state recruits to verbally commit.

As Pierson noted, Minnesota produces about 40 Division 1 players a year. Of those, five to 10 are Power Five conference-caliber players. Maya Nnaji, a 6-4 Hopkins junior and top-10 national recruit in the 2022 class who has yet to commit, is a prime example.


“If the U can snag three of those kids a year, they have a heck of a program,” Pierson said. “They’ve demonstrated they’re on the path to doing that.”

Start of something big?

Holloway and Heyer have played against each other for years, both in AAU and in high school. They don’t know each other well, but there is mutual respect, which is why Heyer was so quick to tweet out her congratulations after Holloway committed.

“It will be fun to be on the same team,” Heyer said.

Said Holloway: “It’s like me and Mallory have been against each other for three years now. It’s just going back and forth. We knew all about each other. Building that into a team where we’re playing together will be so special.”


That’s the plan.

Hutchinson coach Tim Ellefson sees this process as a two-way street between the team and the state. He remembers watching the Gophers’ 2004 run to the NCAA Final Four with a starting lineup that included in-state players Whalen, Shannon Schonrock and Shannon Bolden. Kelly Roysland (now Whalen’s assistant) started seven games that season. That was part of the draw for fans.

“There is something exciting about cheering for a hometown girl,” Ellefson said.

Of course, Whalen will continue to cast her net nationwide for talent. But it will start at home.

And, perhaps, it’s just starting at home.

“We know Minnesota is a talent-rich state,” Whalen said. “And we’ve recruited the state and seen it pay off with Sara Scalia, and with Laura Bagwell Katalinich and Kayla Mershon coming home (via transfers). We’ve seen our efforts recruiting the state pay off.”

Larson said perhaps the news of Heyer and Holloway staying home indicates something has been established, ingrained. The more Minnesota kids stay home, the more others might want to.

“Recruiting has a tendency to do that,” Pierson said. “To snowball that way. That’s why, when Whalen was hired, it was applauded. It was a home run hire. She isn’t going anywhere, she has enormous credibility and you get the feeling this is her dream job. I think it’s limitless what the Gophers can become.”


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