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  1. #1
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    Default The Whalen Effect

    In less than a month since Lindsay Whalen was hired, the Gophers Women's basketball team was off to a running start in recruiting. They secured one of the State's top players in PG Sara Scalia for Recruiting Class 2019. They also added Top 100 Player (#64 overall) 4 Star PG Mercedes Staples for Recruiting Class 2018. Staples was coached by former WNBA Natalie Williams at the AAU level in Utah. Whalen appears to have been in conversations with Staples and her family for weeks.

    (http://www.startribune.com/lindsay-w...ers/482218641/)

    “Mercedes is someone that has a lot of different skills and brings a lot to the team,” Whalen said in a release. “She can pass it with the best of them, can see the floor, can shoot and can score it. She’s got great size and length so we’re really excited about her joining our Gopher family.” - a very astute succinct assessment of what Mercedes brings to the Gophers by Whalen.

    Is the U becoming Point Guard U? I would expect to see the Gophers recruit like they have never done before.

    We have to be excited for Gophers Women's Basketball in the next few years. If the GOphers play uptempo basketball like Whalen is saying, the Barn will be rocking with an exciting brand of basketball! They may sellout the place.

    Lindsay Whalen will be a great coach in due time and is a marriage made in heaven for the Gophers. She has to go through baptism by fire along the way. We'll see her grow as a coach. These are exciting times.

    Kudos to Mark Coyle for the decisive Whalen gambit, and for not relying on a search committee.
    Welcome to Badger Road Kill Country!


  2. #2

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    Certainly the high profile will bring maximum local and national scrutiny. Everybody will weigh in on everything. The season's first month will be a challenge for the staff and, hopefully, fun for us.

  3. #3
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    If you stop and think about it, Whalen is the starting PG on the top team in the WNBA. If you're a girls BB player in HS, and you follow the WNBA, you know who Whalen is. And now, here comes Whalen to recruit you for college.

    that would be equivalent to being a top Boys HS BB player, and suddenly here comes Steph Curry, Kyrie Irving, or John Wall to recruit you for college.

    for HS Girls basketball players, Lindsay Whalen has real star power. That is a huge recruiting advantage if she can leverage it properly.

  4. #4
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    Wouldn't it be nice if she gets a Janel McCarville or Amanda Zahui B type of player to help in the interior and rebounding?
    Welcome to Badger Road Kill Country!

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by short ornery norwegian View Post
    If you stop and think about it, Whalen is the starting PG on the top team in the WNBA. If you're a girls BB player in HS, and you follow the WNBA, you know who Whalen is. And now, here comes Whalen to recruit you for college.

    that would be equivalent to being a top Boys HS BB player, and suddenly here comes Steph Curry, Kyrie Irving, or John Wall to recruit you for college.

    for HS Girls basketball players, Lindsay Whalen has real star power. That is a huge recruiting advantage if she can leverage it properly.
    This is exactly why it's a complete no-brainer to me for the Gophers. She may not be a great coach but she should have plenty of street cred for a while recruiting. Now she just needs to add Maya Moore to the group and she's set.

  6. #6
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    Lindsay Whalen now has Paige Bueckers' ear. She spoke of having a pair of basketball shoes signed by Whalen.

    If the new coach is not Whalen, I doubt that she would consider the Gophers. Paige wants to go visit with the Gophers, but it appears that U Conn is doing full court press on her. So, it will be a battle to get her services.

    Year one for Whalen is crucial in Paige's recruitment. She is going to watch and see how Whalen does.
    Welcome to Badger Road Kill Country!

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by hungan1 View Post
    Lindsay Whalen now has Paige Bueckers' ear. She spoke of having a pair of basketball shoes signed by Whalen.
    Somehow I don’t think this will be the main criteria used to determine her basketball career. Bueckers recognizes she has a serious basketball career ahead of her. Can she take a team with an inexperienced coach seriously? Better hope the home state advantages mean a lot to Bueckers.

    Quote Originally Posted by hungan1 View Post
    If the new coach was not Whalen, I doubt that she would consider the Gophers.
    Unless some new information has cropped up, I believe ND is the leading contender. Part of the reason may be Niele Ivey, who the Gophers probably could have had as a coach.

    Quote Originally Posted by hungan1 View Post
    Paige wants to go visit with the Gophers, but it appears that U Conn is doing full court press on her. So, it will be a battle to get her services.
    Did Geno make another visit? He’s starting to look desperate

    Quote Originally Posted by hungan1 View Post
    Year one for Whalen is crucial in Paige's recruitment. She is going to watch and see how Whalen does.
    Yeah, and what will Whalen be doing? Playing basketball. As far as how the Gophers do their first year, can’t Bueckers commit in November? Doesn’t give Whalen much of a chance to make an impression.

  8. #8
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    Having talent many top programs want is a good problem for Paige Bueckers to have. Will she have enough affinity to the State that Lindsay Whalen had coming out of HS?

    This is the reason why Lindsay Whalen is so endeared by people in the State. NOt only is she a proven winner. She stayed home!

    I agree that Paige will go where she thinks gives her the best shot to the WNBA. She is going to pen her own legacy. The questions is, will she want to do it at home? She will be reward tenfold, and she'll forever be embedded in the State's consciousness with pride.

    If the Gophers come out blazing this coming season under Whalen, then there is promise. But, like Carroll nothing anchors Paige down to her home State.
    Welcome to Badger Road Kill Country!

  9. #9
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    Question - we look at Whalen now, and see what she has accomplished.

    But - was she a highly-rated recruit coming out of HS? Was landing her some huge coup for the Gophers at the time? I honestly don't know. Can one of the recruiting mavens find out how Whalen was regarded coming out of HS? was she a top-100 recruit?

  10. #10

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    http://www.citypages.com/news/powerh...hers/479559683

    City Pages, December 2003:

    Whalen”s initiation was as dour as they come: one Big Ten victory, no postseason play, and a coach, Cheryl Littlejohn, who was fired for rules violations that brought the program sanctions, stripped scholarships, and to the brink of the NCAA death penalty. Not to mention some of the loneliest sounds known to any basketball player or fan during a game--the thump-thump of a ball bouncing, the squeak-squeak of shoes cutting, the echo-echo of coaches” instructions and players” grunts careening through a nearly empty gym.

    “Sometimes we”d have a couple hundred people in there,” says Whalen before practice last month, sitting in the team”s film room located between the Pavilion and Williams. “We”d run out to the song, “Who Let the Dogs Out?” And you just remember this quiet, dull cheer: “Who...let the...dogs out?” It was like the most somber group of people ever assembled. It was seriously like a funeral. Plus there was the fact that it was a group of girls running out to “Who Let the Dogs Out?” It just all didn”t make sense.”...


    ...But fans will always have the memories of Whalen herself, who came to Minnesota in 2000 with little fanfare, and who will graduate next fall with a sports management degree, and undoubtedly be a top pick in the WNBA draft next year....

    ...Recruited by Iowa, Wisconsin, and North Dakota, Whalen chose Minnesota because, “obviously, it”s your home. Home state. Your home team.”


    And there's this, which may add some insight to her coaching style years later:

    “There”s like 10 plays that I just go through in my mind. One time in high school against Holy Angels I drove between a girl”s legs, split a trap between her legs, brought it to half-court and made a no-look pass through the two defenders to score.”
    Coach Borton is reading this right now and shuddering.

    “What”s the worst that can happen?” says Whalen with a grin. “Turn it over? It”s not like someone”s gonna get hurt, or you”ll get ejected. Worst that can happen is they yell at you and take you out for a minute, but you go back in the game anyway.”

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by short ornery norwegian View Post
    Question - we look at Whalen now, and see what she has accomplished.

    But - was she a highly-rated recruit coming out of HS? Was landing her some huge coup for the Gophers at the time? I honestly don't know. Can one of the recruiting mavens find out how Whalen was regarded coming out of HS? was she a top-100 recruit?
    It has been 20 years since Whalen was a high school sophomore like Bueckers, and the recruiting landscape has changed so much in that time. It's difficult to even make a comparison. Not much Twitter recruiting back then!

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by short ornery norwegian View Post
    Question - we look at Whalen now, and see what she has accomplished.

    But - was she a highly-rated recruit coming out of HS? Was landing her some huge coup for the Gophers at the time? I honestly don't know. Can one of the recruiting mavens find out how Whalen was regarded coming out of HS? was she a top-100 recruit?
    The huge coup was landing Janel McCarvel. I had a friend whose daughter played in Wisconsin (she went on to play at Harvard) and predicted that MN had just landed one of the top centers in the country with the signing of McCarvel.

  13. #13

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    http://www.gophersports.com/sports/w...110201aaa.html

    What they said at the time:

    Few incoming Gopher rookies have come into Minnesota with the accolades of center Janel McCarville. Nicknamed "Shaq" for obvious reasons, McCarville has the potential to become the most dominating post player the Gophers have seen in years.

    "Janel is a physical, banging type of post player who we will be going to early and often," said Oldfield of the prized newcomer. "It's ironic to say you'll be counting on a rookie, but we are going to have to count on her this year. She will see a substantial amount of playing time."

    As for her nickname, Oldfield continues, "Shaq is a very fitting nickname in that Janel very much resembles the LA Lakers' Shaquille O'Neal personality-wise and in her game in the sense of low post presence and how physical and dominating she can be down low. She's a great passer from the high post and an unselfish player. I just hope she doesn't shoot free throws like him."

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shades View Post
    Somehow I don’t think this will be the main criteria used to determine her basketball career. Bueckers recognizes she has a serious basketball career ahead of her. Can she take a team with an inexperienced coach seriously? Better hope the home state advantages mean a lot to Bueckers.

    Yeah, and what will Whalen be doing? Playing basketball. As far as how the Gophers do their first year, can’t Bueckers commit in November? Doesn’t give Whalen much of a chance to make an impression.
    Well, I think watching Whalen play will make an impression. I realize there will be doubts, but watching Lindsay run the Lynx offense, play with passion, being an obvious leader on the court, conferring with one of the best basketball coaches around, etc. will also count for a lot. Whether or not that's enough to trump Geno or ND who knows, but it's going to give us a pretty good chance.

  15. #15

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    Heard Darren Wolfson of KSTC report tonight that Gophers women's basketball has sold 600 new season tickets since the naming of the new coach.

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