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  1. #151
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    Is Hubbard being red-shirted?


  2. #152

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    There has been no official word on her status unless I missed something today. As for Whalen, as a lifetime winner at every level I have confidence that she will make the necessary adjustments to be successful at this level. We have to give her more time and continued support. Go Gophers !

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    Quote Originally Posted by GringaGopher View Post
    As for Whalen, as a lifetime winner at every level I have confidence that she will make the necessary adjustments to be successful at this level. We have to give her more time and continued support. Go Gophers !
    I, too, wanted Whalen as coach long before Stollings was gone.

    But, I am curious. What is it that folks expected in this first year? I expected her impact to take time since she couldn't really do any recruiting that would contribute in any significant way this season, and to a certain extent, next season. She and her coaching staff had to work with what they were given. And it is obvious it was quite thin on talent (i.e. see the bench). Fact is, Lamke and T. Bello have been pleasant surprises. Going into the season who would have expected that given their playing time the last two seasons.


    At the end of the last coaches' show on Wednesday, the two hosts made a comment on how impressed they were that Whalen didn't play the PJ Fleck card (needed to rebuild from scratch, new culture, injuries, etc.). Perhaps she should (it's true). Only 3 returning starters (one injured indefinitely) and only a few players with some experience (T Bello, Brunson, and stretching--Lamke).

    It seems that we had pretty much a cupcake schedule (thanks to Stollings) with Syracuse, BC, and Xavier woven in. The warts were obvious every time Whalen tried to insert her bench against the weakest of the teams. Unfortunately, we got ranked and its seems the expectations were overboard. But that probably is part of the Whalen effect--she has been so good at turning things around, being part of great teams at almost every level. So I guess folks had higher expectations that might otherwise have been expected of a first year coach.

    I am probably missing something. But what did folks really expect given the roster at the start of the season (minus Hubbard)?

  4. #154

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    I felt that even without Hubbard, Whalen inherited an NCAA tournament team. With Hubbard they were potentially the third best team in the B1G.

    Kenisha was All Big Ten and an Honorable Mention All America. Destiny was the obvious B1G Freshman of the year. Taiye had developed into an excellent, active post player. And Brunson was ready to start in the B1G. That’s a veteran, athletic, nucleus which made it to the second round.

    Yes, two players received their releases before summer and a third left after the summer; but Whalen brought in Mercedes.

    It’s not a team that should’ve blown a 17 point second half lead to Illinois.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ignatius L Hoops View Post


    It’s not a team that should’ve blown a 17 point second half lead to Illinois.
    No disagreement with that statement.

  6. #156

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    Quote Originally Posted by samloupete View Post
    Is Hubbard being red-shirted?
    I posted the video of Whalen's response to that question on the Iowa game thread. Lindsay didn't say yes or no; but did say we'll see after the next medical report.

  7. #157
    Join Date
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    OP:

    The Whay is getting a Big Ten baptismal. Teams are capitalizing on a new young inexperience coach and a short bench. The Gophers are currently 10th in the Big Ten at 1-3. Whalen will figure it out before the end of the season.

    She is committed to Team Defense and Man-to-Man which is great. However, there is a premium to pay. They are getting worn out towards the end of the game. You have to have a deep bench and you have to have scorers. In particular outside scoring threat. Teams are figuring out the Gophers don't have a consistent outside threat. Teams are making adjustments to take advantage. They will have to develop outside shooting most likely with a combo of players.

    We hoped that Mercedes can step in and fill Carlie Wagner's shoes right away. She's not there yet, and her defense need work. I think she will find her groove at some point in time. She is learning real quickly this is at a higher level of play than high school.

    Another point of interest. The Gophers have four seniors (Bell, Lamke, Kaposi, and Perez) that represent 39% of the playing time and 46% of the scoring.

    They have to figure a way to develop the current bench players who are returning. Next year, three starters (Pitts, Brunson, T-Bello) will return. I hope they redshirt Hubbard and preserve her for next year. I prefer a fully healthy Hubbard with an extra year of eligibility. The development and/or utilization of bench players Tomancova (who is hubbling), K-Bello, and Byrne is crucial.

    The one thing that the Gophers cannot afford is injury to any of the starters that will waylay them for some time.

    There is no time to panic. Lindsay Whalen inherited the team she has, and IMHO she is learning and is investing into the long term future instead of win at all cost.

    I hope that she learns to cope with the stress of being new to coaching.

    My expectation is that we won't see a huge turn around immediately. It is going to take three or four years to build up the program.

    On the far stratospheric side - it took prominent coaches four to thirteen years to achieve national championship.

    WBB PLAYING TIME AND SCORING 1-12-2019.jpg

    Big Ten Conference Standings
    https://bigten.org/confstandings.asp...bb?path=wbball

    Gophers 2018-2019 Stats
    https://s3.amazonaws.com/gophersport...ball_Stats.pdf
    Last edited by hungan1; 01-12-2019 at 11:21 AM.
    Welcome to Badger Road Kill Country!

  8. #158

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    Thanks for your balanced thoughtful post. We are all so used to seeing Whalen win but have to factor in that her coaching process is going to require patience. Obviously, I am all in and believe she will take this program to a high level.

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    EaganGopher22 asks a good question about our expectations for the Gophers this year, and outlines some key points that are nicely expanded upon by Iggy and hungan1.

    For me, I had fairly high expectations, but they were all based on a default assumption that we would have an injury-free team. Starting with a 12-player roster, I would have never guessed that we would have a game where we're down to 9 dressed players. In particular, being minus the "at least Wagner-similar" 3-point shooting and paint drives of Hubbard, puts a monkey wrench into any expectations, and I'm still struggling with how to adjust for that in my mental model.

    But pre-injury, my expectations were similar to Iggy's, thinking we'd be right behind Maryland and Iowa in the Big Ten, with some questions as to how the battle for 3rd place might go amongst us and Michigan and Michigan State. I saw us as a virtual lock for the Big Dance, winning out the non-league season (with Syracuse possibly requiring a Herculean effort to do so), and perhaps losing only 4 B1G contests. With such a good record, I counted on a better seeding in the NCAA tourney, and depending on match-ups, maybe making it to the Sweet 16, where we'd likely be taken out.

    As part of this mental model, I fully expected Lamke and T. Bello to be pleasant surprises to most, but no surprise to me. I expected (and was glad that) Whalen went to a mostly 2-post set. By doubling Taiye's stats for double the minutes (and praying she could keep fouls under control most games), plus adding a delta for how much I expected her to improve, I predicted an average of maybe 12 points and 15 rebounds. She's had, perhaps, slightly more of a breakout year than I expected. One thing I didn't call was that she would become a national leader in rebounding. I suspect this attention has put a target on her back for Big Ten defenses, attracting double- and triple-teams, which are made possible in part by our poor 3-point shooting allowing defenses to say "show me you can shoot, before I come out and defend you." So the lack of Hubbard is a double whammy, putting more defensive pressure on both Destiny and Taiye.

    I pretty much expected Lamke to have a year that would jaw-drop most fans. I saw her potential as a Freshman when Stollings (surprisingly to me at the time) gave her lots of starts. But she was a bit rough around the edges at the time, lacking smooth footwork, etc. That triggered Marlene to largely put that project on the back burner, putting her 4th or 5th on the post depth chart while only needing one post. Result: 3 posts average 10 min per game, Palma gets most of the rest, Annalese gets 2 minutes at end of a won game, zero on a close game. Meanwhile, Lamke is working her tail off perfecting her craft. I noticed she's a lot better now in a couple of those 2-minute stints. I optimistically hoped that with another summer of hard practice, she was set for a break-out year. Especially, now owning the C position, and Taiye slotted in at her more natural PF position. I also looked forward to some creative high-low/low-high feeds from post to post, not relying on the guards to create every play. One thing I did not call, was that Lamke would be high-point scorer at the season opener. Also, I didn't know she could shoot free throws as well as Pitts. Something already proving important, as (reminiscent of Bell) defenses can't stop her and so commit shooting fouls.

    As far as Brunson goes, I always thought she was a lot better than one might think, given how much Marlene did not play her. I also expected a breakout year from her. Check on that one too.

    And I figured Bell and Pitts to have incrementally better performance this year. Which is largely true. Except Bell needs to (and is) work on a balance between shooting and assisting and not throw up prayers unless she's pretty sure she'll get the foul call. And under Whay's tutelage, Pitts had become a demon from two-point range, and sometimes crazy good from three, but often not so good from three, to the point of wasting possessions. That too is partly fallout from lacking Hubbard.

    So I don't know how much one should reduce expectations due to missing Hubbard and lacking depth. For sure, Whay does not whine about it; we're the ones doing the whining.

    One thing to point out is that our schedule is front-loaded with many of what I originally saw as our tougher opponents. After we get through Iowa, Maryland is the hardest game left (in my original estimation). So our current record is pretty close to what I expected given Hubbard out (although I secretly hoped for better), that is, minus the Illinois game where we tripped on our own shoestrings. So from the current starting point, I can still hope that we do-better-than-expected-without-Hubbard, and finish strongly with a record that at least gets us into the NCAAs.

    But on the remaining big factor going into expectations from here on out, namely how well are we going to play (especially Hubbard-less) against the would-be middle-of-the-road Big Ten teams - well, I have to punt on that one. It turns out that what I expected to be also-ran teams are leading the pack in league standings.

    By the way, did anybody call dibs on Rutgers to be in the number one spot at this point? If so, come down to the podium and collect your prize (we'll try to think of a suitably improbable prize). And what did they put in the drinking water in that prominent basketball state of Indiana, what with Purdue and Indiana tied with Maryland and ahead of Iowa and the Michigans. And Penn State ahead of the Gophers, who are tied for second-last.

    But again, I think facing tougher teams early (and the Illinois stumble) are at fault here. I do think though, that the end result of our season will hang on how tough we can play the so-called middle-of-the-pack teams, who are now leading the pack.
    Last edited by CutDownTheNet; 01-12-2019 at 07:09 PM.

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