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  1. #46

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    http://www.postbulletin.com/whalen-t...c1f99f7e3.html

    Getting back to Whalen and the reason I thought Voelz didn't have much to do with Borton's hiring:

    As emotions inflamed by Brenda Oldfield's move from Minnesota to Maryland level off, Gophers All-America point guard Lindsay Whalen has taken to leading the team off the court as well.

    The sophomore from Hutchinson, Minn., believes it's time for her to become more vocal in decisions affecting the program's future. Minnesota doesn't have a coach, and Oldfield's four assistants have no official duties as they await word on whether they'll join Oldfield at Maryland.

    Minnesota women's athletics director Chris Voelz is in charge, but Voelz's future is uncertain because her one-year contract expires June 30.

    If the program had an interim "coach," it would be Whalen.

    "I want to become more of a leader on our team; I feel I've earned that right," said Whalen, the Big Ten Conference player of the year. "I want to be more involved in the search process this time for a coach. Last year, I wasn't involved much. I was just coming off my freshman year and I didn't think I had much of a say.' "



    Whalen already has taken steps to help keep the program intact. She made calls Tuesday night to two of the Gophers' three recruits -- all-state guard Shannon Schonrock of Blue Earth Area High School and Marshall's Shannon Bolden, the 2002 Miss Minnesota Basketball. Whalen spoke with Schonrock and left a voice-mail message for Bolden. Whalen also hopes to contact Eden Prairie center Christina Collison.

    "Shannon (Bolden) was impressed with Whalen's message," said Lionel Bolden, Shannon's father. "She was at a track meet and heard the message when she got home. Whalen told her that the team is sticking together. That made Shannon feel a lot better about the situation."

    Whalen and Oldfield developed a close relationship. Oldfield often left certain game strategies to Whalen, and said several times during the season that she had great trust in Whalen to run the team on the floor. With two years remaining at Minnesota, Whalen was looking forward to learning more from Oldfield, which might explain why Whalen has been so vocal about her disappointment.

    When Oldfield cried at Tuesday's emotional meeting with the players, Whalen said she looked around and saw everyone in tears but herself. She was too upset to cry.

    "I just sat there and looked at the floor," Whalen said. "The only time I've ever cried about basketball was when we lost to North Carolina (in the NCAA tournament), and that was because I was mad that the season was over."


  2. #47

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    Thanks for posting, Iggy. It's interesting to note that Whalen was more successful in retaining players as a player than she was as an incoming coach. (Tongue-in-cheek.) I'm referring to the losses of Finau(sp?) and Stewart. I also remember Whalen, when asked how she thought the team would get along with Oldfield, she replied with (paraphrasing), "Well, the last time I looked, the coach didn't play any minutes last season." There's no doubt that she was disappointed at the time Oldfield left, as many of us were.

  3. #48
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    Thanks for clearing up the timeline about the U of M ADs. I forgot that there were separate ADs for men and women's sports. Chris Voelz was AD 1988-2002. In that time period, the men's AD they went thru seven ADs. http://www.startribune.com/minnesota...ars/321045341/
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  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by tripledouble View Post
    Thanks for posting, Iggy. It's interesting to note that Whalen was more successful in retaining players as a player than she was as an incoming coach. (Tongue-in-cheek.) I'm referring to the losses of Finau(sp?) and Stewart. I also remember Whalen, when asked how she thought the team would get along with Oldfield, she replied with (paraphrasing), "Well, the last time I looked, the coach didn't play any minutes last season." There's no doubt that she was disappointed at the time Oldfield left, as many of us were.
    I would've love Stewart, but I prefer Mercedes Staples over Lesilau Finau.
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  5. #50
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    It seems top women's BB coaches stress defense. Here are Brenda Frese's and Pat Summitt's locker room speeches.

    Brenda Frese:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=9Sl6jHfXOgI

    Pat Summitt:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49-7ewcjX5Y
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  6. #51

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    Reinforcing the Moten Brown/Voelz riff and that with the end of her contract quickly approaching Chris Voelz was becoming the lamest of ducks; at her infamous press conference Voelz claimed:

    http://news.minnesota.publicradio.or...ld/index.shtml

    Voelz says the university was offering Oldfield a pay increase that would have placed her among the top 20 coaches in the nation. She earned $130,000 this year. University of Maryland officials say Oldfield's six-year contract will guarantee her $275,000 a year.

    Voelz says Oldfield told her money was not the reason for leaving: "She said that there were three things. One was weather and one was facilities and one was a talent base that she thought could not win a national championship."

    Voelz denies suggestions that she had a poor relationship with Oldfield.



    Both Oldfield and Moten Brown disputed Voelz's statement:

    http://www.brainerddispatch.com/cont...voelzs-remarks

    The comments attributed to Oldfield left some Gophers players angry.

    Oldfield on Thursday denied making them.

    "Those three points are not consistent with anything I've ever said since coming to the University of Minnesota," Oldfield said. "People who know me know those are statements I would never make."

    Moten Brown said Thursday she told Voelz that she did not recall Oldfield making the "talent base" statement.

    "I don't mind saying that my recollection is a little different," Moten Brown said. "My understanding was that Brenda would weigh a lot of factors -- and that recruiting base and ability to recruit kids to Minnesota would factor into a decision.

    "I would not necessarily draw any inferences that because she chose to go to Maryland it must mean she didn't have that here. She didn't say those words," Moten Brown said.



    And of course a month earlier Moten Brown and Voelz disagreed on the merger of the men's and women's athletic departments, for example:

    http://news.minnesota.publicradio.or...ret_athletics/

    Moten Brown says there's also no evidence to suggest separate athletic departments result in greater team success than in merged departments.

    The biggest difference between the average merged departments and the University of Minnesota is found in the administrative costs. Her report shows Minnesota spends $1.8 million more a year than the average among Big Ten schools. Moten Brown says the university spends $1 million more just for marketing and promotions.

    "I do believe in my judgement that the excess costs arise because of the absence of a coordinated or unified marketing strategy. We have effectively two separate marketing staffs, two separate marketing strategies that are in no way coordinated or unified. And we staff them and we fund them accordingly," she said.

    Moten Brown estimates the annual cost of operating separate departments is an additional $1.4 million.

    Women's Athletic Director Chris Voelz disagrees with Moten Brown's conclusions. She says the extra marketing costs could be attributed to the university's urban setting, competition against professional teams for fans or the departments being simply over-staffed.

  7. #52
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    The grueling Lynx schedule is leaving little time for Lindsay Whalen to do a lot of the recruiting legwork, especially in person.

    This is where Asst. Coach Carly Thibault-Dudonis comes in. Lindsay Whalen is in constant contact permitting Lynx practice or games. She is committed to helping the Lynx make a run at another WNBA Title.
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  8. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by hungan1 View Post
    The grueling Lynx schedule is leaving little time for Lindsay Whalen to do a lot of the recruiting legwork, especially in person.

    This is where Asst. Coach Carly Thibault-Dudonis comes in. Lindsay Whalen is in constant contact permitting Lynx practice or games. She is committed to helping the Lynx make a run at another WNBA Title.
    The next viewing period is during the wnba all star break so she should be able to get out and see games. She was out on sunday at the Mill city tournament, took a 4 am flight to get back after the lynx game.

  9. #54
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    There is some connection between Lindsay Whalen and Carly Thibault-Dudonis.

    Carly's dad Mike Thibault was head coach of the Connecticut Sun from 2003 to 2012. He drafted Whalen in the 1st round (4th overall) out of Minnesota in 2004.

    Word has it that Whalen had spent some time in the Thibault household. So, she knew Carly early on. Mike Thibault was born in Saint Paul Mn.

    So when Whalen came calling, I don't think it was difficult decision for Carly to join the Gophers coaching staff. She is going to be critical to Lindsay Whalen's success at recruiting and is a rising star in her own right.

    Here is her bio from Gophersports:

    Title: Assistant Coach.

    Carly Thibault-DuDonis (pronounced TEE-bow doo-DON-iss) was named assistant coach at Minnesota on April 23, 2018. She spent the past two seasons on the Mississippi State coaching staff where she helped the Bulldogs to the Final Four and national title game in both of her seasons in Starkville.

    "I've known Carly for a long time and she's had a pretty fast rise as an assistant coach and a recruiting coordinator in helping get Mississippi State to back-to-back national title games and selling out their arena," head coach Lindsay Whalen said. "She's been a part of a real success story there, and I think she'll be able to bring that knowledge and passion that she has for the game here. She's a go-getter and a hard worker."

    This past season, Mississippi State won a nation's-best 37 games en route to winning the program's first Southeastern Conference championship and advancing to the national championship game for the second-straight year.

    "I'm thankful to Lindsay and the University of Minnesota for the opportunity to join her," Thibault-DuDonis said. "I'm excited about Lindsay's vision for Minnesota women's basketball and to help her get the program back to a place where it's competing for Big Ten championships and Final Four appearances year after year.

    "I've known Lindsay since she was drafted into the WNBA in 2004 and I have yet to meet someone as competitive, team-oriented and dedicated as she is. That, coupled with her leadership abilities, are going to make her a great head coach at Minnesota for years to come."

    In her first season working with the Bulldog guards and coordinating the program's recruiting efforts, she helped land the nation's 19th-ranked recruiting class while helping lead MSU to a then school-record 34 wins and the national title game in the program's first Final Four appearance.

    Thibault-DuDonis joined the Bulldogs following two seasons on the staff at Eastern Michigan. In her final season, she helped guide an EMU offense that scored 2,445 points, third-most in a season, and dished the seventh-most assists (435) en route to going 22-12 and advancing to the second round of the WNIT. The Eagles won 20 games in each of her two seasons in Ypsilanti, as the 2014-15 squad tied the school record for wins in a season with a 24-13 mark. That team advanced to the Mid-American Conference Tournament Championship before wrapping the year in the WNIT Round of 16.

    Thibault-DuDonis made the move to EMU following a stint in Tallahassee as the Director of Recruiting Operations at Florida State. During her time with the Seminoles, she managed the team's recruiting database and communication plan as well as assisting with the administration of the program's basketball camps.

    She played collegiately at Monmouth from 2009-13. She concluded her playing career third in school history with 166-career 3-point field goals made. The East Lyme, Conn., native shot 37 percent from the three-point stripe in her career, but knocked down 40 percent as a junior and 44 percent in her final college season. She was also an outstanding shooter from the free-throw line, knocking down 75.3 percent over her four seasons.

    Her father, Mike, was a longtime coach in the NBA before making the move to the WNBA. He was the head coach of the Connecticut Sun when the team drafted current Gophers head coach Lindsay Whalen in 2004, while he currently coaches the Washington Mystics. Thibault-DuDonis married Blake DuDonis in the summer of 2017.
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  10. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by hungan1 View Post

    Word has it that Whalen had spent some time in the Thibault household. So, she knew Carly early on. Mike Thibault was born in Saint Paul Mn.
    Not word; but a fact covered in several articles at the time of Carly's hiring.

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    Lindsay Whalen has chosen three assistant coaches that she is connected with at one part of her basketball career. Carly Thibault-Dudonis, Kelly Roysland, and Danielle O-Banion all fit the bill.

    Advice must be free-flowing from the likes of Cheryl Reeve, Dawn Staley, and Pam Borton.

    I am looking forward in anticipation how this coaching team is going to work together. Through your greatest adversity, you will find your greatest strength as the saying goes.
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  12. #57
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    I had a source tell me that the reason Brenda Oldfield left was because Voelz was getting in her hair and not giving her enough space. The impression was Voelz couldn't contain herself with a team that was doing so well.

    My source was the husband of an ex-Gopher athlete who I figure is a better source than me... but how good...I'm not sure.

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    Welcome to Badger Road Kill Country!

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    This year Gopher's team at Lynx game

    https://www.instagram.com/p/Bkg4bL1g...=lindsaywhalen
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    "The Winning Whay". I like the sound of this. Minnesota pride!
    https://twitter.com/hashtag/TheWinningWhay?src=hash

    Out on the lookout for future Gophers:
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Di9a7riVsAAors_.jpg:large
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