There seems to be such a huge difference between the abilities of the starters and the abilities of the bench players. I don't think Whalen can use her bench much more than she has and expect to win games. Hungan implies that the bench players might get better if Whalen uses them more often and as the season progresses. Although I would hope that Whalen can use the bench as much as possible to spell the starters, I've seen nothing from any of the bench players that indicates that they'll be able to contribute as the season progresses. Maybe Staples has a shot to get better, as she is just a first-year player, but we haven't seen much from her so far. As the BIG is so even this year, I'm of the feeling that Whalen will have to stick with a very short bench all season. And, as I opine that I don't have a lot of confidence in the bench players developing by leaps and bounds as the year goes on, it should be pointed out that the loss to Illinois is totally on the starters. Gopher starters are an experienced bunch that should have been able to beat a team that had a 29-game conference losing streak.