Maroon and Gold showcase set for Sunday Oct 13

Ignatius L Hoops

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A quick summation: Lindsay treated the showcase as a game.

Starters (as expected): Pitts, Hubbard, Staples, Brunson and T. Bello.

First guards off the bench: Powell, Adashchyk and Scalia. Powell (at the point replacing Brunson). Scalia played a lot of minutes.

Post players off the bench: For the first 2 1/2 quarters it was only K Bello. Late in the game Tomancova and Cummings made a brief appearance (Cummings' most memorable play was a block).

Obviously the rotation as of now: The Bellos at post. Brunson and Powell at point. Pitts will probably just stay on the court. Then it's a mix of probably Hubbard and Staples replaced by Scalia and Adashchyk.

Jasmine Powell is shaping up as an exciting player. She's quick, drives the lane and makes nice quick passes to cutters. Plus she made a couple of fast break heaves. Jasmine probably dribbles a little too much right now and doesn't seem naturally inclined to drive and kick (which is a problem when you leave Pitts standing all alone behind the three line without giving her the ball). I think that will be corrected shortly.

Otherwise: Hubbard looked good and can still knock down the three. Scalia was obviously comfortable on the court and I'm guessing will be a good fit.
 
Thanks for the report, Iggy. I wasn't sure who would fill the 5th starting spot. Looks like Staples has an early shot at it. She struggled a bit last year as a first year player, but she was injured for a while. She looked like someone who could hit threes. Hopefully she'll be able to contribute in other areas also. Doesn't surprise me that Powell shows some promise, as she's a 4-star recruit.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

Active member
I should've mentioned that the scout team pulled out the victory after trailing much of the game.

Also: the Bellos played some together. And I think it's safe to say that T Bello's game has improved again this season. She's added a little range.

I was a little disappointed to only see Sconiers during warm ups. Transfer, Kadi Sissoko did not play; but I'm assuming that she has to sit a year.
 
Sissoko

I should've mentioned that the scout team pulled out the victory after trailing much of the game.

Also: the Bellos played some together. And I think it's safe to say that T Bello's game has improved again this season. She's added a little range.

I was a little disappointed to only see Sconiers during warm ups. Transfer, Kadi Sissoko did not play; but I'm assuming that she has to sit a year.
Yes, Sissoko can not play this year due to transfer rules. She does need to sit this season out.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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FWIW: Sconiers led the post warm up, fire up huddle.

Early on, the Gophers ran a weave against the scout team's man defense. Against the scout team's zone they, oddly for a team with Pitts and Hubbard, had problems getting good outside shots.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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https://gophersports.com/news/2019/10/13/womens-basketball-gophers-welcome-fans-to-maroon-and-gold-showcase.aspx
Minnesota's starting lineup included three starters from a year ago, including seniors Taiye Bello and Jasmine Brunson and junior Destiny Pitts. Sophomore Mercedes Staples, who started two games a year ago, was also a member of the starting five, as was redshirt junior Gadiva Hubbard, who missed all of last season due to injury.

Pitts was the team's top scorer Sunday with 16 points, while Bello also reached double digits with 13 points. Hubbard knocked down three 3-pointers to finish with nine points, while freshman Jasmine Powell scored eight and Brunson recorded six.

Staples chipped in with five points, while senior Kehinde Bello had four points. Freshman Sara Scalia matched Kehinde Bello with her four points, while fellow newcomer Masha Adashchyk contributed two points.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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http://www.startribune.com/godiva-hubbard-stands-out-in-gophers-women-s-basketball-scrimmage/563017632/

Strib: Kent Youngblood on the scrimmage:

What did you like?

"Diva," Whalen said of Hubbard, who missed last season after having surgery on her right foot. "I liked having her on the court. She looks good. We keep bringing her along. Our starting group … was really good."

The Gophers finished the 2018-19 season strong after Whalen went to a small lineup that had Taiye Bello at center.

That will be the Gophers' plan this year as well, with some personnel changes. Gone is all-Big Ten guard and leader Kenisha Bell and her 19.1 points per game.

...

Hubbard's return is big. Her three-point credibility will give the Gophers offensive spacing while also taking pressure off Pitts, who scored 20 or more points in eight of the Gophers' final nine games last season.

"It felt good," Hubbard said after playing competitively on the Williams Arena floor for the first time since the end of the 2017-18 season. "It wasn't fun sitting on the bench, that's for sure. I'm happy I can contribute again."
 
Besides Diva’s 3 triples (glad to see her mobile and that she can still shoot like yester-year), I think Destiny had either 3 or 4 threes (and shot a fairly high percentage. Mercedes play and shooting seemed to continue the improvement started at the end of last season. With what amounts to 4 starting guards that all can shoot, it could well be possible to (as needed) leverage a shoot-the-three-first strategy this year.

We know that Scalia can also shoot the triple well, since she shot the lights out for Stillwater in the MN State Tournament last Spring. She’ll get involved in that eventually, but in this game was more focused on helping with ball movement. Adashchyk has a nice shot too. I’d say the second-unit guards were better than the starters at getting crisp passes into the post or to cutters - but that might be simply a consequence of the starters’ focus on the triple.

Jasmine Powell seems super fast and a tenacious defender (plus a good passer) at first look, being a bit like a slightly shorter version of Jasmine Brunson. We might have to start calling them Speedy Jas #1 and Speedy Jas #2.

We may see a lot of double-doubles from T. Bello this year. I’m setting a goal for K. Bello to get at least one double-double. I like that double-twins double-high-post screen setup. It opens up the lane for cutters and/or kickouts and/or free-throw-length jump shots by the open twin.

Cummings’ block was awesome. She stuffed an otherwise-made layup by a Scout player who I believe was probably taller. Some very scrappy defensive play by K. Bello too, although the scrimmage refs seemed to pick on her like the NCAA refs have done in the past.

All in all, a great scrimmage, and one that demonstrates that Whay has some great talent to work with this year. Perhaps most importantly, we have a much deeper bench, and we start out healthy. But also, it looks like the rookies and other second-unit players will be able to contribute. Some nice recruiting by Whay and staff.
 

Shades

Active member
Starters (as expected): Pitts, Hubbard, Staples, Brunson and T. Bello.
I may have to look back to when we were speculating the roster. I remember arguing with someone that thought Powell would be starting. Powell would have to be amazing to start over a senior.

Pitts as a PF doesn’t appeal to me. I’m not the huge lover of small ball other than playing against mid-majors or the like.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

Active member
I may have to look back to when we were speculating the roster. I remember arguing with someone that thought Powell would be starting. Powell would have to be amazing to start over a senior.

Pitts as a PF doesn’t appeal to me. I’m not the huge lover of small ball other than playing against mid-majors or the like.
I believe Whalen played Powell and Brunson together for a little while (I don't remember who else was on the court); so maybe Powell could start without replacing a senior. There's still three weeks to go :).

Yesterday's scrimmage made me think that Taiye's backup, let alone another starting post player, has yet to step forward.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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https://www.mndaily.com/article/2019/10/s-gophers-show-off-new-look-roster-ahead-of-regular-season

Minnesota Daily's Brendan O'Brien on the scrimmage:

Among the notable roster changes under second-year head coach Lindsay Whalen is senior guard Jasmine Brunson stepping in to fill the void left by former starting point guard Kenisha Bell. Brunson said she's excited for the challenge.

"It's my last year," Brunson said. "I have no choice but to be ready. As a senior and one of the leaders, I really have no choice and I’m comfortable in that role because my teammates support me and the coaches support me."

Forwards Taiye Bello and Destiny Pitts started in the exhibition; both were regulars in the starting lineup last season as well. Sophomore guard Mercedes Staples also started in the scrimmage despite starting in only two games a season ago.

One familiar face in the starting lineup on Sunday was redshirt junior guard Gadiva Hubbard, who was unable to play last season due to a right-foot injury. Pitts and Whalen said Hubbard's presence on the court will be helpful for the team's 3-point shooting.

"Last year we didn’t have that many shooters on the court," Pitts said. "Having another shooter out there really helps a lot to space the floor."
...
Despite a few turnovers on offense and some difficulties with transition defense, the team had other positive takeaways from the scrimmage. Whalen was especially pleased with the performance from the starting five to open the game.

"It was really nice to get in here and have a little bit of an open scrimmage for everybody," Whalen said. "It was good to get up and down and hopefully the players had some fun."
 

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