Whalen will now look to seni*or Jasmine Brun*son in the back*court and juni*or Des*ti*ny Pitts to be*come the team’s go-to scor*er.
Brunson started 27 games alongside Bell and ranked second on the team with 82 assists in 2018-19. The depth behind her drops off in experience with freshmen Jasmine Pow*ell and Sara Scalia, a Stillwater native.
“[Bell] told me at the end of last year, I’m going to have to lead this team at the point guard po*si*tion,” Brun*son said. “Wheth*er it be vo*cal*ly or through my play, I’m def*i*nite*ly try*ing to step up into that role. This is Day One of it.”
Pitts is Min*ne*so*ta’s lead*ing re*turn*ing scor*er with a 16.3 points per game av*er*age, but she also led the Go*phers with 81 three-point*ers last sea*son. Whalen, a form*er Go*phers All-America and Lynx star, can see simi*lari*ties be*tween Pitts and her*self when it comes to mak*ing big shots and be*ing an emo*tio*nal lead*er on the floor.
“Ex*cept she can shoot the ball and I can make layups,” Whalen joked. “Des*ti*ny has that shot-mak*ing a*bil*i*ty. She’s a great weap*on for us.”
Red*shirt juni*or guard Gadiva Hub*bard and sopho*more guard Mercedes Sta*ples par*tici*pat*ed in the first prac*tice on a lim*it*ed ba*sis. Whalen said they will be brought along slow*ly to be ready for the Nov. 5 o*pen*er vs. Mis*sou*ri State.