B1G Game 19: Gophers visit Illinois (3-5-21)

Bunyan

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This team will get better, they have a nice core of about 5-7 players, but there are some huge gaps they have to address;
1. Defense, defense - this is really about foot speed in the front line. Kadi is a great start, but Klarke has to improve defensively, get stronger.
2. The offensive game plan, there is a lot of standing around, there is too much emphasis put on the PG roll. I dont see Smith a PG unless the offensive part of her game grows including passing, she needs to be a '3' until she develops a mid range shot.
3. We will need another scorer opposite Scalia, otherwise she will never get an open look again. Diva was that person, but it appears her body is starting to break down.

on the positive side - Kadi will continue to grow, Klarke should get stronger, Jazz and Scalia will be a year wiser, Strande has something when she figures out the defensive side, Katie brings energy and the new power forward coming in may have something to work with.
Good defense is based on a team strategy that utilizes the physical attributes and abilities of your players to limit the offensive strengths and expose the offensive weaknesses of the other team. Plus, good on court communication - that's big too. It's not just one player.
However, if you want to analyze individual defense, the stats do not lie. For example, this team has a guard that has played over 550 minutes this season and has committed 10 fouls - in my opinion this equates low defensive effort. One foul per 55 minutes is not common for good defenders. You can watch the games and determine for yourself.
 

Chico Gopher

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Whalen's post game presser.

This was the first post game I've actually had a chance to listen to and I was kind-of shocked by the questions being asked. Is that typical? I thought the first decent question was asked by Rachel at the 3:50 mark, asking something somewhat specific about what happened during the game. Seems like Whalen is willing to describe what was going on if somebody would actually ask her. Has coach gotten cranky if people ask her specific, strategic questions and that's why everything seemed kinda softball during the interview? Like I said, this was the first postgame I've had a chance to listen to this season.

I'm not expecting the media to rake her over the coals, especially with the injury/Covid challenges, but I thought big market media on the beat would have a good enough relationship with her to not need to wear kid gloves during interviews. Or is it that these reporters just don't know basketball well enough to ask her about xxx's and ooo's and game plans?
 
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