While there have been some notable misses on in-state recruits, Lindsay Whalen has kept her promise to mine Minnesota for talent.
But the process takes time. Big-time recruiting starts in the seventh or eighth grades; relationships build slowly.
That helps explain why the Gophers didn’t get a number of top Minnesotans immediately after Whalen was hired. Star 2020 recruit Paige Bueckers was already well down the road with Connecticut, for example.
With the 2021 class, the Gophers were in on, but didn’t get some targeted players. Farmington’s Sophie Hart went to North Carolina State. Rochester Lourdes star Alyssa Ustby chose North Carolina over the Gophers.
But one of Whalen’s first recruits was Stillwater guard Sara Scalia, who had a strong freshman season last year.
Whalen’s 2021 recruiting class includes Roseau guard Katie Borowicz and Watertown-Mayer guard Maggie Czinano. The bonds formed early with Heyer and Holloway have borne fruit, with the Gophers getting both of the in-state recruits to verbally commit.
“We know Minnesota is a talent-rich state,” Whalen said. “We’ve seen our efforts recruiting the state pay off.”