The new year has been a rough start for Lindsay Whalen, who had an emergency appendectomy on January 5 and had to watch her basketball team play on television over the next two games.
At least her team is playing well.
“I like where we’ve been since the new year,” said the Gophers coach.
The Gophers (9-8) have won 2 of 3 games in 2022 and won 2-3 in the Big Ten heading into Saturday’s 5pm game against Ohio State (12-3, 4-2) at Williams Arena. Whalen watched the Gophers win the Rutgers on January 6 and lose in 8th place Maryland on January 9 before returning to coach the team in a convincing, 82-66 victory in Wisconsin on Wednesday.
Watching her team from afar, she said, allowed her to take a step back and see the big picture on the Gophers.
“I really like where we are,” she said. “Take one step in a week, you have the opportunity to think.”
Whalen made it clear in the fall that she expects her team to compete for an NCAA spot in her fourth season and win over the Buckeyes, who received 31 votes in the poll. Associated Press this week – will be a nice shirt in the Gophers’ cap.
Iowa, too, will take place next, January 20 at Barn. The Hawkeyes (9-4, 3-1) received 38 votes in this week’s AP poll and featured sophomore keeper Caitlin Clark, who leads the Big Ten in scores and is placed in national best with an average of 25.2 points.
“One game at a time, but you’re talking about a number of things going into post-season,” Whalen said.
The Buckeyes are sixth nationally in points (83.7 points a game) and beat the Gophers, 83-59, in Columbus last season, their only meeting.
“They shoot great, they press you the whole game, so it’s going to be a big challenge for us,” Whalen said.
But the Gophers are a deeper team than they were last season, with four scorers averaging twice as much – led by junior guard Sara Scalia 15.2 points a game – and a good youngster in freshman year Rose Michaeux, averaged 8.3 points and 5.1 rebounds over her past 10 years. Game.
“I just feel excited. I wasn’t here to coach a game, at Barn, because it was like half a season,” Whalen said after a practice session at Williams Arena on Friday.
Because of her illness and COVID postponed the game against Northwestern on December 31, the last home game Whalen coached was on December 15, with a 99-93 win over Ohio University.
https://www.twincities.com/2022/01/14/lindsay-whalen-likes-what-gophers-women-have-done-in-new-year/ Lindsay Whalen Loves What Gophers Women Did In The New Year – Twin Cities