Sara Scalia enters the transfer portal


EaganGopher22

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And now Sara is leaving too. UGH.

The Gophers women's basketball team has lost another player to the NCAA transfer portal. But this one might be the most difficult to take.

Stillwater's Sara Scalia, the team's leading scorer the past two seasons, has entered the portal. Scalia was coach Lindsay Whalen's first recruit. A starter from early in her freshman season, Scalia averaged in double figures in each of her three seasons with the Gophers.

She leaves the Gophers having scored 1,158 points, making 214 of her 560 three-point attempts (38.2%).

"I met with Sara [Wednesday] and she told me her intentions of entering the transfer portal,'' Whalen said. "I thanked her for her contributions to the women's basketball team and wished her well moving forward.''
 





SlickOllie21

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This really stinks. My 8 year old daughter loved Sissoko, but especially Scalia. She's going to be crushed.
 

MaxyJR1

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This is alarming when your leading scorer and a MN native is choosing to leave the program. Are they scared of the players coming in? Are Whalen and staff failing in developing them? Is she being poached by one of the programs within a four hour drive that are really good programs?

No player has stepped up and become a true leader under Whalen and that is alarming.
 


blkroll

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Other possible scenarios for all the departures
  • Those that have left have found it to be better at other programs and have shared that with those that were still here
  • The addition of Shimmy and/or the loss of Dani
  • Lindsey not listening to the players
  • Tired of losing with no end in sight
I guess the good thing is that the incoming class can’t decommit because of the LOIs, correct? But maybe they’re one and done too…I’m not sure how Coyle can ignore all of this though.
 




blkroll

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From the article…

Scalia's father, Peter, said Sara's relationship with Whalen and her staff was a good one. But it appeared the Gophers and Scalia might have been in a different spot right now. Scalia has two years of eligibility remaining while the Gophers — even with a highly-ranked recruiting class coming in — was more in a rebuild mode.

"The clock is ticking,'' he said. "She's a pretty strong-minded kid. She was like, 'I want to win.' ''

And, at this point, that might be with another program.

This is something the Scalia family has been discussing for a while, and it wasn't an easy decision. Peter Scalia said there were times when Sara, well-known for her work ethic in the gym, was looking for teammates with the same commitment.

"This freshman class is coming in with that work ethic,'' he said. "But there are unknows in year one, with how quickly these kids will develop.''
 

Katogopher

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This one hurts. sad to see a native Minnesota player leave and a good one at that. I can understand her wanting to go to a winning program tho, after watching the NCAA tournament we seemed to be a few steps behind to looking like a tournament team. I do believe if Sissoko and Scalia had stayed with the incoming freshmen I think they would have been competitive. Wishing Sara the best.
 




Ho Jon

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Drip, drip, drip, flood. Her program is bleeding. It's nice to hear that the father said they had a good relationship, but if you are rebuilding because of people transferring out every year, that's very concerning. I'm not sure how much longer she can last, and I'm a huge Lindsey fan, but right now (and over the last couple of years) her program is spinning downward, fast.
 

SpaceJunkie

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"This freshman class is coming in with that work ethic,'' he said. "But there are unknows in year one, with how quickly these kids will develop.''
Then either the freshmen are overrated and/or Whalen stinks as a coach, since Utah had no problem this year going from 5-16 to 21-12 thanks to adding two freshman from Minnesota, also the Gophers under Stollings went from being no good to miraculously making the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament by adding a freshman in Pitts, and millions of other examples of freshmen making impacts.
 

gophsfan

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Drip, drip, drip, flood. Her program is bleeding. It's nice to hear that the father said they had a good relationship, but if you are rebuilding because of people transferring out every year, that's very concerning. I'm not sure how much longer she can last, and I'm a huge Lindsey fan, but right now (and over the last couple of years) her program is spinning downward, fast.
My concern since day 1 is who LW surrounded herself with. I knew there was going to be a major learning curve. I accepted that and was ok with that and still am. However, I question the assistants that were hired. Young with no great track record. Certainly no great head coaching experience from assistants. IMO she needed older experienced coaches surrounding her. Coaches who may have admired her as a player, but had the experience to offset her lack of experience. While nice people, the assistants have never had proven winning track records as head coaches at any level that I am aware of. Did Shimmy have a winning season at St. Louis? What was Royslands record at Macalaster? I don't think she even achieved a 500% season at a D3 school did she? What about Carly? Has she even had head coaching experience? She has a great bloodline and will probably get a shot at a head coach spot down the road, and probably would have been a nice assistant had we initially had a stronger supporting staff. Even O'Banion in the first year had a brutal head coaching record at Kent State previously I believe. If LW isn't able to turn this program around, I think this will be what brings her coaching tenure at the U down. Thoughts?
 


Ignatius L Hoops

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Other possible scenarios for all the departures
  • Those that have left have found it to be better at other programs and have shared that with those that were still here
  • The addition of Shimmy and/or the loss of Dani
  • Lindsey not listening to the players
  • Tired of losing with no end in sight
I guess the good thing is that the incoming class can’t decommit because of the LOIs, correct? But maybe they’re one and done too…I’m not sure how Coyle can ignore all of this though.
I think its door number four
 

Roland Brooks

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My questions based on what’s gone on and IMO what would be more important.

Can Whalen communicate with her players. Does she coach like she played? Tough no nonsense? Is she able to teach? How much responsibility do her assistants have? Are the assistants allowed to teach? Or is Whalen a control freak? How is it to work for Whalen?
 

BBJones

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Going into her 5th year, Lindsay is starting over. Can she find enough Big Ten caliber players in the portal to make the Gophers competitive next year? I'm skeptical. She's only hit on one (Winters) out of four so far. And now she's dealing from a weaker hand. I agree with Gophsfan regarding her staff. She apparently chose them for their loyalty, not their experience. Big mistake. Too bad Scalia didn't show some loyalty. I never saw her as a team leader, but I thought she'd stay. Can't blame her though. The ship is sinking fast. Lindsay is the reason I got season tickets back in 2002; now she may be the reason I drop them.
 
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walleye

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I am sorry to see Scalia leave. She is a great player. However, I am sure that she has aspirations of playing pro basketball and her opportunities/value will be greater if she plays for a contending or marquee team. I think the loss of our seniors/graduate student players and Sissoko means that there is too much work to do to make the Gophers a contender next year. Scalia will be able to exhibit her talents and get more media attention elsewhere. I wish her the best.
 


PhiloVance

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Regardless of the reasons why 4 players have entered the portal the issue rest with the coach.
 



Roland Brooks

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The I need to go elsewhere to win mindset is weak
I agree it is… unless the situation there is so bad it makes no sense to stay. Why subject yourself to incompetence? There are some programs that sink to that level..
 

Ho Jon

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My concern since day 1 is who LW surrounded herself with. I knew there was going to be a major learning curve. I accepted that and was ok with that and still am. However, I question the assistants that were hired. Young with no great track record. Certainly no great head coaching experience from assistants. IMO she needed older experienced coaches surrounding her. Coaches who may have admired her as a player, but had the experience to offset her lack of experience. While nice people, the assistants have never had proven winning track records as head coaches at any level that I am aware of. Did Shimmy have a winning season at St. Louis? What was Royslands record at Macalaster? I don't think she even achieved a 500% season at a D3 school did she? What about Carly? Has she even had head coaching experience? She has a great bloodline and will probably get a shot at a head coach spot down the road, and probably would have been a nice assistant had we initially had a stronger supporting staff. Even O'Banion in the first year had a brutal head coaching record at Kent State previously I believe. If LW isn't able to turn this program around, I think this will be what brings her coaching tenure at the U down. Thoughts?
Really no issues with what you are saying. However, I assume that her biggest counselor or advisor when it comes to basketball is Cheryl Reeve. If it's not, it probably should be. I also assume that is why she will have a very long leash. My main issue is this seems to be happening year after year. Maybe I'm exaggerating it, but that is how it feels now. If it was any other name, would she still be employed? I probably can't answer that, but I don't think she would be with the attrition her program seems to have.
 


MNGophers3

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When is this madness going to end? Lindsay Whalen and the rest of the coaching staff are the problem. Losing arguably your top 3 starters to the transfer portal... what is going on, and when will there be accountability with the coaching staff? Honestly, I am happy for Scalia. She deserves SO much better than a subpar team lead by a very subpar group of coaches. Whalen has completely destroyed the program, period. Losing your top player, who is a MN native, is frankly embarrassing. I don't want to hear any more "oh, but the incoming class." No. We have no veteran leadership left on the team. And ultimately, will it even matter how good next year's incoming freshmen are? It is very apparent that the coaching staff cannot develop players or put together a winning team. How does Coyle not see this? Watching games has become painful. Whalen's ability to coach just isn't there, and it is time to move on. Her recent contract extension is an absolute joke and was only given to her because of her name. The players and fans deserve a better coaching staff and a winning program.
 




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