Scoggins: Give Whalen One More Year

Ignatius L Hoops

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The day that news surfaced in 2018 that Gophers women's basketball coach Marlene Stollings was bolting for Texas Tech, I made a public plea for athletic director Mark Coyle to consider an unconventional hire.

Call Lindsay Whalen, I screamed on social media. Make every reasonable attempt to hire the basketball legend, even though she had no coaching experience.

I believed the potential payoff was worth the risk.

It hasn't worked out that way to date.

Coyle, Whalen and the program have arrived at an inflection point. Another disappointing season ended with a whimper Wednesday, a 72-67 loss to Penn State in the first round of the Big Ten women's tournament at Target Center
 

Scoggins gives no indication (other than the Freshmen getting better) from where he expects Whalen's giant leap in coaching prowess to materialize. We are presently at five years and counting
 

Scoggins gives no indication (other than the Freshmen getting better) from where he expects Whalen's giant leap in coaching prowess to materialize. We are presently at five years and counting
Definitely his take is based more on hope than experience. This was a bad year, it was worse than the year before, she is five years in, the general trend has been downwards, and there is no good season to point to.
 

Whalen should get one more year with her top ten recruiting class. Braun and Battle said they’re staying and want to help change the direction of the program. They also add Hart and next years class has some talent. If next year continues to be a sloppy turnover fest on the court like this year then it’s most likely over.
 

Every year, it's wait another year. Let's face reality and move on. Hire a real coach.

Look at Brenda Frese, Maryland had big time transfers out after last season. She was able to steady the ship, got key players to come to Maryland, and (shocker) they are #5 in the country this year. She knows what she is doing.
 




Johnston is not leaving South Dakota State. He was going to leave for Green Bay about 15 years ago and he backed out. He’s a jackrabbit until retiring IMO.
 

Scoggins gives no indication (other than the Freshmen getting better) from where he expects Whalen's giant leap in coaching prowess to materialize. We are presently at five years and counting
She went 21-11 (9-9) in year one, so she knows how to coach. That team was a veteran team. Her only option is to develop and improve young talent. There isn't a JR on this year's squad.
 



Definitely his take is based more on hope than experience. This was a bad year, it was worse than the year before, she is five years in, the general trend has been downwards, and there is no good season to point to.
Here's the thing. She was made coach overnight with absolutely little to no connections in the MN basketball community as a coach. She had to develop those connections. She was actually behind Johnson in those local connections. She developed those connections and now has a plethora of local talent in the program. I agree with Scoggins that next season has to show extensive improvement or it will be time to move on. Johnson should have a shorter leash due to his prior local recruiting and being in the same spot Whalen is in now with comparable age of roster. Both should get next year as a prove it season.
 

Every year, it's wait another year. Let's face reality and move on. Hire a real coach.

Look at Brenda Frese, Maryland had big time transfers out after last season. She was able to steady the ship, got key players to come to Maryland, and (shocker) they are #5 in the country this year. She knows what she is doing.
That's like saying look at any Blue Blood. Frese is that level of coach. MN was her stepping stone.
 

She went 21-11 (9-9) in year one, so she knows how to coach. That team was a veteran team. Her only option is to develop and improve young talent. There isn't a JR on this year's squad.
So the team she inherited had a good season… to date she has not shown she knows how to coach.. not saying it can’t happen
 

I actually feel for this freshman recruiting class lots of pressure to win it is not fair… they got no help from their coach yesterday… Penn St tried to gift wrap another win but it didn’t happen… speaking of coaches how about the Penn St Coach having her four players huddled on the sideline while the Gophers are starting up court… she should be fired for that… embarrassing
 



She went 21-11 (9-9) in year one, so she knows how to coach. That team was a veteran team. Her only option is to develop and improve young talent. There isn't a JR on this year's squad.
Does she? Year one team was run by assistants as Lindsay played for the Lynx. And as you stated it was a veteran team.
 

I actually feel for this freshman recruiting class lots of pressure to win it is not fair… they got no help from their coach yesterday… Penn St tried to gift wrap another win but it didn’t happen… speaking of coaches how about the Penn St Coach having her four players huddled on the sideline while the Gophers are starting up court… she should be fired for that… embarrassing
And yet they still beat us down the floor and contested the shot such that it was a miss from the moment it left Battle’s hand. If they had given up an uncontested layup, then you have something, but that’s not what happened.
 

Here's the thing. She was made coach overnight with absolutely little to no connections in the MN basketball community as a coach. She had to develop those connections. She was actually behind Johnson in those local connections. She developed those connections and now has a plethora of local talent in the program. I agree with Scoggins that next season has to show extensive improvement or it will be time to move on. Johnson should have a shorter leash due to his prior local recruiting and being in the same spot Whalen is in now with comparable age of roster. Both should get next year as a prove it season.
When you say "prove it", are you talking about a legitimately good season? Or just a return to the mediocrity of around. 500 in conference and a bubble team that doesn't get out of the first weekend?
 

Correct me if I'm wrong: The U has built new facilities for almost every varsity sport (football, swimming, hockey, baseball, softball, tennis, track and field, likely others I've not mentioned), but they leave M & W basketball and VB playing in a rundown, antiquated building that's over a 100 years old and looks and acts its age. What top talented youth want to play there? What BB coach, even a genius at recruiting, could recruit a winning team in such a building in the 21st century? Why build new facilities for other varsity programs, but leave BB in the lurch? And why visit that fate on basketball, a Big Ten revenue sport at the U? Do any nationally sought-after top-rated athletes want to play there? And how many talented coaches want to coach there?
 

And yet they still beat us down the floor and contested the shot such that it was a miss from the moment it left Battle’s hand. If they had given up an uncontested layup, then you have something, but that’s not what happened.
Yes good thing her assistant made her aware or no one would have been back.
 



Correct me if I'm wrong: The U has built new facilities for almost every varsity sport (football, swimming, hockey, baseball, softball, tennis, track and field, likely others I've not mentioned), but they leave M & W basketball and VB playing in a rundown, antiquated building that's over a 100 years old and looks and acts its age. What top talented youth want to play there? What BB coach, even a genius at recruiting, could recruit a winning team in such a building in the 21st century? Why build new facilities for other varsity programs, but leave BB in the lurch? And why visit that fate on basketball, a Big Ten revenue sport at the U? Do any nationally sought-after top-rated athletes want to play there? And how many talented coaches want to coach there?
Everything has been updated for practice facilities. Just game courts are old. I don't know how much they practice at Williams arena. If they start to win, the arena discussion will go back to the back burner.
 

When you say "prove it", are you talking about a legitimately good season? Or just a return to the mediocrity of around. 500 in conference and a bubble team that doesn't get out of the first weekend?
With 5-6 top 25 programs in the Conference, I'll take beating some of them and being a bubble team next season with the current roster. Depending on what other lose, the jump could be higher. I think being in the discussion for ranked 20-30 and tournament team is the baseline.
 

First to admit I do not follow the women super closely. I read box scores, articles, etc. but I rarely watch. Just too busy with other stuff.

I did watch against Penn St. What an awful display of coaching and preparedness. I texted a friend after 5 minutes that I'd fire Whalen. It wasn't South Carolina's press destroying the Gophers. It was a bottom tier big ten team. They looked completely befuddled by what Penn State ran and I will assume (I do not know for certain) that Penn State runs that same press every game.

Should she get another year? Sure. But only because there is a lot of talent here because of her. One more year and without a major jump--she should be gone. But I still would fire her now.
 


Here's a look at stats for looking for improvement. Turnovers and steals are two areas they have to be better. last in the conference in steals by a long shot. They need a strong Center presence on the court.
 

While I’m leaning more towards the fire Whalen side of the fence, I’m wondering what the players, especially the freshmen, think of Whalen’s ability to coach. They have obviously experienced many different coaches in their lifetimes. Do they also think her inept?
 

First to admit I do not follow the women super closely. I read box scores, articles, etc. but I rarely watch. Just too busy with other stuff.

I did watch against Penn St. What an awful display of coaching and preparedness. I texted a friend after 5 minutes that I'd fire Whalen. It wasn't South Carolina's press destroying the Gophers. It was a bottom tier big ten team. They looked completely befuddled by what Penn State ran and I will assume (I do not know for certain) that Penn State runs that same press every game.

Should she get another year? Sure. But only because there is a lot of talent here because of her. One more year and without a major jump--she should be gone. But I still would fire her now.
You also have a backcourt of all freshman. Their senior Cayton did not play. All of the girls have commented on the physicality in the big ten. It’s a massive jump from hs. Caitlin Clark still talks about it. She put on muscle weight in the off season to help her with the physicality. The Gophers played Penn state two other times in the regular season. They knew the game plan.

I did watch these women all season. I see what they can do. I see that it has taken longer than anyone wants, but Whalen has improved. I did not enjoy watching them last year because their body language sucked. Watching everyone pack their bags and leave last year was bitter sweet. I like that they were not there to bring down these freshman. However it left the team with little to no experience. Now they start with experience. I’m already excited for next year.
 

She went 21-11 (9-9) in year one, so she knows how to coach. That team was a veteran team. Her only option is to develop and improve young talent. There isn't a JR on this year's squad.
The Big Ten media picked Minnesota to finish 3rd in year one (2018-19), and they finished t6th (9-9). Some others picked them 4th-5th.

 


The Big Ten media picked Minnesota to finish 3rd in year one (2018-19), and they finished t6th (9-9). Some others picked them 4th-5th.

Definitely cause for concern and I agree with Scoggins.
 

Dear Chip: it seems your plea went unheeded.
 




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