The Gophers women’s basketball team lost another player to the NCAA transfer portal. But this may be the most difficult.
Entering the gate, Stillwater’s Sarah Scalia has been the team’s top scorer for the past two seasons. Scalia was coach Lindsay Whalen’s first recruit. Beginning in her new season, Scalia has been racking up double digits in each of her three seasons with Gopher.
I left the Gophers after scoring 1,158 points, attempting 214 of 560 three-point attempts (38.2%).
“I met Sarah [Wednesday] She told me her intent to enter the transfer gate.” “I thanked her for her contribution to the women’s basketball team and wished her all the best going forward.”
The NCAA Gateway has become a big business. Of the five strong conference teams, as of Thursday morning, 163 players entered the gate. In the first section overall, 843 players decided to change teams.
This also happened with the Gophers. Guard Jasmine Powell, part of the same recruiting class as Scalia, was present, departed during the middle of the season, and He will play for Tennessee. Striker Qazi Sissoko announced her decision Shortly after the Gophers’ season ended, they lost to WNIT in the second round at South Dakota State.
Also entering the gate were postal players Erin Hedman and Clark Scorners, who struggled to find time to play.
Of all the players, replacing Scalia may be the hardest. This season she averaged 17.9 points and scored 111 out of 269 threes (41.3%). She scored 20 or more points 12 times, 30 or more points four times, including a first-round WNIT win over Green Bay, when she scored 17 of 33 points in the fourth quarter.
Scalia’s father, Peter, said Sarah’s relationship with Whalen and her crew was good. But it looks like the Gophers and Scalia might be in a different place now. Scalia has two years of eligibility remaining while the Gophers – even with a high-ranking recruiting class – are in rebuilding mode.
He said, “The clock is ticking. She is a strong-minded kid. She was saying, ‘I want to win.’”
And at this point, it may be with another program.
This was something the Scalia family had been discussing for a while, and it wasn’t an easy decision. Peter Scalia said there were times when Sarah, famous for her work ethic in the gym, looked up to her teammates with the same commitment.
He said, “The freshman class comes with this work ethic. But there are things that are unknown in the first year, about how quickly these kids grow.”
Scalia scored in double digits in 22 consecutive games, a streak that was cut short in South Dakota.
Whalen and her crew will have to work to revamp the roster. With transfers and players losing to graduation, Gopher currently has four players that are goalkeepers Alexis Smith, Maggie Kzinano, Katie Borovic and another player Alana Micho.
Whalen has a 10th-ranked recruiting class, a group of four Minnesota players in guards Mara Brown (Waizata), Amaya Patel (Hopkins), and forwards Nia Holloway (Eden Prairie) and Mallory Heyer (Chaska).
However, Gophers will have to make use of the transfer portal to add experience in general and get help with the post specifically. Among the returning players next year, Smith (13) Borovic (one) and Micho (16) participated in the matches. The gopher needs experience, three-point shooting, and being on the post.
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