With practice set to start for U women, Whalen is ‘energized’

There is so much coach Lindsay Whalen doesn’t know yet.

Not long ago the coronavirus threatened to stop the 2020-21 Gophers women’s basketball season before it started. Even now, with official practices set to start Wednesday, Whalen doesn’t know yet what the shortened, probably five-game preseason will look like. Or when, precisely, the official Big Ten Conference season will begin.

And yet, her overriding emotion as official practices commence?

“I would say energized,” Whalen said.

Whalen is about to enter her third season. Last year a promising start was waylaid by some internal strife — manifesting in the suspension and, ultimately, the transfer of leading scorer Destiny Pitts — leading to a 16-15 record.

But this team feels different.

Whalen and her staff have put an added emphasis on culture. For a team with three starters returning, this season’s Gophers will look far different.

There is the influx of a

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