What losing Tomancova and Woodard means for women’s basketball

On Oct. 30, head coach Lindsay Whalen announced that Barbora Tomancova and Daja Woodard would no longer be with the team.


Liam Armstrong

Gophers Forward Jasmine Powell approaches defenders in Williams Arena on Sunday, Feb. 10. The Gophers suffered a defeat against Michigan 52-77.

Tony Liebert, Sports Reporter

Minnesota head coach Lindsay Whalen announced Oct. 30 that redshirt sophomore Barbora Tomancova and junior Daja Woodard were no longer with the program.

Tomancova, a Brno, Czech Republic native, appeared in 24 games over the past two seasons for the Gophers. She averaged 1.2 points and 2.0 rebounds per game in her career. The 6-foot-2 post player very well could’ve had an expanded role with the team this season with so much scoring departing from a season ago at her position.

She has reportedly entered her name into the NCAA’s transfer portal with no definitive reason behind the move.

“We wish Barbora well moving forward and thank her for contributions while being in our program,” Whalen said in a statement.

This all but confirms that redshirt sophomore Kadi Sissoko, sophomore Klarke Sconiers, and junior transfer from Nebraska Kayla Mershon will likely control the majority of minutes from the power forward and center positions this season.

Woodard, a Mobile, Alabama native, transferred into the Gophers’ program in April from Jones College, a public community college in Ellisville, Mississippi. The 6-foot-3 forward had never appeared in a game for Minnesota, and she would’ve likely had to compete for the same minutes as Tomancova in the post.

The junior college product was known for her elite athleticism as well as for her ability to dunk from time to time, something quite rare on the women’s basketball scene. Video of her doing so is widely available online.

“Daja informed me [Oct. 29] she would no longer be a member of our team,” Whalen said in a statement. “We wish her all the best.”

The departures come as the 2020-21 season is expected to begin on Nov. 25. However, the Gophers are still yet to officially confirm a single game for the season.