Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Daily Email Edition

Get MN Daily NEWS delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday!


Big Ten coaches face similar challenges within their programs

Big Ten women’s basketball coaches discussed how they all plan to rebuild their programs amid an increase in talent and growth of the sport.
Image by Alex Karwowski
All 14 Big Ten logos lined the walls of the Target Center, Monday, as athletes and coaches walked between media stations.

Women’s basketball coaches across the Big Ten conference are facing similar issues on rebuilding their programs. 

Representatives from all 14 Big Ten women’s basketball programs met at the Target Center in Minneapolis on Monday to discuss these challenges and their outlook on the season. Coaches also highlighted the amount of young talent and new features within their programs and how it can help expand the sport.

Minnesota head coach Dawn Plitzuweit enters her first season leading the Gophers after spending a year at West Virginia. She said the Gophers’ main focus right now is to maintain a competitive level of play in all settings.

We have stretches right now where we play really good basketball, follow it up by stretches where we don’t play good basketball,” Plitzuweit said. She added they “don’t understand” what it takes yet to be resilient in all types of game settings.

The Gophers will see Mara Braun, Amaya Battle, Mallory Heyer and Niamya Holloway, members of the highest ranked recruiting class in program history, return to the roster.

Plitzuweit said the women on her team care a lot for the sport and are “working their tails off.”

The Gophers are not the only team in the process of rebuilding. Defending Big Ten tournament champions and national runner-up Iowa Hawkeyes lost 40 percent of their starters, including  Monika Czinano 17.1 points per game (ppg) and McKenna Warnock (10.9 ppg).

Head coach for the Hawkeyes Lisa Bluder said, along with Naismith women’s college player of year Caitlin Clark, she is looking forward to the return of Gabbie Marshall, Kate Martin, Molly Davis and Hannah Stuelke.

All five players played in the NCAA National Championship game against Louisiana State. 

The Wisconsin Badgers face a similar unique challenge. Their roster consists of 10 underclassmen, half of them being true freshmen.

Head coach for the Badgers, Marisa Moseley, said she has not been active in the transfer portal. Her philosophy in recruiting has been to get four-year players dedicated to playing for Wisconsin.

“My goal is, each year, not only do we add another core group of young players, but that we’re absolutely making sure that the group that came before them and before them, we’re retaining them,” Moseley said.

The Badgers had six true freshmen on their roster last season and will return five. 

Like Plitzuweit, Robyn Fralick will enter her first season as head coach in the Big Ten for Michigan State after serving the same role at Bowling Green the last five seasons.

Fralick made it a point to emphasize the culture she wants to build among her new team.

“Culture is incredibly important, something that we have a high importance on every single day of who we are, what we’re about and how we’re going to act,” Fralick said. “As a staff, that’s something we’ve been putting a big premium on.”

The Gophers will get the chance to show off the work put into the program during the offseason when they play their first matchup Nov. 8 against Long Island.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Accessibility Toolbar

Comments (0)

All The Minnesota Daily Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *