Minnesota takes on UC Davis at the Barn on Sunday and will celebrate Janel McCarville day. The Gophers are 8-1 on the season, with their only loss coming to top 20 Missouri State to begin the season. Since that team, Minnesota has rattled off eight straight wins including an upset over then top 25 ranked Arizona State. They should beat UC Davis, a middling mid-major, rather handily.
The Gophers are led by junior star Destiny Pitts and senior forward Taiye Bello. Pitts, a potential All-American candidate, is averaging almost 15 points a game and shooting 45% from behind the arc. Bello, who had a breakout season last year, continues to be a double double machine. The senior is averaging almost 14 points and 11 rebounds a game.
Sara Scalia has been the pleasant surprise of the season. The freshman from Stillwater was inserted into the starting lineup early in the year because of her scoring ability. She has not disappointed, scoring at least 20 points in two of her last four games. Scalia has great range and toughness when driving to the basket, not unlike her coach back in the day.
Before the game, Janel McCarville’s jersey will be retired. McCarville teamed with Whalen to bring the program to relevance on the national stage. She reached the NCAA tournament all four years at Minnesota, was a two-time First Team All-American and a two-time finalist for the Wade Trophy. McCarville won the Big Ten Freshman of the year, and was the first player in Minnesota history to be all-conference in all four seasons of her career. After graduating, McCarville was drafted first overall by the Charlotte Sting.