Basically, it was just a glorified practice. The Gophers women's basketball team has been doing this, pretty much every day, for three weeks now, getting ready for its first season under coach Lindsay Whalen.
But Saturday's Maroon and Gold showcase felt a little special.
The scrimmage was open to the public, and around 1,000 fans showed up to watch Whalen pace the arena's newly whitewashed floor for the first time as coach. For the freshmen, including Mercedes Staples, it was the first time seeing the Barn.
"It was a good day,'' Whalen said. "Good to see so many fans out here. Overall, I was pleased.''
Fans got a look at what Whalen is doing with the team, including:
• Installing man-to-man defense, something the players seem to be catching on to. Saturday the rotations were pretty good for team that played zone in previous years.
"I think it will be great for us,'' guard Kenisha Bell said.
• Diversifying the games of key players. Bell and Staples are being asked to learn both guard positions, and Destiny Pitts, last year's Big Ten freshman of the year, is being asked to move more without the ball and score from different spots on the floor.
"They're asking for more stuff,'' she said. "And I feel comfortable doing it.''
The clock continues to count down to the Nov. 9 opener against New Hampshire.
•Gadiva Hubbard, one of three returning starters, did not participate. She has been battling a foot issue. Whalen said more news would be coming on Hubbard, likely this week.
U sophomore advances in tennis regional
Gophers sophomore tennis player Jackson Allen battled past Omaha's Razvan Grogorescu 6-4, 7-6 (10), then received a walkover from Oklahoma competitor Jake Van Emburgh in the quarterfinals to secure a berth in Sunday's semifinals at the ITA Central Regional in Tulsa, Okla.
This marks Allen's best run yet at the ITA Regional tournament since being eliminated at last year's tournament in the Round of 32. Allen is the only non-seeded and Minnesota participant remaining in the singles draws.
The Gophers' Stefan Milicevic lost 6-3, 7-6 (4) to Kareem Allaf of Iowa in the quarterfinals.
Gopher men win home dual, women lose
The Gophers men's swimming and diving team won its first home dual meet of the season 181-119 over Florida State on Saturday while the Gophers women fell 176-124 to the Seminoles at the Aquatic Center.
Max McHugh won the 100 and 200 breaststroke and the 200 individual medley for the Gophers men, who won 11 of 16 events.
McHugh posted top-10 national times in his breaststroke events, finishing in 54.12 and 1:58.34, respectively.
McHugh also swam the second leg of the men's dual-opening medley relay, which won in 1:27.63.
In the women's dual, Gophers senior Chantal Nack of Mankato won the 200 backstroke, 200 freestyle and 200 IM and Mackenzie Paddington won the 1,650-yard freestyle in a nation-leading 16:33.14, as well as the 500 freestyle (4:53.61).