Whalen: Captain of the commandos

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 2, 2012 - 12:25 PM

Lindsay Whalen (14 points, seven rebounds) and the rest of the U.S. team's second unit flourished again.

hide

Lindsay Whalen has helped lead the U.S. team to a 3-0 record in pool play. The Americans next play on Sunday against Czech Republic (1-2).

Photo: Eric Gay, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

LONDON - The U.S. women's basketball team doesn't offer many surprises. Lindsay Whalen might be the only one.

Wednesday night, the U.S. extended its Olympic winning streak to 36 games with an 89-58 victory over Turkey. As routine as that may sound, the game was still in doubt late in the third quarter, and may have remained close if not for Whalen's forceful play and her leadership of what coach Geno Auriemma calls the bench "commandos."

Whalen, the University of Minnesota alum and Lynx star, scored 14 points in 18 minutes, made five of her eight shots, grabbed seven rebounds to tie for the team lead, and contributed two steals and two assists.

She wasn't necessarily the best player on the floor on a night when Angel McCoughtry had 18 points and seven rebounds in 16 minutes, but Whalen was on the floor during two game-breaking runs.

Turkey led 10-8 when Whalen entered with the second unit late in the first quarter. That group went on an 11-6 run.

The U.S. led 46-37 in the third quarter when Whalen's wave entered again, and this time she organized a 20-10 run that broke the game open. Whalen even started with the first unit at the beginning of the fourth quarter.

"When Lindsay was in college and we were getting ready to play in the Final Four, I thought that she was a great combination of somebody who was hard-nosed and smart, and creative," Auriemma said. "She just is what a guard is supposed to be. Back in the day you had guards and forwards and centers. Somewhere along the line someone screwed it up by saying you had to have a point guard, a shooting guard, a small forward, all that. Lindsay is an old-fashioned guard."

Auriemma, the legendary coach at the University of Connecticut, watched Whalen play for the Connecticut team in the WNBA. "I said, man, this kid doesn't have any fun playing," he said. "She needs to have fun and smile and enjoy life.

"When we got to the world championships last year, that was the most surprising part, her personality, her attitude, the work ethic that she brings. The confidence that I have in her is unquestioned."

Despite the three blowout victories in London, the U.S. team has started slowly in each game, leaving Whalen to lead a rally. "I've been blessed to play with her for the last season and a half, and I'm so proud of her and everything she does, and how she's playing at this point in her career," said forward Maya Moore, another Lynx star. "I'm living vicariously through Lindsay Whalen."

Moore had five points and five rebounds in 15 minutes. Seimone Augustus, the other Lynx player on the squad, had nine points in 18 minutes.

Was it difficult for Whalen to become comfortable playing with such a dominant team? "I think you go back to the World Championships," Whalen said. "Getting to know their games, their styles, and what I could bring to the team. ... I kind of figured those things out along the way."

  • WOMEN'S BASKETBALL UNITED STATES 89, TURKEY 58

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Mets 6 Top 8th Inning
Miami 6
Philadelphia 6 Top 9th Inning
Atlanta 0
Boston 3 Top 9th Inning
Tampa Bay 3
Minnesota 6 Bottom 9th Inning
Baltimore 3
Pittsburgh 3 Bottom 6th Inning
St. Louis 2
Milwaukee 0 Bottom 6th Inning
Chicago Cubs 3
Detroit - D. Price 3:05 PM
Cleveland - C. Kluber
Seattle 0 Top 1st Inning
Oakland 0
San Francisco 2 Suspended
Colorado 2
Arizona - T. Cahill 3:10 PM
San Diego - T. Ross
San Francisco - T. Hudson 4:40 PM
Colorado - F. Morales
Washington - G. Gonzalez 7:10 PM
Los Angeles - R. Hernandez
Texas - C. Lewis 7:10 PM
Kansas City - Y. Ventura
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
Buffalo 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
New Orleans 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta
Minnesota 9/7/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Cleveland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Jacksonville 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Oakland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Cincinnati 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Washington 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Tennessee 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
New England 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Tampa Bay
San Francisco 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Indianapolis 9/7/14 7:30 PM
Denver
Utah State 7 FINAL
Tennessee 38
SMU 0 FINAL
(10) Baylor 45
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(7) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(2) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(15) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 30 FINAL
Saskatchewan 35
Toronto 12 FINAL
Hamilton 13
Edmonton 3:30 PM
Calgary
Indiana 0 1st Qtr 10:00
Chicago 0
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close