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When the Lynx traded the No. 1 pick in the 2010 WNBA draft for former Gophers point guard Lindsay Whalen, the team had posted a 152-214 record through the first 11 years of the franchise’s existence.
And while dealing away the No. 1 pick in the draft is difficult, team owner Glen Taylor said Friday that it wasn’t a tough decision for him.
“Not for us, no,” he said. “I know we gave up a really good player [Tina Charles] … but Lindsay, not only is she local, but her leadership on the floor is just as vital. … You need someone at point guard who is a great leader and knows how to make the other players better.”
Whalen has certainly done that. The team has gone 93-43 since the deal and just won its second WNBA championship in three years, becoming the second team in league history to run through the playoffs without a loss.
Taylor said the Lynx had wanted Whalen for some time. “We had contacted [Connecticut] each year about Lindsay coming here,” he said. “But they would never do a trade with us. Then the No. 1 pick in the draft became available, [Charles] played [in college] at Connecticut, so that was a hometown girl for them and they wanted her.”
The Lynx also gave up Renee Montgomery to the Connecticut Sun in that trade but did receive the No. 2 pick, which was used to take top reserve Monica Wright.
Taylor also pointed out that the Lynx has been very lucky in drafting Seimone Augustus and Maya Moore and adding Rebekkah Brunson in the dispersal draft from Sacramento. Adding former Gophers center Janel McCarville this season was another big boost.
Does he think the team has the making of a dynasty?
“There’s some other good teams in the league, so we have to stay healthy,” he said.
• Don’t be surprised to see Christian Ponder play against Carolina on Sunday if Matt Cassel runs into any problems.
• While Carolina quarterback Cam Newton is generally considered the biggest threat to opposing teams, Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly is just as dangerous on the defensive side of the football. Kuechly was the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year last season after recording 164 tackles, two interceptions and three fumble recoveries, while Newton was the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2011 after he threw for 4,051 yards and 21 touchdowns while rushing for 14 touchdowns and 706 yards.
• Going into the bye week, the Gophers football team was ranked No. 9 in the 12-team Big Ten in offense at 22.1 points per game and No. 8 in defense at 24.7 points per game.
• Buffalo Sabres forward Thomas Vanek, the former Gophers hockey standout who is a free agent next year, was off to a good start this year with four points in his first five games entering Saturday. Vanek might be available to the Wild next season if they need another scoring forward.
• Tyus Jones told a Duke basketball website this week that he and Jahlil Okafor, two of the top high school recruits in the country, don’t pay attention to rumors on where the duo are headed next season. Jones, the Apple Valley point guard, and Okafor, a center from Chicago Whitney Young, have repeatedly said they are being recruited as a package deal.
• With the Major League Baseball playoffs having entered the League Championship Series, three former Twins players remain: Dodgers infielder Nick Punto, Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter and Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz. Catcher Drew Butera is not on the Dodgers NLCS roster, but he has remained with the team during the postseason.
|San Diego||12/12/13 7:25 PM|
|SW Oklahoma St||55||FINAL|
|San Diego St||70|
|(13) Oklahoma State||24|
|(16) Arizona State||14|
|(1) Florida State||45|
|(7) Ohio State||24||FINAL|
|(4) Michigan State||34|
|(21) Fresno State||24|
|Army||12/14/13 2:00 PM|
|(10) Penn State||77||FINAL|
|Central Conn St||82||FINAL|
|(12) South Carolina||76||FINAL|
|Cal State Fullerton||52||FINAL|
|(20) Iowa State||79|
|Stephen F Austin||83||FINAL|
|Long Beach St||67||FINAL|
|Aug 9 - vs. Houston||7 pm||X||27-13|
|Aug 16 - at Buffalo||6 pm||X||20-16|
|Aug 25 - at San Francisco||7 pm||X||34-14|
|Aug 29 - vs. Tennessee||7 pm||X||24-23|
|2013 regular season|
|Sep 8 - at Detroit||Noon||X||34-24|
|Sep 15 - at Chicago||Noon||X||31-30|
|Sep 22 - vs. Cleveland||Noon||X||31-27|
|Sep 29 - vs. Pittsburgh (in London)||Noon||X||34-27|
|Oct 6 - Bye|
|Oct 13 - vs. Carolina||Noon||X||35-10|
|Oct 21 - at. NY Giants||7:40 pm||X||23-7|
|Oct 27 - vs. Green Bay||7:30 pm||X||44-31|
|Nov 3 - at Dallas||Noon||X||27-23|
|Nov 7 - vs. Washington||7:25 pm||X||34-27|
|Nov 17 - at Seattle||3:25 pm||X||41-20|
|Nov. 24 - at Green Bay||Noon||26-26|
|Dec 1 - vs. Chicago||Noon||X||23-20|
|Dec 8 - at Baltimore||Noon|
|Dec 15 - vs. Philadelphia||Noon|
|Dec 22 - at Cincinnati||Noon|
|Dec 29 - vs. Detroit||Noon|