If you're a Minnesota basketball fan, here's what you should have been thinking during Saturday's Big Ten women's basketball tournament semifinals:

  • For years, the Gophers women's basketball program bragged about who was about to arrive. It was doomed by those who left.

Had Lindsay Whalen been able to keep two of her defections from last offseason in the program, she would probably still have her job.

Sara Scalia chose to be a role player on a great Indiana team instead of the leader of a young Gophers team. Kadi Sissoko has blossomed with a good USC team.

Whalen's last team struggled with turnovers, a lack of experience and three-point shooting. Scalia and Sissoko would have solved many of their problems.

Saturday, Scalia scored 15 points while making four of her eight three-point shots. She also had five rebounds, an assist and a block.

Scalia said she hasn't spoken to Whalen since she left the program, but that "I enjoyed my three years under her.''

  • The best coach the Gophers program has hired in the 35 years, Brenda Frese, coached Maryland in the Big Ten conference tourney semifinals on Saturday. Had she stayed, Minnesota could have become the power that Maryland has become under her.
  • The best of the Big Ten was on display on Saturday — four teams ranked in the top 14 in the country dueling.

If you were lamenting Whalen's departure, you could have distracted yourself on Saturday by watching another player who could become a prominent Lynx guard.

The Lynx hold the second pick in the 2023 WNBA draft. They have dire needs at point guard and center.

This is considered a lone-star draft. Indiana is expected to choose South Carolina post Aliyah Boston, who led her team to an NCAA title last year at Target Center. After that, the talent pool becomes much less certain.

That's why the Lynx may decide to select the best player available instead of trying to fill an obvious need, and if that is their approach, they could select Maryland guard Diamond Miller.

Miller is an athletic 6-3 wing who took the opening tip against Iowa on Saturday, played in the post on defense, and handled the ball on the fast break.

Miller has elevated a Maryland team that lost two key players to the transfer portal. She had knee surgery last year yet has averaged 19.7 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists this year for a powerhouse team, displaying creativity around the basket.

The only obvious flaw on her resume is that her three-point shooting percentage fell from .316 to .205 this season. She made 35.5% of her three-pointers as a sophomore, so there is hope she can improve.

Miller scored 11 points in the first half on Saturday but left the floor, limping, in the third quarter. She returned a couple of minutes later, and wound up defending all over the court, finishing with 21 points, six rebounds, five assists, four steals and two blocks.

  • The Lynx's woes probably won't be solved with one draft pick. If they would like to dream big, they can imagine being in position next year to draft either Hopkins and UConn star Paige Bueckers, or Iowa star Caitlin Clark.

Clark said recently that she could use her COVID year to stay for a fifth season. Bueckers is a great player. Clark has been healthier and a more dynamic scorer.

In the second semifinal on Saturday, Clark made a couple of her patented 25-foot jumpers and finished with 22 points, five rebounds and nine assists.

In the second game, Clark, Miller and their teammates put on a show that Clark cited as a testament to the current quality of women's basketball.

She's right. The semifinals were spectacular. If you get a chance to watch Clark in person Sunday, I would highly recommend the experience.