Minnesota Sports Briefs: Whalen leaves pro team in TurkeyMinnesota Sports
-- Minnesota Lynx star Lindsay Whalen has left her professional team in Turkey due to a contract dispute.
ISTANBUL, Turkey -- Minnesota Lynx star Lindsay Whalen has left her professional team in Turkey due to a contract dispute.
Most WBNA players supplement their income by playing overseas in the offseason and Whalen has done that for several years. The Hutchinson native and former Golden Gopher superstar said on her Twitter account yesterday: "Unfortunately because the terms of my contract have not been met, I felt is was in my best interest to not continue with the organization." She had been playing for a team called Galatasaray in Istanbul. She thanked the team's fans for their support. Whalen did not say whether she'd try to sign with another team or simply return to Minnesota.
The Lynx added free agent forward Rachel Jarry to the roster. The 21-year-old Jarry has already played portions of five professional seasons in her native Australia, being named an all-star this past season, with averages of 13 points and seven rebounds per game. She was the youngest member of the Australian women's Olympic team this past year, winning a bronze medal in London.
The University of Minnesota men's hockey team fell from the top perch in this week's USCHO.com national rankings. The Golden Gophers split a series with St. Cloud State over the weekend to dip to 19-5-4 on the season. Minnesota checks in at No. 2 in this week's rankings, behind new No. 1 Quinnipiac, which sits at 21-3-4. St. Cloud State remained at No. 8, while Minnesota State-Mankato moved up two spots to ninth. The Golden Gopher women remained atop the women's survey, with a 30-0 record. Minnesota-Duluth dropped out of the poll. And, the Gustavus Adolphus women remain unbeaten at 20-0-1 and ranked No. 2 in the NCAA Division III poll.
Bethel junior forward Christina Masten of Fergus Falls is this week's MIAC women's hockey Athlete of the Week. Masten helped Bethel to a weekend sweep of Augsburg. Saint John's freshman goaltender Saxton Soley of Elk Mound, Wisconsin is this week's men's honoree. He pushed the Johnnies to a pair of wins over St. Olaf, making 46 saves in two games.
The University of Minnesota men's basketball team is no longer ranked in either national poll. Minnesota dropped games to Michigan State and Illinois and went from No. 18 to unranked. Indiana is the No. 1 team in both the media and coaches rankings. The Gophers host Wisconsin on Thursday night. The Badgers are back in the rankings, sitting at No 20 in the media survey and No. 19 in the coaches balloting. Thursday's game tips off at 6 p.m. at Williams Arena.
The Big Ten Conference has named its men's basketball Players of the Week. Illinois senior D.J. Richardson and Wisconsin junior Ben Brust share the weekly honor. Richardson helped the Illini to wins over No. 1 Indiana and No. 18 Minnesota, scoring 13 in Sunday's win over the Gophers at Williams Arena. Brust averaged 16-points in two wins for the Badgers, who come to the Barn on Thursday night for a game against the Golden Gophers.
The NSIC and MIAC have named their weekly basketball award winners. Minnesota State-Moorhead junior forward Morgan Zabel of Northfield is this week's NSIC women's basketball Player of the Week. She helped the Dragons to a pair of wins, pushing her team into a tie for the North Division lead. Winona State senior center Clayton Vette of Waverly, Iowa is the men's weekly winner for the second consecutive week. WSU split a pair of games over the weekend. St. Thomas junior forward Taylor Young of Edina is this week's MIAC women's basketball Player of the Week after helping the Tommies to three wins over the past week. And, Carleton senior wing Scott Theisen of Champlin is the men's honoree. He hit the 1000-point mark in his career, as well as the 500-rebound mark all while leading the Knights to three wins. He had a triple-double in a win over Macalester, with 21 points, ten rebounds, and ten assists.
Twins pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training today in Fort Myers. Players will go through their first workout tomorrow. The rest of the team reports to camp on Friday with the first full team workout on Saturday. Most of the pitchers and catchers are already in Fort Myers and have been taking part in voluntary workouts over the past few days. New pitching prospect Alex Meyer says he's eager to show the organization what he's capable of doing. Meyer came over to the club from Washington when the Twins traded Denard Span to the Nationals. The Twins open Spring Training play against the Baltimore Orioles on February 23rd.
The Cleveland Indians made a splash on Monday, reportedly agreeing to a deal with free-agent outfielder Michael Bourn. According to FOX Sports, the 30-year-old will receive a four-year, $48-million deal from the Tribe, with a fifth-year vesting option of $12-million. Bourn spent last season with the Braves, after coming over in a trade deadline deal with the Astros the previous season.