Three of the four members of the Gophers' highly rated, in-state recruiting class of 2022 have announced their intention to stay at Minnesota.
Mara Braun, the former Wayzata star, Chaska's Mallory Heyer and Eden Prairie's Nia Holloway were a part of former coach Lindsay Whalen's class, which was ranked 10th in the nation by ESPN. All three will be back.
Braun said the news Whalen would be replaced as coach was difficult. "Well, it's disappointing,'' Braun said Tuesday. "Nobody wants to lose their coach. That was hard. But I had to decide what's best for me. I believed I wanted to finish what I came here to do.''
Heyer said she had informed Gophers athletic director Mark Coyle of her decision.
"I am staying at the U and am committed to helping this program to the top,'' Heyer said.
Holloway has yet to don a Gophers jersey; she injured one of her knees last summer and has been rehabbing for seven months following surgery.
"I've been talking with family a lot,'' Holloway said. "We have come to the decision that I'm going to stay."
The fourth member of that class, Amaya Battle, has yet to announce her decision. Katie Borowicz, Maggie Czinano, Rose Micheaux and Sophie Hart have also yet to announce their intentions. Braun said Whalen had urged her players to stay with the program.
Braun appeared in 29 games. She scored in double figures 22 times and 20 points or more eight times.
Heyer averaged 10.4 points and 7.1 rebounds and recorded four point-rebound double-doubles, including a 28-point, 15-rebound game against Wisconsin on Feb. 11.
"Lindsay was a big part of us coming here,'' Braun said. "She had a big impact on our lives already, playing for her for a year. But the main thing is I came to Minnesota to try to find success here again. To win, like Lindsay did [as a player].''
Holloway also mentioned Whalen. "She cares so much about every one of us,'' she said. "I would hope we'd stay to see out what she wanted to do.''