The day after a season-opening upset loss is never good for college basketball coaches, but the mood can around quickly when your program signs its best recruiting class in the internet-ranking era.

That was the contrast Gophers women’s coach Lindsay Whalen between Tuesday’s disappointing and surprising loss to Jacksonville and Wednesday’s recruiting class ranked in the top 10 in the nation.

The Gophers netted four of the top 100 prospects in the 2022 class, coming in at No. 7 in the country, according to ESPN’s ranking on Oct. 31. Jr. All Stars has Minnesota even higher at No. 4.

The haul is a four-pack of talented Minnesotans: No. 28-ranked Mara Braun, a 6-foot guard from Wayzata; No. 39 Amaya Battle, a 5-11 guard from Hopkins; No. 55 Mallory Heyer, a 6-1 forward from Chaska, and No. 90 Niamya Holloway, a 6-foot power forward Eden Prairie.

“They are all ultra-competitive and want to have success, and they know it takes a team,” Whalen said. “So being able to play with other great players is something that they all wanted to do, and like I said, momentum has really helped this class come together.”

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This is a class Whalen has been working on since she was hired in spring 2018, when she was still playing in the WNBA and the current crop of prospects were coming out of their eighth-grade years. Whalen and her staff’s relationships with players and families have roots.

“That is why it’s such a great day for our program that they’re officially a part of our family and a part of our team,” Whalen said.

Whalen said she felt this could be a special recruiting class two years ago. The recruits, who have played against each other for years, and have bonded off the court.

“Now they are great friends,” Whalen said. “They know they have a chance to do something really special along with the rest of our team, who will be on the team next season. I know they are excited about the opportunity. I know a lot of them, if not all of them, have grown up dreaming about representing the University of Minnesota and the state of Minnesota.”

Whalen's comments

— “Niamaya (Nia) Holloway is a true (power forward who) brings us great length and tenacity at both ends of the floor. Nia plays the game with so much passion, joy and toughness, and we cannot wait to get her here.”

— “Mallory Heyer is as skilled as it gets. She plays inside and out, runs the floor hard on every possession and defends at a very high level. A Minnesota state champ and now a Minnesota Golden Gopher!”

— “Amaya Battle is a guard who can finish strong at the rim, has a great midrange shot and pushes the pace on every possession. Look out for her on the defensive end as well as she takes great pride in rebounding at her position. Her winning pedigree will make an immediate impact in our program.”

— “Mara Braun is a dynamic guard who can play and defend multiple positions. She has a knack for scoring and making big plays for her team when they need it. She is a winner.”