Connecticut Sun

WNBA Opening Weekend Thoughts

May 22, 2012 12:05pm
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The 2012 season is officially underway as there were 7 games this weekend. This also means the Minnesota Lynx have started their road to repeat as WNBA Champions.

It all started Friday night in Key Arena, home to the Seattle Storm and one of the league’s best home courts. Here was a team, partly in transition, after they sent Cash and Willingham to Chicago for their 2nd pick in this year’s draft. A still veteran team though, that added all time leading scorer Tina Thompson and great Euroleague big Ann Wauters, Seattle was hoping to maintain their high expectations. Hosting the Los Angeles Sparks under new coach Carol Ross, LA was hoping to turn around their disappointing results in recent seasons. The Storm came out on fire, getting Wauters a ton of easy post touches. While TT drained her NBA range 3′s, the Sparks were settling for and missing a series of mid-range jumpers. As the game wore on it seemed the Sparks had enough to get back into the game, but were suddenly staring at a 21 point deficit late in the 3rd quarter. Lots of ball pressure from the Sparks led to some Seattle TOs and easy run-outs, a barrage of 3′s from Toliver and some key baskets from Parker sent LA on a massive run which tied up the game late in the 4th and continued through, to the final buzzer.

Saturday’s card had 4 games on tap. It started early as the New York Liberty hosted the Connecticut Sun at the MSG. The Liberty enjoyed an 8 point halftime lead, due in part to the time they spent at the free throw line. Despite still trailing by 7 entering the 4th quarter, the Sun scored 27 points in the final period, capitalizing on a fatigued Liberty team who couldn’t execute on offense or get the necessary stops on defense.  Read more »

Kara Lawson not playing tonight for the Connecticut Sun

June 16, 2011 4:26pm
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Kara Lawson will not be in uniform for the Sun tonight. According to the broadcast team she injured an ankle in practice and it was determined she would not be able to go tonight. Hightower has started in her place.

News and notes to get you ready for the Sun and Mystics tonight

June 16, 2011 9:58am
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The Connecticut Sun and Washington Mystics meet up for the 2nd time this season, as the Sun travel to the Verizon Center. In their first meeting at the Mohegan Sun, the Sun shot 8 of 16 from the 3-point line, with an effective FG% of 64%. Only the Sparks, in their home win over Phoenix have posted a higher offensive efficiency in a single game this season.

Washington has been hit or miss as they came off a huge win at Atlanta, but followed it up with a loss in their home opener to Chicago. They allowed the Sky to score at better than 1.2 points/possession  helped in part by getting to the free throw line on 30% of their possessions.

Washington looks to rebound from their home opening loss by establishing some defensive identity coach Lacey has talked about. The Mystics will of course lean on their inside game as both Langhorne and Anosike have been difficult for opposing defenses to contain. Some additional intrigue comes into play as the newly signed Kerri Gardin faces her former team tonight.

Connecticut will look to overcome their road woes, a stigma that has plagued the team going 9-26 over the past 2 seasons.

“We need to have a better defensive presence,” forward Asjha Jones said. “We shown some flashes. But our goal is to let our defense win games for us.”

The Connecticut Sun website also conducted a quick chat with Asjha Jones, as they checked in on her development this season.

The game tips off at 4pm EST and can be seen on WNBA.com Live Access.

To the point, Part 4 (Connecticut Sun)

May 26, 2011 9:37am
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Having spent the past two seasons out of the playoffs, the Connecticut Sun will look to return in 2011. Part of the reason why the Sun have their sights set on a return to the playoffs is due to the expected maturation of third-year PG Renee Montgomery. Montgomery, who is in her second season with the team, averaged 13.3ppg and 4.1apg as a second-year player, which would give the indication that she is a good young player. However, her decision-making ability has been questioned throughout her professional career (WNBA and overseas) and will likely continue to be questioned after last night’s subpar performance in an embarrassing 80-56 loss at home to the San Antonio Silver Stars. Still, preseason games are to be taken with a grain of salt, so there’s no need for Sun fans to panic just yet.  Unlike most young point guards, Montgomery is a leader with an impressive pedigree.  She’s a very good athlete at the point guard position and is equipped with a scoring mentality as well as a strong will to win.  One should count on Montgomery being the starting PG all season barring injuries.

That said, veteran Kara Lawson, who split time at the point last season with Montgomery, is a viable option at starting PG should Montgomery struggle as the main lead guard this season. Lawson won an Olympic gold medal in 2008 as the back-up PG to Seattle Storm star PG Sue Bird.

The Chinese National Team continues on their WNBA tour

May 24, 2011 11:50am
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China has now completed three games during their 2-week WNBA preseason tour.

In their latest stop, the Chinese national team were defeated by the Chicago Sky 84-45. Chicago fans will be excited by 3rd overall pick Courtney Vandersloot who dished out 7 assists with only 2 turnovers in 21 minutes of action. Rookie Carolyn Swords was a pleasant surprise as she finished with 13 points and 8 rebounds as she fights to make the Sky’s roster.

The Chinese national team also fell to the Washington Mystics in scrimmage last Saturday afternoon. Jasmine Thomas, a rookie out of Duke, impressed coaches with her play. “I thought Jasmine’s intensity on defense was good,” Mystics Coach Trudi Lacey said. “As she gets more game experience, her decision-making will get better.”

On their first stop, the Chinese national team were defeated by the Connecticut Sun. They return to action this Friday, May 27th to take on the New York Liberty. It is worth noting many key players were missing for China including Miao Lijie, Lan Bian, Chen Nan and Sui Fei Fei.

Gruda to Stay in France

May 17, 2011 1:19pm
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From the Swish Appeal, head coach Mike Thibault of the Connecticut Sun expects Center Sandrine Gruda to stay in France for the upcoming season.

Taking the UConn Influence too Far?

May 17, 2011 11:56am
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9th-year Sun coach Mike Thibault hopes to return the Sun to the playoffs. One thing he is banking on is the continuity of the squad and their connection to the Connecticut fan base with their influx of UConn players.

“(Ex-Huskies player Renee) Montgomery believes having UConn players is vital to the Sun’s popularity. In many ways, the Sun is the only WNBA franchise where she would feel the same reverence from fans that she knew at UConn.”

Obviously there isn’t another women’s collegiate program to draw from in terms of players that know how to win and have succeeded on that level, but enough is enough. Fans want to embrace a winning team, and whether they knew them or supported them in college can only carry so much weight.

Injury Report