Blogs > Elm City to Eagleville

A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Familiar faces form nucleus for Connecticut Sun

While there are some WNBA teams who have altered their rosters in the hopes of making a run at a playoff berth and ultimately a WNBA championship, the Connecticut Sun opted to go into the 2012 season with nearly the same squad which ended the 2011 season.

The only roster moves made were having veteran Mistie (Bass) Mims and rookie Chay Shegog replace Jessica Breland and Jessica Moore.

Considering that Connecticut finished in a tie with Indiana for the best record in the Eastern Conference in 2011 and had fourth-quarter leads in both the games it lost to Atlanta in the first round of the 2011 playoffs, it's easy to understand why the Sun believes the status quo will work just fine.

Sun head coach Mike Thibault, who doubles as the franchise's player personnel director, has focused on developing the younger players on the team over making wholesale changes. Getting more consistent offensive production out of the small forward position is one area Thibault is harping on.

"I think the two most difficult things to get in this league are consistent point guard and post play and
we already have that," Thibault said. "We have two Olympic post players (Tina Charles and Asjha Jones)and we have two point guards (Kara Lawson and Renee Montgomery), one of whom has been in the Olympics and one that is part of the pool group for USA Basketball. We obviously need a little more
balance in our scoring from our wing players, we need Danielle (McCray), Kalana (Greene), Tan (White) and those players to be better than they were last year. I think our biggest weakness was losing leads in the fourth quarter on the road last year. We lost four or five road games that we felt we could have won. If you win some of those road games, obviously your record is better but it also prepares you better for the playoffs to go win in a hostile environment."

The Sun will open the 2012 at 4 p.m. today on the road against the New York Liberty. The teams will meet again on Sunday at 5 p.m. in Connecticut's home opener.

With two spots yet to be announced in the Paradise Jam and seeing a pattern of tournament officials getting both men's and women's programs to play in the event in the same year, I reached out to the people at Quinnipiac to see if the Bobcats were in contention to play in the women's event in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Sports information director Ken Sweeten said that Quinnipiac would only be playing in the men's field in the November event.

UConn and Wake Forest are entered in both the men's and women's fields. DePaul, Hampton, Marist and Purdue are the other women's teams confirmed to be taking part in the Nov. 22-24 event. Once the final two teams are announced, tournament organizers will put together the two groups of four teams with each team playing the other three teams in their group.


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