Training camp for the Connecticut Sun opened this week with two of last year’s first round draft choices recovering from knee surgeries, a procedurally suspended star not around due to an Achilles injury, a former all-star in camp trying to come back from multiple surgeries, and a starting point guard with her foot in a boot.
Just a normal day in Uncasville, for Curt Miller right?
In spite of all of the above, year two of the Miller coaching era, a/k/a year one of the Miller General Manager era began with optimism.
The coaching staff and several important pieces of the roster return to the Sun, and the team, especially the backcourt, has hit the ground running. There is less time being spent on terminology, explanation, and justification, and more time spent on execution, timing, and working with each other.
Part of the optimism is the offseason signings of Chiney Ogwumike, Jasmine Thomas, and Alex Bentley to new contracts. For many reasons, the Sun has been a bit of a transient franchise; a place where players have played but wanted to move on to other teams. The commitment of three core players, plus having second year players Jonquel Jones, Morgan Tuck, Rachel Banham, and Courtney Williams still under their initial deals gives the team a real basis to grow on. Only Alyssa Thomas from the starting lineup will need to be signed after the season, and there is no reason to think that would be a problem.
Jones will be important this season, as Miller is counting on her to continue to grow from a very good rookie year. She had an outstanding winter in Korea, winning the league title and Most Valuable Player awards, and will be one of those counted on to fill the gap caused by Ogwumike’s absence.
Lynetta Kizer, acquired from Indiana, will likewise fill in some of the gaps up front, and her physicality will be a plus with Jones being a slighter and taller player.
It is a pleasure to welcome Coach Miller back to Dishin &