Youth Keeps Connecticut Sun Fresh Amid Hectic Travel Stretch

When the Connecticut Solar took the courtroom for pregame warmups forward of their recreation in opposition to the Minnesota Lynx on Saturday, there have been no indicators of fatigue. The temper was gentle because the gamers danced and smiled, getting free earlier than taking up the defending champions.

For those who didn’t know, you wouldn’t be capable of inform that the Solar had performed 4 video games within the eight days previous to this second.

The Solar (7-1) have youth on their aspect.

The group simply completed a stretch of 5 video games in 9 days in 5 cities, going 4-1 in that span and managing to do it with vitality and physicality. Age would possibly deliver knowledge and expertise, however younger our bodies able to fast restoration have been key to the Solar’s survival in early June.

The common age of gamers on the Solar is 24 (24.75 to be precise), and it’s been their collective youth that’s helped them recuperate over this taxing interval.

“To know what you undergo in taking part in 5 video games in 9 days in 5 completely different cities — the wake-up calls, the business flights, breakfast and lunch at all times within the airports,” stated coach Curt Miller. “You land and seize your baggage and go proper to observe. You get checked in and the subsequent day you’re waking as much as a shoot-around or a walk-through. For us to go 4-1 in that stretch is solely outstanding and a credit score to that locker room.”

The Solar started this stretch with wins in Chicago and DC earlier than struggling their solely lack of the season in Atlanta. They shortly bounced again, beating the New York Liberty earlier than coming residence to Mohegan Solar Enviornment and defeating the Lynx 89-75 Saturday.

“When that schedule got here out and I noticed that stretch — 5 video games in 9 days in 5 completely different cities — each group goes by way of it, however for us to go 4-1 and even within the recreation we misplaced we gave ourselves a legit shot to get to the end line in Atlanta, is outstanding,” Miller stated. “I couldn’t be extra pleased with that stretch.”

Not solely did the Solar win 4 of these video games however they received a majority of them decisively, beating the Chicago Sky by 38, the Washington Mystics by 24 and the Lynx by 14. Regardless of the broad margin of victory, it hasn’t been simple for the Solar.

“It’s been robust due to the journey,” stated level guard Jasmine Thomas. “You don’t have a lot time to get on the courtroom and truly observe and put together the way in which you wish to, however the benefit of that’s that we’re professionals. We’re used to it. We all know what it takes to arrange by way of video and scout for a group, and we have now depth that helps us keep recent.”

The stretch has been simpler for some than others, reminiscent of Courtney Williams, who joked that she’s younger and “doesn’t have issues like that but” after scoring a season-high 22 factors Saturday in opposition to the Lynx.

The problem of the schedule has stored Connecticut targeted. Their mind-set has been one in every of persistence — they see the sunshine on the finish of the tunnel, they usually’re going to push previous any fatigue which may come alongside earlier than they get there.

“It’s onerous, particularly while you play a whole lot of minutes,” Alyssa Thomas stated. “We simply push by way of it. We all know these video games are tremendous vital proper now. Fortuitously, we’re one of many youthful groups so we’re capable of recuperate quicker than most. We’ve simply received to maintain pushing by way of.”

As a reward for his or her efforts, the Solar gamers are lastly getting a break day — however just one.

“They’ve earned this break day desperately,” Miller stated. “Now, they need greater than in the future off, however they’ve earned that in the future off desperately.”

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