Youth Keeps Connecticut Sun Fresh Amid Hectic Travel Stretch

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

In case you 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 workforce 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 may deliver knowledge and expertise, however younger our bodies able to fast restoration have been key to the Solar’s survival in early June.

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

“To know what you undergo in enjoying 5 video games in 9 days in 5 completely different cities — the wake-up calls, the industrial flights, breakfast and lunch at all times within the airports,” mentioned coach Curt Miller. “You land and seize your luggage and go proper to apply. You get checked in and the following day you’re waking as much as a shoot-around or a walk-through. For us to go 4-1 in that stretch is just exceptional 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 rapidly bounced again, beating the New York Liberty earlier than coming dwelling 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 workforce goes via it, however for us to go 4-1 and even within the sport we misplaced we gave ourselves a reliable shot to get to the end line in Atlanta, is exceptional,” Miller mentioned. “I couldn’t be extra happy with that stretch.”

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

“It’s been powerful due to the journey,” mentioned level guard Jasmine Thomas. “You don’t have a lot time to get on the courtroom and really apply and put together the best way 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 organize via video and scout for a workforce, and we have now depth that helps us keep recent.”

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

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

“It’s onerous, particularly whenever you play plenty of minutes,” Alyssa Thomas mentioned. “We simply push via it. We all know these video games are tremendous necessary proper now. Luckily, we’re one of many youthful groups so we’re in a position to get well quicker than most. We’ve simply received to maintain pushing via.”

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 mentioned. “Now, they need greater than in the future off, however they’ve earned that in the future off desperately.”

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