Youth Keeps Connecticut Sun Fresh Amid Hectic Travel Stretch

When the Connecticut Solar took the courtroom for pregame warmups forward of their sport 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 over the defending champions.

For those who didn’t know, you wouldn’t be capable to 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 facet.

The staff 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 carry 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 grasp what you undergo in taking part in 5 video games in 9 days in 5 totally different cities — the wake-up calls, the industrial flights, breakfast and lunch all the time within the airports,” mentioned coach Curt Miller. “You land and seize your luggage and go proper to observe. 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 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 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 totally different cities — each staff goes by means of it, however for us to go 4-1 and even within the sport we misplaced we gave ourselves a professional shot to get to the end line in Atlanta, is outstanding,” Miller mentioned. “I couldn’t be extra happy 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 large 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 truly observe and put together the best way you need to, however the advantage of that’s that we’re professionals. We’re used to it. We all know what it takes to arrange by means of video and scout for a staff, and now we have depth that helps us keep contemporary.”

The stretch has been simpler for some than others, corresponding 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 in opposition to the Lynx.

The problem of the schedule has saved Connecticut targeted. Their mind-set has been one in all 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 laborious, particularly once you play a number of minutes,” Alyssa Thomas mentioned. “We simply push by means of it. We all know these video games are tremendous essential proper now. Luckily, we’re one of many youthful groups so we’re capable of recuperate sooner than most. We’ve simply acquired to maintain pushing by means of.”

As a reward for his or her efforts, the Solar gamers are lastly getting a time without work — however just one.

“They’ve earned this time without work desperately,” Miller mentioned. “Now, they need greater than sooner or later off, however they’ve earned that sooner or later off desperately.”

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