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 over the defending champions.

If you happen to 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 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 actual), and it’s been their collective youth that’s helped them get well over this taxing interval.

“To know 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 at all times within the airports,” mentioned coach Curt Miller. “You land and seize your baggage and go proper to follow. 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 dwelling to Mohegan Solar Area 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 group goes by means of it, however for us to go 4-1 and even within the sport we misplaced we gave ourselves a respectable shot to get to the end line in Atlanta, is outstanding,” Miller mentioned. “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 vast margin of victory, it hasn’t been straightforward for the Solar.

“It’s been robust due to the journey,” mentioned level guard Jasmine Thomas. “You don’t have a lot time to get on the courtroom and really follow and put together the best way you wish 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 group, and we now have depth that helps us keep contemporary.”

The stretch has been simpler for some than others, akin 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 one among persistence — they see the sunshine on the finish of the tunnel, and so they’re going to push previous any fatigue that may come alongside earlier than they get there.

“It’s arduous, particularly once you play loads of minutes,” Alyssa Thomas mentioned. “We simply push by means of it. We all know these video games are tremendous essential proper now. Happily, we’re one of many youthful groups so we’re capable of get well 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 day without work — however just one.

“They’ve earned this day 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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