Youth Keeps Connecticut Sun Fresh Amid Hectic Travel Stretch

When the Connecticut Solar took the court docket for pregame warmups forward of their recreation towards the Minnesota Lynx on Saturday, there have been no indicators of fatigue. The temper was mild because the gamers danced and smiled, getting free earlier than taking over the defending champions.

In the event you didn’t know, you wouldn’t have the ability 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 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 power and physicality. Age may convey 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 better over this taxing interval.

“To grasp what you undergo in enjoying 5 video games in 9 days in 5 completely different cities — the wake-up calls, the business flights, breakfast and lunch all the time within the airports,” stated coach Curt Miller. “You land and seize your baggage and go proper to apply. 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 rapidly bounced again, beating the New York Liberty earlier than coming house 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 means of it, however for us to go 4-1 and even within the recreation we misplaced we gave ourselves a reliable shot to get to the end line in Atlanta, is outstanding,” Miller stated. “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 huge margin of victory, it hasn’t been simple for the Solar.

“It’s been powerful due to the journey,” stated level guard Jasmine Thomas. “You don’t have a lot time to get on the court docket and truly apply and put together the way in which 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 organize by means of video and scout for a group, and we have now 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 problem of the schedule has stored Connecticut centered. 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 arduous, particularly while you play plenty of minutes,” Alyssa Thomas stated. “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 better quicker than most. We’ve simply bought 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 stated. “Now, they need greater than in the future off, however they’ve earned that in the future off desperately.”

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