Last season, the Connecticut Sun had the best record in the WNBA but lost in the semi-finals to the Chicago Sky. The Sun finished first in defense, giving up only 69.9 points per game. Connecticut played most of the season without Alyssa Thomas, who returned for the final three games of the season and the playoffs.
The Sun will have a lot to prove this season. They have a lot of talent on the roster and should contend for a championship.
- Briann January (PG)
January started and played in 29 games last season. She averaged 7.0 points and 3.1 assists per game while shooting 42% from the field and 38% from three-point land. January is an outstanding defensive player and will be missed on that side of the floor.
- Courtney Williams G
The former Connecticut guard Courtney Williams is headed back to the Sun after spending some time with the Atlanta Dream. Willams led the Dream in scoring, rebounding, and assists last season. She averaged 16.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per game.
- Taj Cole G
Cole is a training camp invite. She played well in the Athletes Unlimited (AU) league, earning her a shot to make the Sun roster. Cole averaged 16.9 points per game in AU play.
- Nia Clouden, Michigan State (SG)
- Jordan Lewis, Baylor (PG)
- Kiara Smith, Florida (SG)
Clouden can score the basketball. She scored 50 points in a game this past season. Lewis is a good ball distributor. Smith is a pick for the future; she suffered a season-ending knee injury in the SEC tournament. It’s tough for rookies, especially those drafted in the second and third rounds, to make a WNBA roster because of limited roster spots.
Possible Starting Lineup
- Jonquel Jones (C)
- Alyssa Thomas (PF)
- DeWanna Bonner (SF)
- Courtney Williams (SG)
- Jasmine Thomas (PG)
Reigning WNBA MVP Jones is the franchise player and an absolute lock to start and close games. Jones averaged 19.4 points and 11.2 rebounds per game last season, and she plays well on both ends of the floor.
Thomas could return to the starting line; she is a physical player who is good around the basket and can create shots for her teammates. Bonner is one of the WNBA’s prolific scorers, averaging 15.2 points per game last season.
We all know what Williams brings to the team with her shot-making and play-making ability. Jasmine Thomas rounds out the starting five with her 10.6 points per game last season while shooting 40% from beyond the arc.
Key Bench Players
- Alyssa Thomas (F)
- Brionna Jones (F)
- Natisha Hiedeman (G)
- Kalia Charles (G/F)
- Dijonai Carrington (G/F)
- Na Clouden (SG)
Brionna Jones played great last season, averaging 14.7 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. She also shot 57% from the field. Alyssa Thomas missed much of the season with injury last year, and should be a key piece to upgrading the Sun’s pace of play whether it’s from the starting lineup or off the bench.
Jones will give the Sun an inside presence off the bench that they could run the offense through. Hiedeman is an excellent three-point shooter that will help the Sun stretch the floor.
Charles, Carrington, and Clouden will add depth to the Sun bench. It will be interesting to see who fills the last few spots on Connecticut’s roster.
The Sun find themselves within a small group of bonafide title contenders. With Thomas back healthy and the addition of Williams, it’s championship or bust for the Sun. Connecticut has the talent, and they are an excellent defensive team. There is no reason they should not compete for the WNBA title if healthy.