A new way to warm-up. Kelsey Bone. Galatasaray. Etc.
The Connecticut Sun warmed-up together prior to Sunday’s exhibition game against New York.
Huh. That’s new.
The Sun’s new pregame routine was yet another sign that things have changed at Neon Uncasville, and that they will be done Anne Donovan’s way.
Connecticut never warmed-up as a group during the 10 years it was coached by Mike Thibault. The players had their own routine, so much so that one could almost set their watch to it.
Sun players continued to do their own thing last season during Donovan’s first season as head coach.
“That was one of my concessions, truthfully,” Donovan said. “The team had said they would prefer to do their own pre-game thing.”
Connecticut had its most rank season in franchise history last summer as it finished 10-24.
Donovan decided the team would warm-up her way this season. The posts will work with assistant Jennifer Gillom, the guards with new assistant Steven Key.
“It’s just what I’ve always done,” Donovan said. “We come in for a little bit of hard warm-ups. Get them going. Get shots up to get them organized. Not necessarily supervised, but organized shooting.
“Last year, out of respect for what the players had asked, we didn’t do that, and we suffered for that. We had terrible first quarters, and we were not the most prepared team when the jump ball went up. So we were determined to change that, and we have a group that has embraced that.”
Fifth-year forward Kelsey Griffin, one of the few holdovers from Thibault’s tenure, approves of the new routine.
“Since I’ve gotten here, it’s kind of been you do what you needed to do to get ready mentally,” Griffin said. “That worked for some people, but Anne said that last year it didn’t work for us. You can’t really argue against it given the year we had. This is the new attitude we’re adopting into warm-ups.
“Now there’s a little more structure to what we’re doing from the time we step into the building. I think that we’ll benefit, especially since we do have a younger group that haven’t necessarily found their rhythm yet.”
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Atlanta forward Sancho Lyttle had 12 points and 15 points to earn MVP honors as Galatasaray beat Fenerbahce, 73-54, to add another championship to its already momentous season.
Galatasaray downed Fenerbahce last month to win the FIBA Euroleague title, a first for a Turkish team. It could’ve won the Cup earlier, too, as it led the series 2-0.
Bone, a 6-foot-4 forward-center, played just 10 minutes and scored six for Galatasaray in Game 5. She is expected to join the Sun this week.
Connecticut acquired Bone as part of the draft day trade that sent Tina Charles to New York. Connecticut also received forward Alyssa Thomas, which the Liberty drafted fourth overall in April’s draft, and New York’s 2015 first-round draft pick.
Bone averaged 19.5 minutes, 6.9 points and 5.4 rebounds last season for New York. She was a near unanimous selection to the WNBA All-Rookie team, as chosen by the league’s 12 head coaches.
Oh, yeah — Spaniard Alba Torrens scored a game-high 21 for Galatasaray in Monday's win. The Sun selected her in the third round of the 2009 WNBA Draft and still hold her rights.
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That’s all for now. Appreciate you reading.
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