Thou Shalt Not Criticize A Husky? ... I stand by my reasoning
I'd imagine it would go something like this:
Me: "Bless me father, for I have sinned. It's been too long since my last confession."
Priest: "What are your sins, my son?"
Me: "I wondered on Twitter if Kelly Faris was the right fit for the Connecticut Sun."
Me: "You know. Twitter. I wrote, "Is Faris really what the Sun need? I mean, a wing who is a B-minus shooter at best?"
Priest: "There's nothing I can do for you. You are doomed for eternity. Burn, baby burn. Now don't let the doorknob leave a lasting impression."
And that's it. Doomed. Twitter rebellion. Death by reader comment.
Some were even lucid.
Oh, the humanity.
Now let me just say this: The Sun need a wing shooter — or at least a wing scorer — worse than the rest of need a pancreas or a lung. Which is why I broke a commandment. Thou Shalt Not Criticize A Husky. I guess now I'm supposed to throw myself on the mercy of the flock. Or better yet, into a Louisiana swamp full of testy gators.
Except I stand by my original premise.
Faris may thrive on a good team. I have no idea whether the Sun fit that category anymore. They have too many holes now that Asjha Jones has decided to put her feet up this summer, Danielle McCray injured her Achilles' and nobody seems to know whether Alba Torrens is coming or if Sandrine Gruda wants to.
Nowhere, however, did I question Kelly Faris' character. Not that it matters anymore here in this daily nitwit-o-rama of social media and anonymity. I really like the kid. Anne Donovan was right when she said Faris is a "coach's dream." Doesn't want or need the spotlight. Works her buns off.
But to suggest, by nature of her UConn pedigree, she is the answer to one of the Sun's biggest questions assumes facts not in evidence.
Faris' entire set of skills will be tested mercilessly. Can she shoot the ball well enough? I'm not sure. Can she go by anybody? Can she make opposing defenses pay attention to her? Can she guard opposing small forwards in this league like Seimone Augustus, Angel McCoughtry or Penny Taylor? Can she even win the job in training camp from Kalana Greene and Jo Leedham, the Olympian from Great Britain?
What, I can't ask?
I get that Faris was a joy to watch here. But this is about how her skills translate now, not what she did as a college kid. This is the big leagues.
This is no longer UConn. This is the WNBA. Bigger, stronger, faster, more competitive, more athletic, more physical. Every night. Losing actually happens. So do close games. On any given night, the other team might have Sylvia Fowles, Diana Taurasi, Cappie Pondexter, Tamika Catchings, McCoughtry, Candace Parker, Maya Moore or Sophia Young.
Translation: Every game is hard. There's nobody from Providence guarding you on some nothing Tuesday night. The frame of reference to Faris in Connecticut: the gritty kid who won the national championship last week. That's got to change to the gritty kid whose skills may or may not translate on a team that needs production from her position.
I hope I'm wrong. I hope Faris is so good that somebody puts a salt shaker at my media seat later this summer to make the crow taste better.
I asked Those Who Know around the league some opinions about Faris. They varied.
One observer: "I like her a lot as a kid, but can she stay in front of elite, athletic players? Can she score?"
Another: "Faris was a GREAT pick for them. Had to get a sure thing at that point and she's a sure thing."
Interesting to note the same two folks disagreed on the Sun's No. 2 pick, 6-foot-7 center Anna Prins:
Observer No. 1: "A big kid who can shoot and look Anne in the eye. That's about it."
Observer No. 2: "She played well (at Iowa State) vs. Griner. Not an awful backup for Tina (Charles). Will battle (Tina) in practice, too."
So we'll see. Meanwhile, I'm about to dive in with the gators. Best offer I've had in a while.
This is the opinion of Day sports columnist Mike DiMauro.
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