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Walker out to convince Sun coaching staff her time is now

Mohegan - The Connecticut Sun were practicing fullcourt Tuesday when DeMya Walker got trapped and tried to call timeout.

Walker had the right idea, but the problem was timeouts weren't part of the practice.

"(It was the) smartest decision," Walker smiled. "It was bound to be a turnover if I didn't."

Walker has been doing her best to impress at training camp. She'll have another chance today when Connecticut plays host to San Antonio (Mohegan Sun Arena, 7 p.m.).

Walker, a 6-foot-3 power forward, is hoping to play more in her second season with Connecticut. She had been a starter for over half of her 11-year career.

Last year, Walker got lost in the shuffle once French post Sandrine Gruda arrived six games into the season. Walker averaged 11 minutes in 31 games.

"It was a little disappointing," Walker said. "I wanted to contribute more, but there's different ways to contribute, and I think that's what I took into the offseason. I took pride in being able to help Tina (Charles) and seeing her grow. I took pride in being able to contribute in other ways, but I'm a basketball player. That's what I do."

Walker told Sun coach Mike Thibault during last year's exit interviews that she wanted more minutes.

"I asked her if she wanted to play here again," Thibault said. "She said, 'if I play.' That was the start of the conversation. In her defense, she had some points. And in my defense, I thought I had a couple.

"She was kind of stuck in the middle when Sandrine came and her minutes varied. What she was asking me was for consistency. And I said that consistency of play was a big thing (for me)."

There will be more minutes for everyone in the post rotation this season — Gruda will most likely take the WNBA season to rest after playing nearly year round.

"I told (Walker). … 'make it hard for me to keep you off the court,'" Thibault said. "So far in training camp, she's done that. She's played really well. She's been aggressive."

Connecticut currently has a four-player post rotation. Charles and forward Asjha Jones will start. Forwards Kelsey Griffin and Walker are the reserves.

"We have an amazing post core," Walker said. "Asjha is amazing. Tina Charles is amazing. Kelsey Griffin, she's such a hard worker."

It remains to be seen if the Sun will add a player. Undrafted rookie Stephanie Murphy is the only other post in camp. Murphy, a 6-4 power forward, has made a good impression. The Sun could keep her, scour the waiver wire or stand pat.

"Tina is capable of playing big minutes," Thibault said. "Asjha is going to be able to play a fair amount more minutes than she did last year at a far more efficient level. Kelsey is going back to being at a comfortable position again (power forward). If they all stay healthy, and that's the big 'if' for everyone, I'm comfortable."

n.griffen@theday.com

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