Tuck healthy and raring to go for Sun

Mohegan — Morgan Tuck became a dog owner during her first WNBA off-season. The second-year Connecticut Sun post is now a proud dog mom to Tucker, a mini- dachshund.

"He's hilarious," Tuck said. "He's the funniest dog to watch. He always makes me feel good.

"(Dachshunds) are little, but they don't think they're little. They have a lot of personality."

Tuck started at power forward for Connecticut during Tuesday's first exhibition game and came out fast like a dog that had just been taken off the leash. She made two 3-pointers and finished eight points in 12 minutes of play as the Sun beat the Chicago Sky 81-72 at Mohegan Sun Arena.

"I hadn't played in a game since last August when I got hurt," Tuck said. "I know it's not a real game, but just to be in a game setting, I was super excited for it."

The Sun drafted Tuck third overall in the 2016 WNBA Draft after she had won four national championships at UConn. She averaged 16.7 minutes and seven points in 26 games with three starts.

Tuck missed the last eight games of last season after hurting her right knee in an Aug. 28 game against the Atlanta Dream. She had surgery to repair cartilage damage on Sept. 13.

The surgery cost Tuck the opportunity to play overseas in South Korea where she could gain professional experience. She had a minor procedure on April 7 to remove debris from the knee and didn't start playing five-on-five until last Friday.

"It feels good (the knee)," Tuck said "Right now, it's getting used to game speed and shooting when you're tired and still making plays."

Tuck grabbed an offensive rebound after the game's first shot and later made a driving hook shot inside. She made a 3-pointer just over a minute later to tie the game at 7 with over six minutes left in the first quarter.

"She bounced back from (April's surgery) quickly, but she lost some of her conditioning," Connecticut head coach and general manager Curt Miller said. "She worked tremendously hard to be ready for the start of camp. She looked like she got a little tired, lost a little bit of her legs, but you're seeing some of the stuff that we thought we'd see (when we drafted her)."

Miller said that second-year forward Jonquel Jones (6-foot-6), newly acquired forward Lynetta Kizer (6-4, 230 pounds) and Tuck (6-2) would be the core post unit.

"You're seeing some of the savvy defensive ability that we lost (trading) Camille (Little, Connecticut's former starting power forward)," Miller said about Tuck. "And offensively, she's really versatile and fun to play with. Morgan's biggest challenge is to play against the monster power forwards in this league that are bigger, more athletic, than her, but she looks good."

Jones, the sixth overall pick in last year's draft, had eight points, seven rebounds and two blocks in 16:02.

Danielle Adams made 3-of-5 3-pointers and scored a game-high 12 off the bench for Connecticut. That included a go-ahead 3-pointer with 4:29 left in the game that gave the Sun a 71-68 lead.

Adams, a shorter post (6-1) who can shoot, signed a training camp contract with the Sun in February. She averaged 11.4 points in her first five seasons with the San Antonio Stars, but was cut during training camp last season.

"You can run some fun things for Danielle Adams, as you can see," Miller said.

n.griffen@theday.com

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