Part of today's story on the Sun rookies included Sun assistant coach Bernadette Mattox, who has helped the progression of players like Kerri Gardin and Amber Holt in their rookie seasons. But there was a little more on Mattox than what made it into the story. I'll let Asjha Jones explain:
"She comes out sweating, she’s tired," Jones said of Mattox. "She’s on the sideline, doing a stretch. She’s in the weight room, getting her weights in. She’s goes hard in practice and she’s pushed these guys to the brink. And I think that’s why we’re looking a lot better. We’re running full-court defense now. Going into the break, we didn’t do that, and we just want to slow teams down and make them work. Coming out of the break, we bought into that and that’s helping us now."
Jones isn't lying. During shooting drills, Mattox usually supplies the defense, jumping at shooters to give them their reps. In one of the first practices Mike Thibault was back with the team, she spent the early part of the session bodying up on players as they took passes in the paint and got shots up. That's not to say the Sun's other assistant, Scott Hawk, doesn't do much of the same thing. He's constantly in drills with the post players.
But there's a running joke around the Sun's coaching staff that Thibault should give Mattox a seven-day contract -- a la Nancy Lieberman. The Sun, though, have enough guards.