Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Injury report

Apologies to those expecting to see an advance for the Sun's game with the New York Liberty tonight (7 p.m., ESPN2). I underwent an appendectomy yesterday afternoon, and was unable to attend Sun practice, nor will I be at Mohegan Sun Arena tonight. Joe Perez, normally our UConn women's basketball beat writer, is taking my place.

No worries on this end, though. For those of you who have ever had your appendix removed, you know it's not too serious a procedure. I should be back by mid-week.

As for tonight's game, the Sun are in desperate need of a turnaround. Losers of three straight and five of their last seven, they haven't shot well, nor have they gotten consistent offensive production from anyone outside of Lindsay Whalen and, aside from last game, Asjha Jones.

To illustrate, here are some notable stats from the last three games:
(1) 81-74 loss at Indiana (July 5)
Field goals: 30-67 (44.8 percent)
3-pointers: 2-17 (11.8 percent)
Scorers in double figures: Asjha Jones (20), Lindsay Whalen (18), Tamika Whitmore (15)

(2) 88-82 loss at Detroit (July 8)
Field goals: 32-67 (47.8 percent)
3-pointers: 6-23 (26.1 percent)
Scorers in double figures: Asjha Jones (21), Lindsay Whalen (20), Amber Holt (12)

(3) 69-64 loss at Washington (Sunday)
Field goals: 20-60 (33.3 percent)
3-pointers: 3-22 (13.6 percent)
Scorers in double figures: Lindsay Whalen (33), Amber Holt (10)

Some observations: Outside of the Washington loss, the Sun haven't shot poorly overall from the field, thanks largely to when they have an inside presence, namely Jones. Whitmore, too, has moved more inside to try to cure her personal shooting struggles, but she's even had trouble hitting from close range and on lay-ups. Conversely, Connecticut is taking too many 3s considering how its shooting.

Repetitions and confidence usually are the cures for shooting woes. Returning home, where the Sun are 8-2, may help solve the second part. Nevertheless, the Liberty -- despite dropping both games to Connecticut this year -- have given the Sun problems with their press and depth, both times clawing back, only to fall short in the fourth quarter. At 10-9 and 3-7 on the road, they've also been inconsistent and haven't enjoyed a winning streak longer than two games this season.

Though I won't be at the game tonight, check back during the game, as I will be watching and analyzing from home.

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