Friday, June 5, 2009

Sun cut Page, Lyttles

The Sun made their final roster cuts Thursday night, and they were somewhat surprising. Connecticut released forwards Danielle Page and Lyndra Littles, bringing their team to the necessary 11 for Saturday's regular-season opener vs. Washington.

Page, largely a practice player a year ago, had a very solid camp, but ultimately lost a spot to rookie forward Lauren Ervin, a 2008 third-round draft selection with more upside and athletic ability. Littles, who the Sun spoke highly of after grabbing in the second round, departed in favor of guards Kiesha Brown and Kristi Cirone, who Sun coach Mike Thibault had hinted would battle for one spot but ultimately both made the team.

Thus, here is the 11-person roster, of which two more will be cut when Sandrine Gruda and Anete Jekabsone-Zogota arrive (likely later this month or in early July):

G Lindsay Whalen
G Erin Phillips
G Kiesha Brown
G Kristi Cirone
G/F Amber Holt (injured)
G/F Kerri Gardin
G/F Barbara Turner
F Asjha Jones
F Tamika Whitmore
F Lauren Ervin
C Chante Black

Monday, June 1, 2009

Sun cut Swanier, Hayes

Ketia Swanier was among two waived Monday by the Connecticut Sun, who began the process of paring their roster to the necessary 11 before Saturday’s regular-season opener.

The Sun cut both Swanier, a former UConn star, and rookie Ashley Hayes, leaving them with 13 in training camp.

Selected 12th overall in last year’s WNBA Draft, Swanier essentially lost a position battle with camp invitee Kristi Cirone — though her departure does not guarantee Cirone a roster spot, either. Sun coach Mike Thibault is still weighing keeping another point guard behind Lindsay Whalen and Erin Phillips, who’ll likely both start Saturday against the Washington Mystics.

Swanier averaged 2.0 points and 2.3 assists in three preseason games, though her team-high seven turnovers likely played the biggest role in her dismissal. She appeared in 25 games as a rookie in 2008, making six starts, while averaging 1.6 points in 8.5 minutes per game.

Cirone, an Illinois State product, has averaged 2.0 points in 6.7 minutes this preseason, committing just one turnover.

Hayes, signed to a training camp spot because of her shooting ability, made just 4-of-15 shots (26.7 percent) in three preseason appearances. Her departure bodes well for the chances of fellow rookie Lyndra Littles and fourth-year veteran Barbara Turner, all of who have competed for a role as a reserve wing player.

Seven are currently guaranteed roster spots, including Whalen, Phillips, Asjha Jones, Tamika Whitmore, Kerri Gardin, Amber Holt and rookie Chante Black. Sandrine Gruda and Anete Jekabsone-Zogota will also have spots upon joining the team, likely in late June or early July.