Greetings from Mohegan Sun Arena, where the Sun trail Atlanta, 48-46, at the half. Some observations from the first 20 minutes of the 2010 season:
* That Tina Charles is pretty good. The Sun trailed, 11-0, roughly two minutes into the game before Charles starting touching the ball and asserting herself. Through a series of post moves and tough blocks on the defensive end, she helped spark Connecticut in this early morning start time, closing the half with 11 points, six rebounds and four blocks.
Yes, Atlanta is missing the majority of its frontcourt, including All-Stars Sancho Lyttle and Erika de Souza. But Charles is making it look like there's not much difference between the WNBA preseason and college basketball. And truthfully, there probably isn't with the number of college players who make up early season rosters but won't be there come the regular season. Either way, she's been as impressive as you hope the No. 1 overall pick would be.
* DeMya Walker has five points and two rebounds, but the toughness she gave (and will give) the Sun made the difference. At one point in the second quarter, she became tangled with Atlanta's Angel McCoughtry (17 points) and literally threw the former Louisville star into the base of the basket. There was no foul (and there shouldn't have been), but the muscle and attitude the Sun hoped they'd get the last few years from Tamika Whitmore, Barbara Turner and others may finally be here in Walker.
* The Sun have had trouble getting back on defense so far. On the other hand, Renee Montgomery (nine points, two assists) has looked speedy as ever on the break for the Sun.
Not sure if Atlanta is that fast -- the Dream have been making a point to push the tempo behind Armintie Price and Shalee Lehning -- or if the Sun have just slept-walk through the 11 a.m start. Chalk it up to the preseason.
* Of the camp invitees to play so far, Pauline Love has five points, including a 3-pointer, and Judith Lomax has an rebound and an assist.