Connecticut Sun Draft Preview

Reigning MVP Tina Charles nearly drove the Sun to its first-ever Finals berth in 2012. Can the No. 11 pick bring her help on the inside?
Ned Dishman/NBAE/Getty Images



First 3 Selections in 2013
  • No. 11 overall
  • No. 23 overall
  • No. 35 overall

  • Last 3 First Round Picks (Pick, Year)
  • Astan Dabo (9, 2012)
  • Sydney Colson (12, 2011)
  • Tina Charles (1, 2010)

  • Strengths
  • Scoring
  • Depth
  • Tina Charles


  • Areas of Improvement
  • Team Rebounding
  • Interior Defense/Shot-Blocking
  • Ability to Force Turnovers


  • Overview

    A whole lot fell into place for the Connecticut Sun in 2012.

    Tina Charles emerged as the dominant force in the women's hoops universe, double-doubling her way to her first MVP trophy. Renee Montgomery took home the Sixth Woman of the Year. Kara Lawson froze time, with the then-31-year-old blowing past career highs in the three major categories.

    And through the first five months of the season, the Sun looked destined to fill the last remaining hole in the franchise's history: a WNBA title.

    Until a shot -- with 0.5 seconds left in the second game of the Eastern Conference Finals and the Sun up, 1-0, in the series -- fell in for Shavonte Zellous and the Indiana Fever. A game later, Indy claimed a 16-point win and two weeks later, Tamika Catchings had her first WNBA championship.

    So, what does a team that stood just seconds away from its first Finals berth since 2005 need with the 11th pick? Which is to say, what do you get the team that has everything (but a title)?

    "At 11, I would say that it's best player," said new Connecticut coach Anne Donovan. "Anytime you get that deep, you just want the best player remaining. But for us its probably gonna be in the post, somebody in the paint to shore up some minutes for us. Then again, if one of our favorite guards is available..."

    UConn's Kelly Faris -- who this year became only the second player in Husky history to reach 1,000 points, 750 rebounds, 500 assists and 250 steals -- could fit, if she were to fall that far. The Sun already have five former Huskies on the roster, and Faris could add some depth off the bench.

    "She's a really versatile kind of player," Donovan said. "She can play a bunch of positions. If you're looking for defense, she's a great defender. She's a great complimentary offensive player. But if you're looking for a 3-point shooter, someone to create your own shot, or size, she's not gonna fall into that category."

    And the Sun, in the end, could use some help in each of those roles.

    A rebounder: Even with a center that ripped down a league-best 10.5 rebounds a night, Connecticut still finished with a negative differential on the boards. Said Donovan: "Certainly if we look for a post player in the Draft, we think the ones still available are rebounders."

    A three-point threat: Charles can make a defense collapse faster than an old beach chair, leaving the perimeter largely unguarded. So, someone who can hit the open shot with consistency would bring a greater degree of danger to the offense.

    So who outside the Big 3 does Donovan like?

    "Well, it'd be interesting if Kelsey Bone comes into the Draft," she said. "Toni Young from Oklahoma State is outstanding. [Alex] Bentley from Penn State. [Markel] Walker from UCLA gives you different looks. Tayler Hill and Sugar Rodgers are both scoring guards who can score in bunches. There are talented players outside the top three."

    DRAFT HISTORY
    2012 (top 3 picks)
    9. Astan Dabo
    21. Chay Segog
    N/A

    2011
    16. Sydney Colson
    28. Adrienne Johnson
     

    2010
    1. Tina Charles
    7. Danielle McCray
    15. Allison Hightower
    2012 LEADERS
    Scoring
    1. Tina Charles (18.0)
    2. Kara Lawson (15.1)
    3. Asjha Jones (12.2)

    Rebounding
    1. Tina Charles (10.5)
    2. Asjha Jones (7.1)
    3. Mistie Mims (4.5)

    Assists
    1. Kara Lawson (4.0)
    2. Renee Montgomery (2.6)
    3. Allison Hightower (2.5)