Liberty Open Season in Connecticut Vs. Sun

Ros Gold-Onwude

The New York Liberty open the 2014 season on the road versus the Sun in Connecticut this Friday, May 16th, at 7:00pm ET! Watch on WNBA LiveAccess!

The Liberty begin the season with many new faces on the roster. The most anticipated faces, Cappie Pondexter and Tina Charles have yet to step foot on the court for preseason games as they both recently returned from overseas play. Charles officially joined the team for practice on Tuesday and Pondexter returns to the United States after advancing to the Turkish League finals. Both are expected to play this Friday. Plenette Pierson continues to rehab from a minor knee surgery completed this offseason and is expected to play, however, her minutes may be limited. Bill Laimbeer enters his second season as head coach and general manager declaring this seasonís team must be about maximum effort and sustained competition. This Liberty team, donning new black uniforms, wants a revival from last season.

The Liberty come off of a tight 58-63 preseason loss to the Atlanta Dream on Friday, May 11th. Delisha Milton-Jones filled the stat sheet with 11 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks in 24 minutes. Chucky Jeffery scored 12 points and grabbed 6 rebounds in 16 minutes off the bench. The Liberty outrebounded the Dream 44-34 and held Atlanta to 31% shooting from the field. New York gave up 22 turnovers and shot 35% from the field.

The Connecticut Sun are led by Katie Douglas, star veteran who must be watched at the three point line and in passing lanes; she can shoot it and she can steal it! The big story for the Sun is former Stanford star and number one draft pick, Chiney Ogwumike. In preseason play Ogwumike improved at finishing around the rim, offensive rebounding and going up strong for layups. All star combo guard Allison Hightower evens out the backcourt with Alex Bentley. For dramaís sake, it should be mentioned that an x-factor for the Sun might be a raucous crowd simmering upon the return of WNBA super star Tina Charles to Mohegan Sun Arena after being traded to the Liberty from the Sun.

Possible X-Factors For The Liberty This Season:
1) Chucky Jeffery:
Can Jeffery become a viable scoring option and crucial boost off the bench? Jeffery has proven during her college career at Colorado and early in the preseason that she can score, rebound and play multiple positions.

2) Delisha Milton-Jones:
DMJ stuffed the stat sheet in the final preseason game. Milton-Jones is a hard working, tough, physical veteran player that still has a lot of energy and production to give. With a full season to mesh (she joined the Liberty mid-season last summer) what role will Milton-Jones carve out for herself?

3) Anna Cruz:
Can Cruz be a reliable option at the lead guard? Bill Laimbeer sings her praises during training camp, hinting that she will back up Pondexter at the one or play along side her, pushing Cappie to the wing.