The Connecticut Sun are currently sitting on top of the WNBA standings, enjoying a 16-6 record and riding a seven-game win streak. As a team, they score the fourth most points per game (79.5) and allow the third fewest points per game (74.9) in the league—dominating on both sides of the ball while they overwhelm other competition.
There are many factors for this success. One of them is Courtney Williams, the energetic guard that has provided a steady presence and a strong personality for the team.
Williams displayed her full set of skills in a 94-79 win on August 4 over the New York Liberty. She scored a season-high 28 points on 12-for-18 shooting and recorded seven rebounds and six assists. Accordingly, the Sun put New York away early on, outscoring the Liberty 29-16 in the first quarter to grab a lead they would never relinquish.
The 25 year-old has put together a solid season in support of star Jonquel Jones. She is averaging 12.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game, doing a little bit of everything to keep the Sun rolling.
Williams is adept at hitting shots off the dribble. She’ll make sure to clear extra space from defenders before accurately squaring her shoulders and firing. She loves to get close to the basket, then stop short and shoot a little jump shot or floater while her opposition scrambles to recover. The 5-foot-8 guard can still make shots when defenders are guarding her tightly though, saving possessions when time is running out.
Her enthusiasm is contagious. When Williams hits a big shot and races back down the court, exciting the crowd, the team responds with yet another level of intensity. So if the guard catches fire and starts racking up points, the Sun can use that momentum to surge and take control of games. She stays animated when resting on the bench too, cheering and motivating her teammates.
Williams has been a mainstay in the Sun starting lineup for years now; she has started 22 games so far this season and 79 over the past three combined. Connecticut acquired her as a rookie via a trade during the 2016 season and she hasn’t looked back since, securing her spot in the starting five in 2017 and holding onto that role.
She displays impressive consistency. Williams has averaged at least 12 points, four rebounds, and two assists per game in each of the last three years. And her assist rates have improved every season as she continues to upgrade her playmaking.
Williams has shown that she can be counted on to produce in the most important games too. In the second round of the 2018 WNBA Playoffs against the Phoenix Mercury, she scored 27 points on an abundance of tough, clutch jumpers, keeping the Sun close in an eventual loss.
The outlook for the Sun is even better this year. While they still face plenty of competition for the top seed between the Las Vegas Aces (15-8), Washington Mystics (16-7), and Los Angeles Sparks (14-8), the Sun know that down the stretch, they’ll be able to count on a reliable scorer for the biggest possessions.
Come September, expect to see Williams with the ball in her hand during crunch time.