Category Archives: Allison Hightower

Does The Sun Shine Overseas? Look Here

by Categorized: Allison Hightower, Connecticut Sun, Kelly Faris, Tina Charles, WNBA Date:

Courtesy of the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun, a look at how their players are doing in professional leagues overseas …..

In France, Mistie Bass is averaging 15.4 points, 6.9 rebounds and 2.1 steals in seven for Lyon. Bass has scored in double-figures in six games this season, including 20 in a 76-58 win over Villeneuve on November 9th. She also had five rebounds and three steals in that victory.

In Turkey, Renee Montgomery is averaging 11.8 points, 2.8 assists and 2.5 rebounds in four Turkish Leagues for Tarsus Belediyesi. Most recently, she had 31 points, three assists and one steal in a 78-74 loss to Mersin on November 10th. Montgomery was 11-of-11 from the free thow line in the loss.

On November 14th, Montgomery had nine points, seven assists and five steals in Tarsus’ EuroCup victory over Dynamo Guvd-Novosibirsk, 110-54. She is averaging 14.5 points, 6.5 assists and 3.0 rebounds in two EuroCup contests.

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Looking Back At The Connecticut Sun Season

by Categorized: Allison Hightower, Anne Donovan, Chris Sienko, Connecticut Sun, WNBA Date:

After the season finally ended Sunday with an overtime win over Indiana, Connecticut Sun coach Anne Donovan admitted what was widely assumed.

“Among the frustrations that I can share was that my expectations were really high that the transition would go a lot smoother than it did,” said Donovan, who replaced Mike Thibault in January.
“Once all the injuries started to pile up, you wonder why your karma is so bad.”
Here’s a look back – and ahead.
Lottery Aspirations
The worst record in the league assures of the best mathematical chance to secure the first pick in the 2014 Draft, which likely would be Stanford’s Chiney Ogwumike. The WNBAhas not announced when the lottery will be held.
“But we need much more than a top pick,” Donovan said. “We definitely could use more veteran help. We have a lot to do this off-season.”
Charles Puts Up Numbers
Coming off her MVP season, Tina Charles again led the Sun in scoring (18.0) and rebounding (10.1). She added 17 double-doubles and has 80 in just four seasons. And she scored at least 20 points with 10 rebounds in 10 her 29 games before sitting with five games left because of injuries.
Still, Charles never meshed with those assigned to play in place of Asjha Jones. And one the most interesting things Donovan said after Sunday’s finale was how hard the Sun seemed to play without Charles on the floor as it ended the year 3-2.
“We played pretty well at times without Tina on the floor,” Donovan said. “And that’s something I need to take note of and probably [a tactic] I didn’t trust enough this season.”
Would the Sun think about trading Charles in the off-season for the right package of players and draft picks? Might the Sun trade any of their players?
Chris Sienko, the Sun general manager, would not say there were any untouchables on the team.

Most improved
Allison Hightower and Kelsey Griffin emerged as mainstream players. Hightower was named to her first All-Star team and Griffin, who came off a great winter in Australia, was indefatigable under very adverse decisions. Both should be important components of the team as it moves forward.
Wasted picks
One of Thibault’s shortcomings was the over-reliance on too many international players who contributed nothing to the team in the last three seasons. Thibault’s more recent experiments, French center Sandrine Gruda (13th pick in 2007) and Spanish forward Alba Torrens (3rd round 2009), have been no-shows during the time they were projected to help. And with the World Championship coming in 2014, there is no guarantee either will play for the Sun next year. The time has come to get what they can for them and move on.
Biggest loss
Jones’ decision not to play for the Sun this season set into motion the chain of events that doomed their season. Jones told Sun management she was resting chronic injuries. Sienko said last week he’s convinced Jones’ explanation for her absence was legitimate.
But Jones was a big advocate of Thibault’s. And there is no guarantee she will return next season, even if healthy. One thing is certain: She needs to tell the Sun as soon as possible if she plans to honor her contract. And if she doesn’t, she must be traded.
Losing Lawson
After her most productive WNBA season in 2012, Lawson played only nine games, none after July 19. She scored 124 points in 271 minutes. She was bothered by back and knee issues and gone for long stretches to be with her ailing father in Virginia. Despite signing a three-year extension in 2012, it seems her time with the team is over, as well. The Sun may be able to get a nice draft pick or player for her, perhaps from the Washington Mystics.
Free agency
Charles, Hightower, Griffin and Kalana Greene are restricted free agents. There is little chance the organization would let them sign with another team without matching the offer, which they are allowed to do. But whether they bring back unrestricted free agents Mistie Bass and Tan White is another issue, one that likely won be resolved until the Sun finds out what its draft placement is. And nothing can take place until a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is reached.
Record
The Sun’s 10 wins were six less than their previous low. This will be the first time they will be a part of the draft lottery and it’s the first time they finished the season with the league’s worst record. They won only two of 17 road games.
Injuries
The Sun played their final five games with eight or fewer players. They had just seven available for Sunday’s finale once White suffered a broken finger on her left hand. The lost 77 manpower games to injuries this season and had a full 11-man roster available just twice in 34 games.

Worst Season In Sun History Ends Today

by Categorized: Allison Hightower, Anne Donovan, Chris Sienko, Connecticut Sun Date:

   A season that really never had a chance to begin ends Sunday for the Connecticut Sun against the Indiana Fever in the regular-season finale at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

    In terms of defeats and disappointment, the franchise suffered from start to a finish that leaves them at the bottom of the WNBA. Their 24 losses already are the most in the history of the team.

  Appropriately, it will end with just seven players, the result of injuries that laid the team bare before training camp began in May. Watching the season end in street clothes will be a creditable starting five: Tan White, Kara Lawson, Allie Hightower, Tina Charles and Tan White.

  “I thought we were a playoff caliber team at the start of the season. But I don’t want the injuries to be a big excuse,” said Chris Sienko said. “We want to take a look at the players we have, how they played together, whether they were able to play together within Anne Donovan’s system.”

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Faris, Hightower Will Miss Remainder Of Season For Connecticut Sun

by Categorized: Allison Hightower, Anne Donovan, Connecticut Sun, Kelly Faris, UConn women's basketball Date:

The worst season in the history of the Connecticut Sun, both in terms of record and injury, got substantially worse on Tuesday.

The Sun, 7-17, announced that All Star guard Allison Hightower and rookie Kelly Faris will both be sidelined for the remainder of the season with injuries.

The Sun host the Minnesota Lynx Thursday at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

Hightower, who has already missed the last three Sun games, is suffering from a strained right knee. Faris has reinjured the left foot she hurt during the 2012-13 UConn women’s basketball season.

  “We are really disappointed, obviously,” Sun coach Anne Donovan said. “Allison has begun to emerge as one of the best young guards in the WNBA, as evidenced by her well-deserved selection to the All Star team. And Kelly worked hard to gain a spot in the starting lineup. She was playing better and better, and she is definitely someone we had grown to count on this season. I have no doubt she will continue to work hard to get back on the court.”

   In her fourth season, Hightower is averaging 12.9 points per game, six points higher than her previous career-high for a single season. She has made a career-best 24 threes, which leads the Sun.

 Faris just broke into the starting lineup on August 14. In that game against Atlanta at the Mohegan Sun Arena, she was 4 of 4 from the field with three made three-pointers, collecting 11 points and a team-high seven rebounds. She also had a team-high seven rebounds at Chicago Sunday.

   Five Sun players have missed a total of 40 games this season. Connecticut has had a full roster of 11 players available for an entire game just twice, against New York in the season opener, and at Tulsa on July 19. The Sun started with 11 players at Chicago on May 31, but lost Renee Montgomery in the fourth quarter with a high ankle sprain.

 

 

WNBA Stars Take Time Out For Children In New London

by Categorized: Allison Hightower, Lindsay Whalen, Maya Moore, WNBA Date:

Before heading to practice at the Mohegan Sun Arena on Friday prior to Saturday’s WNBA All-Star game, a number of players took the time to speak to about 75 children at New London’s Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School in New London where the league helped install a new court.

The Courant’s Matt Conyers caught up with three of the state’s favorite WNBA players and asked them what it was like to take part in the morning’s event.

Maya Moore  Lindsay Whalen and Allie Hightower

Two All-Stars Have Highlighted Bad First-Half For Sun

by Categorized: Allison Hightower, Connecticut Sun, Tina Charles, WNBA Date:

   It’s popular among coaches and athletes to describe evolution as “a process” since it often takes time to get things accomplished.

    For the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun, the process this season has produced both positive and negative results.

   Wednesday’s loss in Atlanta, the Sun’s seventh in eight road games, dropped their record to 4-12 heading into the All-Star Game, which it will host Saturday at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

   After coming within one win of the Finals last season, the Sun is now anchored in last place in the Eastern Conference. Their priority now is simply to finish at least fourth and make the playoffs.

  “These have been unusual circumstances and something we are not used to,” said Chris Sienko, the Sun general manager, referring to the rash of injuries which have battered the backcourt this season. “Still, that’s not an excuse. We need to find a way to work with what we have.”

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Charles, Hightower, Whalen Named WNBA All-Star Reserves

by Categorized: Allison Hightower, Connecticut Sun, Tina Charles, UConn women's basketball, WNBA, XL Center Date:

    Not much has gone right for the Connecticut Sun this season. The proof is there at the bottom of the WNBA’s Eastern Conference standings where the Sun (4-11) sit with 19 games to play in the regular-season.

   From the moment veteran Asjha Jones called in sick for the season, things have gone astray, beginning with Danielle McCray’s season-ending Achilles tendon injury in Europe.

   But Tuesday was a good day for the Sun.

   Center Tina Charles, the league’s reigning MVP, and guard Allison Hightower, perhaps its most improved player, were named Eastern Conference reserves for Saturday’s All-Star Game at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

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