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Jonquel Jones Playing Reserve Role For The Sun

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Jonquel Jones in action. (AP)

By RENALDO DORSETT

Tribune Sports Reporter

rdorsett@tribunemedia.net

WNBA All-Star Jonquel Jones has played a reserve role early in the season thus far as she continues to acclimate herself to the Connecticut Sun after missing training camp and the preseason.

Jones has averaged 10 points and 5.3 rebounds per game through three contests while shooting 63 per cent from the field, 75 per cent from three-point range as the Sun have opened 3-0 on the year.

She finished with six points, five rebounds and two assists on 2-3 shooting from the field in just 15 minutes of an 86-77 win over the Indiana Fever on Saturday night.

Eight different Sun players scored and Connecticut used 20 assists to score on their 32 made field goals.

The Sun are 3-0 to start the year for the first time since 2012.

Jones had her best game of the season thus far last Thursday night when she finished with 17 points on 7-9 shooting (2-2 from three point range), six rebounds, and three assists in a 102-94 win over the Los Angeles Sparks.

They became the first team in WNBA history to open the season with consecutive 100-point games.

The Sun begin a four-game road trip at Chicago on June 1. The team returns home on June 9 to face the defending champions Minnesota Lynx.

Despite the late arrival at camp, Jones showed flashes of brilliance despite limited minutes.

She finished with seven points, five rebounds, three steals, two blocked shots in the Sun’s 101-65 win over the Las Vegas Aces last Sunday in the season opener after joining the team less than 24 hours prior to tipoff.

During the preseason, Sun head coach Curt Miller said the combination of Jones – the league’s reigning Most Improved Player and Second Team All-WNBA selection, and Chiney Ogwumike, the 2014 Rookie of the Year, could take the Sun to the next level. Alongside Ogwumike, Jones averaged 6.8 points and 3.7 rebounds per game as a rookie.

Last season, with Ogwumike sidelined with an injury, Jones developed into one of the league’s rising stars.

Expectations will be even higher for both Jones and her team headed into the 2018-19 season.

“[This season] I think I’m being more confident in everything I do on the basketball court, just trusting in my teammates more, our chemistry is one of the best in the league I think and I think just maintaining consistency. I think just understanding what we are as a team, who we are, our identity, always playing with a chip on our shoulder, whether it’s last year when people didn’t expect us to do anything or it’s this year where we have a target on our backs, so I think having that mindset is going to be a difference maker this season.”

WNBA.com posed questions to the league’s general managers to learn what the people who make the decisions think on a variety of topics. Jones was voted as the league’s top rebounder and received a whopping 58 per cent on the poll ahead of Tina Charles at 25 per cent.

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