After missing 19 days of training camp and all of the Connecticut Suns’ preseason games, Grand Bahama native Jonquel Jones is expected to return to the team in time for its season opener against the Las Vegas Aces on Sunday.
Tipoff is set for 1:00 p.m. at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Conne.
Team coach Curt Miller said, he expects Jones to have to overcome a bit of a learning curve, seeing that she won’t have any practices under her belt and will be stepping onto the floor cold.
“There is going to be a learning curve,” Miller said.
“Game shape, basketball shape, is totally different than treadmill and workout shape. So, it’s going to be a learning curve for her after missing a 19-day training camp on timing, execution, as well as conditioning and getting her basketball legs under her.”
Jones’ teammate Jessica Thomas said, it’s been a struggle trying to adjust to playing and adjusting to lineups without Jones, seeing that she plays such a pivotal role on the team.
“I think it has been a significant impact,” Thomas said.
“We’ve been working around it. Having Chiney (Ogwumike) back to take those minutes has been great, because she is trying to get the rust off and get a rhythm going. It’s worked out in that sense, but for a lot of what we do, with spacing the floor and our rebounding, we miss that a lot without JJ.
“She had a great off-season so, the best that we can hope for is that she comes in good condition and she can pick up on everything – we’re not doing too much new. I think it will be OK in the long run, but we do miss her.”
Miller added that Jones has not been evasive and that the team has been in contact with her through the internet, as well as she has been made privy to what the Suns are adding to the playbook for the season.