The 1st look at the 2017 edition of the New York Liberty will come on Tuesday and Wednesday, as the Libs head up to Mohegan Sun Arena for a pair of preseason games. New York will face the defending champion Los Angeles Sparks on Tuesday, May 2, at 5 p.m., and the Chicago Sky on Wednesday, May 3, at 5 p.m.
A couple of things to keep an eye on as the Liberty leaves the friendly confines of MSG Training Center for the 1st time this season.
ALL HANDS ON DECK
Head coach Bill Laimbeer has said that everyone will see significant playing time during the two preseason games, in what will be a strong opportunity to see the new faces on the roster face off against other professional talent.
Laimbeer has said that there is a very intense battle on going for the final roster spots on the team, and with several players (Epiphanny Prince, Amanda Zahui B, Kiah Stokes, Shavonte Zellous) still away with their international teams, these two games will be a great chance to give a lot of playing time to some of the younger individuals in camp.
Kia Vaughn is set to make her debut back in a Liberty uniform after being acquired in an offseason trade from the Washington Mystics. Vaughn arrived from the Czech Republic last week and went through her 1st full practice on Sunday. She will be back on the court for her hometown Libs for the 1st time since 2013.
The other player involved in the offseason trade with the Mystics was combo guard Bria Hartley, who will also make her Liberty debut on Tuesday. Hartley, originally from Long Island, missed the final 8 games of the 2016 season due to her pregnancy, but is back and ready to prove herself on the court for New York.
It will also be the 1st chance to see New York’s 2nd round pick Lindsay Allen in action. Allen finished a four-year career at Notre Dame as the ACC’s all-time assist leader, having started all 149 games the Fighting Irish played during her career. Now she gets to see how she stacks up on the next level.
STEP IT UP
Practice is one thing, but performing against the elite competition of the WNBA is another. The most exciting part of the preseason is getting a chance to see young and unproven players for every teams battling for their chance to be on the final roster, or even position themselves for a call up later in the year.
New York has 13 players in camp with two or fewer years of experience in the WNBA under the belts, which means a lot of fierce competition on the court. Coach Laimbeer has said there will be an opportunity to see several different lineup combinations and probably starting lineups in these early preseason games, which will be a lot of fun to watch with so many new faces in camp.