NEW YORK, NY – May 7, 2018 – The first look at the 2018 edition of the New York Liberty will come on Monday and Tuesday, as the Liberty make their way up to the Mohegan Sun for a pair of preseason games. Katie Smith will be tested at the helm for the first time during her budding head coaching career.
New York will battle the Dallas Wings first, Monday, May 7 at 5 p.m. on the front end of a back-to-back also featuring the Los Angeles Sparks, Tuesday, May 8 at 5 p.m.
New York vs. Dallas (5/7) – Full Release
In the New York Liberty’s first preseason game of the year, the Liberty fell 76-69 to the Dallas Wings, Monday evening at the Mohegan Sun. New York was paced by Marissa Coleman’s 14 points and benefitted from a 10-point production from rookie Kia Nurse.
New York vs. Los Angeles (5/8) – Full Release
Kia Nurse’s game-high 19 points led a group of four Liberty players in double-figures en route to New York’s 81-75 preseason victory over the Los Angeles Sparks at the Mohegan Sun, Tuesday evening. Marissa Coleman added 14 points for a consecutive time, Reshanda Gray registered a double-double comprised of 11 points and 13 boards while Kelly Faris ended with 10 points.
The Liberty Training Camp roster currently boasts five players with two years or fewer of experience. New York drafted Kia Nurse, Mercedes Allen and Leslie Robinson in the first, second and third rounds, respectively, in the 2018 WNBA Draft and Kolby Morgan’s signing rounds out the current rookie class. Lindsay Allen is the lone sophomore in the group while Reshanda Gray enters her third season in the league.
Smith has already expressed the group’s eagerness to get after it in practice and have been reaching if not exceeded expectations set forth. The staff will evaluate how well the younger group adapts to the learning curve that is the speed, athleticism and physicality of professional basketball during what is a pivotal evaluation period to possibly secure a spot.
Been there, done that…
Tina Charles, Marissa Coleman, Shay Murphy and Epiphanny Prince each have eight years pocketed in their arsenal of experience. Coleman, who was recently signed amid Training Camp, and Murphy will look to grace the hardwood in a Liberty uniform for the first time in their longer tenured careers.
Shavonte Zellous shares otherwise outright seniority with Kia Vaughn as both have been around the league for nine years. Zellous arrived at The States Thursday with no signs of rust in her first practice back. In fact, Smith has alluded to Zellous’ leadership already being an added presence during the mid-morning practices as her energy has resurged the Liberty newbies. Vaughn’s decade in the WNBA will start a bit later in the month.
Sugar Rodgers hot hand from distance and Kiah Stokes’ presence down low will again be on display this summer. The group missed the duo during the earlier part of the week, but the one-two punch’s arrival has helped with the team’s depth at practice. Monday will tip-off Rodgers and Stokes sixth and fourth respective WNBA seasons.