WNBA season preview: How will new-look Connecticut Sun fare in 2023?

WNBA season preview: How will new-look Connecticut Sun fare in 2023? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Connecticut Sun's road back to the WNBA Finals begins Friday night.

The 2022 runner-ups will tip off their 2023 campaign against the Indiana Fever. However, it won't be the same team that dominated the regular season before falling to the Las Vegas Aces. The Sun underwent a number of notable changes during the offseason, including a new head coach and the departure of former WNBA MVP Jonquel Jones.

2023 WNBA schedule: Dates, times, TV channel for all Connecticut Sun games

Still, it's a promising group that appears capable of making another deep run. Play-by-play announcer Brendan Glasheen shared his take on the 2023 Sun during NBC Sports Boston's WNBA season preview.

"They still have a really strong core inside. Brianna Jones, Alyssa Thomas, two All-Stars. They retained both of those players," Glasheen said. "DeWanna Bonner, a special player at the guard position. They brought in Tiffany Hayes who played her college ball at UConn. Has dealt with some injuries, but if she stays healthy, she gives them a dynamic guard. ...

"You could argue before her injuries, the best two-way guard going in the WNBA. So 10 years in Atlanta, maybe time for a change because Atlanta is going young, and adds to a veteran win-ready team."

Curt Miller, a two-time WNBA Coach of the Year with the Sun, left the team in the offseason for the Los Angeles Sparks. Stephanie White was named as Miller's replacement.

"Stephanie White has done a really good job," Glasheen said. "A player's coach, without question. Has a pedigree already coaching with the Indiana Fever previously."

As for the players, who should fans have their eyes on in 2023?

"Look out for a breakout year from Natisha Hiedeman," Glasheen said. "Who had played a lot of point guard last year for the Sun and was really, when you look back on it now, tossed into the fire with a lot of veteran players, was just in her fourth season, has a great 3-point percentage.

"Stephanie said -- they had their preseason game on Wednesday earlier this week and one of the things she pointed out was, we're gonna try and use Natisha off the ball and allow her to be the sharpshooter she's capable of being as opposed to just being a primary ball handler.

"They brought in Ty Harris as well, part of that Jonquel Jones trade. Beck Allen healthy, another sharpshooter. So I think we're going to see a lot of inside, outside basketball. And players like Heideman, Dijonai Carrington who was a great college player at Baylor and Stanford, Beck Allen, they're gonna have some sharpshooters on the outside. So inside, outside, I think is the dynamic you're gonna see a lot of this year."

The Sun-Fever season opener is set for 7 p.m. ET on Friday. You can catch all of the action on NECN or the NBC Sports App. NBC Sports Boston is the new home of the Connecticut Sun for 2023.

You can watch the full Connecticut Sun preview with Glasheen, Hannah Donelly, and Kwani Lunis below.