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Mike Thibault and the Washington Mystics beat the Tulsa Shock 84-61 which helped DC match last season's win total. The win also helped Coach T earn his 211th win as a WNBA head coach, tying Van Chancellor's mark for most wins in a head coaching career.
The Mystics host the Shock at 4 p.m. Sunday.
Six Shock Players, led by their rising star forward, Glory Johnson scored in double figures to lead Tulsa (3-7) to a big win over the Seatlle Storm (4-4).
Just the Facts, Ma'am: Cappie Pondexter's only basket in overtime broke a 76-all tie, and Glory Johnson's would-be tying lay-up came just after the buzzer, allowing New York to escape with a 78-76 win. Essence Carson led New York with 18 points; Pondexter had 13 points, 9 in the fourth quarter and overtime, to go with eight rebounds and six assists. Liz Cambage had 22 points for Tulsa before leaving with an ankle injury, while Glory Johnson had 17 points and 11 rebounds.
For hyperventilation, side-eyes, worry, sheepishness, power moves, berserk buttons, and flashbacks, join your intrepid and accidentally mulleted blogger after the jump.
I've been very complimentary of the Shock this past offseason. And check this out from the team's twitter account:
If that's any indication, I think that the game may be sold out, and I hope that this game can show the true potential of the BOK Center's crowd, not just for the home opener (which may come at the expense of my Mystics), but for the entire season.
And though on Monday May 27 (either later today or tomorrow depending on your location) at 3 PM Eastern or 2 PM Tulsa Time I won't be rooting for them because I will root for the Mystics, I still am really pleased with the way this team has been building from last year with the leadership of Coach Klop and Steve Swetoha and believe this team is still on the right track despite last Saturday's game vs. Atlanta.
The Dream shot over 50% while the Shock shot well under 40% which made the margin of victory no surprise in this game, which also sends a message that Atlanta figures to be in the Eastern Conference picture for real, especially if the Dream can play like this for most of this season.
For ATL, Sancho Lyttle led the team with 18 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals and Angel McCoughtry added 16 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists to keep the Dream in control of this game where there really wasn't any question on which team had the upper hand.
For the Tulsa Shock, Riquna Williams led the way with 22 points and four steals but she also got 22 points in 18 shots and she only made a third of those shots. Liz Cambage came back in her first WNBA game since 2011 and had 13 points and 8 rebounds in a solid effort off the bench. The player who we all came to watch tonight and who's signing autographs for Dream fans now, okay, Skylar Diggins had 15 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists in her regular season debut on 4 of 13 shooting, which wasn't quite the start that she hoped for.
Atlanta has nearly a week to regroup and get ready for a road game against Indy on May 31 in a battle of the last two Eastern Conference champs. Tulsa will head back home and hold its home opener in a nationally televised afternoon game against Tayler Hill and the Washington Mystics, a much easier team for the Shock to beat before a four game road trip or streak that goes from the East to West coast in this order: New York on 5/31, Chicago on 6/2, Seattle on 6/7, and Los Angeles on 6/8.
A statistical preview of the Tulsa Shock based on the season preview framework described in our primer the other day. For those not interested in all these words, the tl;dr version is essentially the first section of 2012 review and the last section titled "key question". For a look at their major offsesaon moves, check out the storystream.
Days before the start of the 2013 WNBA season, the Tulsa Shock has finalized its opening day roster. The team waived Courtney Paris, with official word arriving late in the day, to solidify the 11-person roster. The opening day on-the-court roster is as follows:
No. Name Position Ht. Wt. College Year
1 Riquna Williams Guard 5'7 165 Miami (Fl.) 1
2 Candice Wiggins Guard 5'11 147 Stanford 5
4 Skylar Diggins Guard 5'9 145 Notre Dame R
8 Elizabeth Cambage Center 6'8 215 Australia 1
10 Angel Goodrich Guard 5'4 127 Kansas R
14 Kayla Pedersen Forward 6'4 190 Stanford 2
15 Roneeka Hodges Guard 5'11 165 Florida State 8
21 Jennifer Lacy Forward 6'3 175 Pepperdine 7
25 Glory Johnson Forward 6'3 170 Tennessee 1
28 Nicole Powell Forward 6'2 170 Stanford 9
33 Tiffany Jackson-Jones Forward 6'3 185 Texas
Also announced today was a coaching staff change. Assistant coach Kathy McConnell-Miller, who has been with the organization since the Theresa Edwards regime, is leaving Tulsa to become associate head coach for the University of Pittsburgh's women's basketball program. The Steel City native joins her sister, Susie McConnell-Serio, who was named head coach of the Panthers last month. McConnell-Miller's last day with the Shock will be Monday's season-opening contest against the Washington Mystics.
"This is a bittersweet day for me on many levels," Shock President Steve Swetoha said in a release. "Being a Pittsburgh native I know that going home and the opportunity to coach with her sister is a once in a life-time opportunity for Kathy and we're very supportive of her decision. The University of Pittsburgh is not only getting a great basketball coach, they are also getting a solid person who is loyal, committed and passionate about her job."
"Kathy will be greatly missed by all in the Tulsa Shock family," Head Coach Gary Kloppenburg said. "She has been instrumental in helping us get the franchise headed in the right direction both on and off the court. More importantly though, through the tough times and the good, she has been a true and loyal friend to me. I speak for our coaching staff in wishing her the best in her new coaching endeavor at the University of Pittsburgh."
The Shock today played a game that Coach Klop is pleased about. The team shot over 53% from the field (31-58) and made nearly half or their 17 threes (8-17). The team also outrebounded the Sparks 36-25. As the title says above, GloJo and Wiggins had good games and were efficient shooting. Also Angel Goodrich got the start at point guard and had 6 points and 8 assists, but also had 7 turnovers. Skylar Diggins did not play due to the University of Notre Dame's commencement exercises which were held today.
For LA; Kristi Toliver led the Sparks with 11 points and didn't attempt a three. LA only attempted four threes all game and made two of them.
I guess my prediction of being bullish on the Shock wasn't far-fetched after all...
If you log on to the Atlanta Dream's website, you will see a splash page with an ad to buy tickets against the Tulsa Shock and also with dates to see the Chicago Sky and the Phoenix Mercury which have Elena Delle Donne and Brittney Griner respectively. But in addition on the main site, the Dream sells a $100 two ticket package where fans can meet the Tulsa Shock guard post game. Even though I'm a fan of Diggins' game myself and look forward to seeing her in DC on June 30, this thing cannot go without a complaint.
In Seattle, Tina Thompson and Camille Little led the Storm with 31 combined points to help the Storm to a victory. Thompson also made all three of her threes. Shekinna Stricklen played 34 minutes off the bench and had 9 points and 10 rebounds. Even though the Storm won this game, it needs to be noted that the team had nine assists and 18 turnovers, and made only 31% of its shots, so it was a bad performance even with Thompson having a near vintage performance.
For Tulsa, the Shock goes to 0-2 in preseason, and had an unacceptable performance from the free throw line AND from the three point line where the black and gold was 61.1% (11-18) and 9.5% (2-21) from those areas respectively. If the Shock made more of its free throws, it could have won this game perhaps. With the latter stat on threes, Riquna Williams attempted eight threes, and made only one, while Roneeka Hodges was almost as inefficient with one made three out of five attempts. Candice Wiggins was zero out of four from the three.... Skylar Diggins put out a bad performance only making two out of ten shots for four points and NO free throw attempts.. The only notable stat for her: FIVE TURNOVERS to two assists.....WOW.... Hopefully that was just another bad day at the office. The good news for the Shock is that Glory Johnson had 13 points on 6-11 shooting, AND 18 rebounds plus two blocked shots.
I know some of you guys are snickering at me for saying the Shock will be the #4 team in the West. I am STILL standing by that. I WILL GO DOWN WITH COACH KLOP, SKY, SLAMBAGE, AND THE WHOLE SHIP! They'll get out of this funk. I'm confident that they will.
Maybe I'm being overly harsh because I couldn't watch this game since I'm in Washington, DC, not Washington State. But really. 31% shooting by both teams which both had a negative assist to turnover ratio with sub 10% three point shooting by one of the teams makes for one bad game no matter what way you slice it. If anyone was at this game to watch, it couldn't have been that entertaining. I hope this doesn't carry over into the regular season for either of these teams.
Seattle plays at LA on Sunday May 26 to kick of its regular season. And for Tulsa, Coach Klop, Diggins, and the gang get to travel to Atlanta next Saturday, May 25 to kick off the regular season.
In quite a surprising turn of events, Australian center Liz Cambage, the on-again, off-again center for the Shock will be joining the 2013 WNBA season after previously announcing she would not return.
One might think that Tulsa Shock fans would be excited to hear about the return of their 6'8" center Liz Cambage.
However, the responses to Cambage's return on the team's Facebook page weren't exactly positive, ranging from being merely unimpressed to saying she should be sent back to Australia.
Today, Roc Nation Sports, Jay-Z's sports marketing agency has announced that Tulsa Shock guard Skylar Diggins has signed with the group, making her the first basketball player to join the agency.
Skylar Diggins comes to the Tulsa Shock this season as the franchise player that the team is looking for. With her abilities to score points in a hurry, to force turnovers, and by performing her best in big games, the Shock figures to be one of the WNBA teams on the rise in 2013, even considering the loss of its two leading scorers from 2012 and its 2011 top draft pick not returning. Diggins is also an attractive young woman which often is a talking point that is as big if not bigger than her ability to play basketball.
Here's a link from the AP via Fox News yesterday. Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner, Tulsa Shock guard Skylar Diggins, and Chicago Sky forward Elena Delle Donne discuss on past experiences with being bullied when they were children, and they also would like to be on a FIBA 3x3 team for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janiero, Brazil if such an event is approved. I'd love to see them play together if this comes to fruition!
Here's a video from yesterday with the Phoenix Mercury rookie which also includes Chicago Sky forward Elena Delle Donne, and Tulsa Shock guard Skylar Diggins. While sexuality was part of the interview, most of it focused on the anticipation of this season, and also the progression of women's sports.
The Tulsa Shock selected Kansas Jayhawks point guard Angel Goodrich with the 29th pick and that might have been a bit of a steal. How much so?
We had a writeup ready for her sometime in the second round as follows:
Wows: She was a stunningly efficient passer for Kansas late in the season and into the tournament and she really knows how to run a team. She makes solid decisions in transition.
Wonders: Will size be a problem for her? How much will that affect her ability to defend? College teams tried to post her up with bigger guards and there's little question that pro teams will be the same.
Worries: She was not an efficient scorer in college and though she has a knack for coming up with big scoring games, she can also be shut down when teams turn her into a jump shooter.
Wows: Diggins' ability to simply will Notre Dame to victory has been absolutely remarkable to watch throughout her career and that will to score figures to be her immediate contribution at the next level as well. Defensively, she had an outstanding steal percentage and will fit really well with the aggressive defensive style that the Shock played last year.
Wonders: She does commit quite a few turnovers and took a lot of risks, but that's part of being a great point guard. The only question is how many wins she can add to the team with the way she plays.
Worries: How efficient will she be as a distributor? As a volume scorer in college, she might be one of many who becomes a more efficient distributor when she has less scoring responsibility in the pros. But it will be interesting to watch.
Yesterday’s announcement that Liz Cambage would not be returning to the Tulsa Shock came as a surprise to some. To others, it was more of a prolonged expectation. But regardless of how you look at it, her absence will be felt on the court.
It has been confirmed to the Tulsa Shock organization that Liz Cambage will not be returning to the WNBA this summer, as reported by the Tulsa World.
After last summer's decision not to join the club after the Olympics, there were many that thought that this was the next step, myself included.
"Obviously we’re disappointed about it," head coach Gary Kloppenburg said, "but kids make decisions based on what they feel is best for them."
I'm disappointed about it too, Coach.
Minnesota Lynx guard Lindsay Whalen and Tulsa Shock guard Candice Wiggins were WNBA representatives in the 2013 White House Easter Egg Roll held earlier today in Washington, DC. In addition several of the Washington Wizards' top players, including John Wall, Bradley Beal, Nene, and Emeka Okafor were in attendance. Here are some tweets including pics:
It's always nice to see the WNBA represented in a positive fashion at these events, and I'm also glad to see local representation as well with the Wizards also in attendance, not to mention that they've been playing very well, especially at home over the last couple months.
Check this out from WNBA.com...:
Yeah, this is the front page noting Sue Bird will miss the 2013 season.... but look at the bottom of the line where it says ">>More." Here, "The Lynx Acquire McCarville, Deal Diggins in 3-Team Trade."
I saw it yesterday evening, and knew it was a typo because "Diggins" is supposed to be guard Candice Wiggins who was on the Lynx last year and was traded to the Tulsa Shock in a three team deal which also involved the New York Liberty. I thought someone at the NBA's website team would find it pretty quick and correct it accordingly. Obviously, Skylar Diggins is still in college.
But it's still here as of 11:15 AM Eastern Time.....
UPDATE, March 13, 2013 at 5:00 PM ET
The Tulsa Shock have finally paved the way for Deanna Nolan to return to the WNBA by sending her to the New York Liberty in a three-team trade that also involved the Minnesota Lynx. In trading a player who was not going to play for them for at least one player who is excited to be there, the Shock have taken a step forward.
In a move that many WNBA fans have been waiting for, Deanna Nolan will be returning to the league after being traded from the Tulsa Shock to the New York Liberty as part of a three team deal that also includes Janel McCarville returning to the league with the Minnesota Lynx. Click here for the New York Liberty's full release.
Earlier today, a Fulton County, GA grand jury indicted former WNBA all star Chamique Holdsclaw of five criminal counts, including two counts of aggravated assault, one count of first degree criminal damage, two counts of second degree criminal damage, and one count of possession of a firearm in commission of a felony, according to USA Today. These charges stem from an incident last November which involved Tulsa Shock forward Jennifer Lacy's vehicle which was broken in and shot into.
In addition, Holdsclaw faces up to 65 years in prison if found guilty of all counts according to TMZ.com. For the time being, Holdsclaw is free on a $100,000 bond.
Stay tuned to this story by following our StoryStream.
For whatever reason I assumed the Shock would do this and it makes a lot of sense: even with the return of 6'8" center Liz Cambage this is a team that really needed some rebounding help.
Last season, Courtney Paris led the team with an offensive rebounding percentage of 16.1% but played less than 20 minutes. After her was rookie forward Glory Johnson at 10.9%. After that, nobody else crack double digits.
In 2011 the 6'3" "Jackson" led the team with an offensive rebounding percentage of 10.5% and Cambage followed her at 9.9%. Re-inserting them into that post rotation is quite significant and might figure to add a few more wins in 2013.
For more on the Shock's offseason, check out our offseason storystream.
As announced yesterday, the Seattle Storm have signed Temeka Johnson and Noelle Quinn. But how specifically does that help them and what does it mean for the other teams who have lost out on their former players? Click here for the link to the actual announcement.
Yesterday, the Tulsa Shock announced that it re-signed center Chante Black, forward Amber Holt, and center Courtney Paris. These signings help solidify the team's front court rotation players from the 2012 team which tripled its win total from a year before.
Today, the Washington Mystics announced that they have signed Ivory Latta who was one of the WNBA's top unrestricted free agents at the point guard position.
The 2012 Tulsa Shock team tripled its win total from its 2011 campaign, from three to nine wins, and if you watched many games on LiveAccess, you probably feel that they were in a position to win most of its games with a young roster. For 2013, this team looks to take another step in its rebuild toward its first playoff appearance since 2009 when the team was in Detroit.
The Tulsa Shock have certainly had a rocky transition since its relocation from Detroit in 2010 but now things are starting to look brighter. On this blog in particular, we have praised Shock owner and president Steve Swetoha and head coach Gary Kloppenburg for building the core of the team through the draft and with younger players, all of whom played an athletic style of team defense for the 2012 campaign. This system paid dividends for the season helping the team triple its win total over the 2011 season and finishing with a three game winning streak toward the end of the aforementioned 2012 campaign.
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