Tulsa's Youth Struggling, Showing Promise in Defeat

D. Clarke Evans/NBAE/Getty Images

With the league's youngest team, Tulsa will fight an uphill battle against a veteran league. However, there is a lot of potential built through the draft that gives Tulsa hope for the future.

Even without Liz Cambage, the Tulsa Shock enter the 2014 WNBA season as the league's youngest team. A lot of that youth is showing throughout the early part of the season in their three losses.

All three losses have been by a total of eight points. Only one of those games, season opener against San Antonio, was more than a one possession game.

That's just part of the learning curve that goes with the league, though. You watched as rookie Odyssey Sims threw up a contested 3-pointer as her team mate was open at the top of the key in their loss to San Antonio on Wednesday. Tulsa fell 82-79 after leading by nine points in the contest. The offensive execution of Tulsa has shown signs that this could continue to be a pattern in the future.

West Age West Age
Dream 27 Sparks 26.5
Sky 24.6 Lynx 26.3
Sun 25.1 Stars 26.3
Fever 25.4 Storm 28.4
Liberty 27.5 Mercury 28.2
Mystics 25.1 Shock 24.7

*Average age as of 5-30-14

With them being so young, almost a half year younger than the next closest team in the league, there will be plenty of growing pains. However, with the team competing as tough as they are right now, it could set in motion a chain of events that could be the start of something really successful in Tulsa.

We're going to see more close losses. We're going to see plays that make us scratch our head. We'll also see plays and stretches that show how talented this roster is throughout the season. Head Coach Fred Williams, who helped coached the Atlanta Dream into the WNBA Finals, is the perfect man to mold these young ladies into future WNBA stars.

The roster is not short of talent, but the experience is there. Tulsa General Manager Steve Swetoha has put together a young lineup that has quality veterans planted within. Roneeka Hodges and Jennifer Lacy are two complementary pieces that can help teach these young minds. Then you have Tiffany Jackson-Jones, who's out with an injury, but is still a voice in the locker room.

We're watching already as Sims has joined Skylar Diggins in the back court and in their only start, there were great results. Both were open on a lot of possessions due to the defense not being able to guard both. That in turn left Courtney Paris open below the rim, who just thrived. Tulsa settled for the poor shots in the second half, rushing and panicking. We'll see them work and improve as the season continues.

Rookies Jordan Hooper and Theresa Plaisance have shown to be valuable role players already throughout the early part of the season. Hooper was even on the court during the crunch time in the last two games. While neither player is a go-to choice in the final seconds of games, their hard work has helped them get quality minutes.

Don't be surprised though, if you see the Shock take down a really solid team because they just are a more talented team that night. Once they figure out how to play in the crunch time, they're going to be one of the scariest and most exciting teams in the association.

You add in Liz Cambage saying she is going to return to Tulsa next season and she'll add the inside presence that will make Tulsa a force to be reckoned with in the future. Have patience as this season might not be the season where the Shock win the WNBA Championship - it'll be the one where they have put in the foundation for the future

Chuck Chaney runs ShockingTulsa.com. You can follow us on twitter at @ShockingTulsa throughout the entire WNBA season.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Swish Appeal

You must be a member of Swish Appeal to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Swish Appeal. You should read them.

Join Swish Appeal

You must be a member of Swish Appeal to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Swish Appeal. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker