2004 Record
17-17, .500
(3rd in East)

Points Scored
2366 (3rd overall, 1st in East)
Points Allowed
2381 (12th overall, 5th in East)
Scoring Differential
-0.4 (6th overall, 2nd in East)

Award Winners & Honorees
Swin Cash
Ruth Riley
Cheryl Ford
Deanna Nolan
Swin Cash, Second Team
Most Improved
Wendy Palmer-Daniel

2004 Draft Recap
Rd. 1 - 11, Iciss Tillis
Rd. 1 - 13, Shereka Wright
Rd. 2 - 23, Erika Valek
Rd. 3 - 32, Jennifer Smith

Playoff History
Three out of seven years
Last Appearance
2004, Lost in the First Round

2004 In Review:
What Went Right?

The Shock won its final three games to finish 17-17, qualifying for the playoffs on the final day of the season with a 68-54 win over Charlotte. Detroit finished only one game behind co-division winners Connecticut and New York.

Detroit came into 2004 with most of the same cast that went 25-9 a year ago, returning all five starters and reserve Barbara Farris. Once again, Swin Cash was the team's catalyst, averaging 16.4 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game and earning All-WNBA Second Team honors.

Forward Cheryl Ford put up numbers comparable to those that earned her 2003 Rookie of the Year honors. The league's second-leading rebounder averaged 16.0 points and 10.7 rebounds against New York in the playoffs, but a 66-64 loss in the decisive game ended Detroit's dream of a repeat. Deanna Nolan (13.6 ppg) and Ruth Riley (11.1 ppg) both enjoyed their most productive seasons as pros.

The team turned an eye toward the future with a pair of first-round picks. General Manager and Head Coach Bill Laimbeer traded for guard Chandi Jones, the eighth overall pick, and selected 6-5 Iciss Tillis with the 11th pick, acquired from the Houston Comets. Both contributed in spurts as rookies, and should be even better in 2005.

What Went Wrong?

The Shock lacked that one key player to provide a spark for the second unit. Kedra Holland-Corn, who capably filled that role in 2003, was dealt to Houston in the trade for Tillis. Her veteran presence was missed. The Shock's top two reserves in 2004, Farris and Merlakia Jones, combined to score 10.0 ppg, just more than the 9.2 that Holland-Corn contributed the previous season.

After Farris and Jones, Laimbeer's bench was inexperienced, forcing an additional burden on the starters. His bench got even thinner when Cash suffered a torn ACL in her left knee that caused her to miss the final two games of the regular season and the playoffs. Amazingly, the Shock took two must-win games without their leading scorer to make the postseason.

Point guard Elaine Powell was third in the WNBA in assist to turnover ratio (2.2) and enjoyed the best assist total of her career, but her scoring total dropped from 9.0 ppg to 4.4 ppg and her shooting percentage plummeted to 37.7 percent.

Powell wasn't the only one plagued by sub-par shooting. As a team, the Shock dropped from 45.0 percent to 41.7. Their long range accuracy, a healthy 38.7 percent in 2003, was a miserable 29.7 percent in 2004.

Head Coach
Bill Laimbeer
2004 Starting Lineup
G- Elaine Powell
G- Deanna Nolan
F- Swin Cash
F- Cheryl Ford
C- Ruth Riley
Key 2004 Reserves
Barb Farris
Merlakia Jones
Key Additions
Irina Osipova
Key Losses

Looking Ahead To 2005:
Key Questions

Laimbeer answered the first question - will Swin Cash be back? - with a resounding yes, signing the Olympian to a three-year deal in February. The next question - will she be at 100 percent? - should be answered in April. She is expected to be ready for training camp.

Depth, another big question entering 2005, was addressed in part with the signing of 6-5 Russian center Irina Osipova, who will back up Riley in the middle. Increased contributions from Tillis and Chandi Jones are expected, and the team could even hoax free agent Holland-Corn, a free agent, to return.

The biggest question facing the Shock - which team will show up in 2005? Will it be the squad that took the league by surprise in 2003, or the squad that struggled to reach .500 in 2004?

The Shock should regain a bit of its edge without the 'defending champs' target on its back. If that doesn't help, the addition of assistant coach Rick Mahorn might. Laimbeer's fellow enforcer on the Pistons' "Nasty Boys" teams, Mahorn will now mentor the Shock defense and work with post players. That news is sure to strike fear in any opponent that drives to the basket this season.