Richardson Discusses Shock's Open Tryouts

TULSA, Okla. (April 21, 2010) - With 50 players attending open tryouts yesterday and so many able athletes participating, General Manager and Head Coach Nolan Richardson expressed regret and remorse that he could only select a few to move forward in the process.

“See, the roster is the thing that hurts you,” Head Coach Nolan Richardson said. “With the roster being only 11, you can only invite four more players.”

Richardson is permitted to invite 15 players to training camp which begins this Sunday but has to cut the roster to 11 by the start of the season on May 15.

Richardson was impressed with the talent pool that participated in the open tryout but admitted that his system can be a challenge.

“The hardest part of my job is to get players to play like I want them to in the first place,” Richardson said. “It’s surprising that as you push and push, they are not worried about how tough it is anymore because you will your way on them and they will their way on the opponent. “

Twelve players passed the first round of open tryouts, advancing to participate in today’s free agent drills including senior at Oral Roberts University, Janae Voelker, who praised Richardson’s hands-on coaching style.

"It was a little shaky at first and I think I settled in and was able to show what I can do," Voelker said. "He's really hands-on and I like that. He tells you what you did wrong and what you need to do to fix it. He really lays it out there."

Unfortunately, Richardson’s style was not suitable for everybody as Niesha Butler, a former professional player in Spain and college player at Georgia Tech failed to qualify for the next round of workouts.

“I knew what he wanted to do, it was different hearing about it and coming in and playing in it,” Butler said. “It's a different style of play, I didn't do it at Georgia Tech and I didn't do it in Spain. It's just different so it will take some time to get used to but unfortunately time ran out for me."

Of the few that advanced, Richardson will make final cuts before the start of training camp on Sunday, April 25.