2003 Record
24-10, .735
(1st in East)

Points Scored
2553 (1st overall, 1st in East)
Points Allowed
2395 (10th overall, 5th in East)
Scoring Differential
+4.6 (1st overall, 1st in East)

Offensive Efficiency
100.5 (6th overall, 3rd in East)
Defensive Efficiency
94.2 (3rd overall, 1st in East)
Possessions per 40 min.
73.6 (1st overall, 1st in East)
What are these stats?

Award Winners & Honorees
Coach of the Year
Bill Laimbeer
Rookie of the Year
Cheryl Ford
WNBA Finals MVP
Ruth Riley
All-WNBA Second Team
Swin Cash
Cheryl Ford
Deanna Nolan

2003 Draft Recap
Rd. 1 – 3, Cheryl Ford
Rd. 1 – 5, Kara Lawson
Rd. 3 – 28, Syreeta Bromfield

Playoff History
Two out of six years
Last Appearance
2003, Won WNBA Title
2003 in Review:
What Went Right?

Riley
The Dispersal Draft – When the WNBA announced that members of the Portland Fire and Miami Sol would be disseminated throughout the remaining 14 teams in the league, Bill Laimbeer and company knew they had their starting center of the present and future in Ruth Riley. Riley was steady throughout the regular season and went ballistic in Game 3 of the WNBA Finals, helping the Shock to an unprecedented worst-to-first championship run.

Detroit Shock fans probably felt jinxed when the ping-pong balls ignored the odds and dropped the Shock to the third overall selection in the 2003 WNBA Draft. However, Detroit used this pick to select eventual 2003 Rookie of the Year Cheryl Ford – something which it probably would not have done had it had the No. 1 pick. Ford rewarded Detroit’s “misfortune” by becoming the first rookie to record a double-double for an entire season, finishing second in the league in rebounds per game (10.4).

Kedra Holland-Corn bounced back from an off-year to post career highs in field goal percentage (46.1), 3-point field goal percentage (40.3) and free throw percentage (76.2).

The Shock led the WNBA in field goal percentage (45.0) and offensive rebound percentage (36.0), while taking (882) and making (624) more free throws than any team in the league.

What Went Wrong?

Detroit’s offense was merely the sixth most efficient offense in the league, and most of their problems on offense came in the form of turnovers as 23.9 percent of their possessions ended in a miscue.

Although the Shock won the 2003 WNBA Championship, they didn’t dominate the way past title winners have. Their scoring differential (+4.6) was the smallest by a WNBA champ in the league’s seven-year history.

They couldn’t figure out how to beat the Charlotte Sting during the regular season, going 0-4 against their Eastern Conference rivals. Fortunately, they didn’t face them in the playoffs, so it didn’t matter.

Head Coach
Bill Laimbeer
2003 Starting Line-up
GElaine Powell
GDeanna Nolan
CRuth Riley
FSwin Cash
FCheryl Ford
Key 2003 Reserves
GKedra Holland-Corn
F/CBarbara Farris
Key Losses
GKedra Holland-Corn

Looking Ahead to 2004:
Key Questions

Cash
Can the Shock improve upon last season’s performance? They may have to in order to repeat as champs, since the Dispersal Draft and a deep college draft have given other teams hope that they can mimic Detroit’s turnaround from a year ago. The Shock also boasted the lowest scoring differential ever for a WNBA champion, so even the slightest step back toward the pack could make things difficult for a repeat in Motown.

What can Cheryl Ford do for an encore? After averaging a double-double for the season in 2003, expectations will be high for Ford to repeat her unprecedented rookie performance. Given Detroit’s fast-paced style of play, it is not unreasonable to think that Ford could challenge the league record for total rebounds in 2004. If she cuts down on her turnovers, she could become one of the league’s premier offensive forces.

Will Swin Cash improve her game and start to be mentioned in the same breath as Chamique Holdsclaw, Sheryl Swoopes, Lauren Jackson, Tamika Catchings and Lisa Leslie when people discuss the best player in the world? If she develops some consistency on her outside shot and from the free throw line, and cuts down on her turnovers, the answer is yes.