Tulsa Shock Season Preview

Chicago Sky
Rookie Skylar Diggins is likely to be a force to be reckoned with when she takes the court this season.
NBAE/Getty Images


2012 Record
  • 9-25

  • Key Additions
  • Skylar Diggins
  • Candice Wiggins
  • Liz Cambage

  • Head Coach
  • Gary Kloppenburg

  • Key Departures
  • Ivory Latta


  • Preview

    Last season wasn't easy for Gary Kloppenburg, a first-year WNBA coach tasked with turning the Tulsa Shock franchise around. The good news? The team tripled its win total from 2011. The bad? After a few unexpected setbacks, they still finished with a record of 9-25.

    But if history is an indication, all it takes is a high-profile draft pick to make an immediate change in a franchise. And the Shock got just that by drafting Skylar Diggins, a dynamic point guard who can get her teammates fired up just as much as the fans.

    "Skylar, obviously is an excellent basketball player," Kloppenburg told reporters this week. "We know that. She's going to be a good one once we get her going. Then, off the court, she's dynamic. I mean, she engages the community. She engages our fans, and she's just brought a burst of energy down here to Tulsa. So it's been exciting so far with her."

    The good news doesn't end there, though. After sitting out last season, superstar center Liz Cambage will return to the team this season adding some needed front court depth to the team. "With her progress and development she's had over the past couple of years, she could be the wild card for us in being a really really good team. She's a high-level player that could do a lot for us."

    The young franchise will also get some veteran talent thrown into the mix, having signed Candice Wiggins in the offseason from the Minnesota Lynx.

    "She's a great shooter and a great defender," Kloppenburg said. "She did a super job for Minnesota and she's at the next point in her career, where she wants to come in and take on a challenge like helping a young team move up the ladder."

    With new talent and a new focus changing things up for the Shock, Kloppenburg said that hopes are high in Tulsa.

    "We're going to prepare our team to try and win every game," he said. "We're going to make sure our team is playing at a 110 percent level every game. It's going to be a war every night. As far as wins and losses, we want to get into the playoffs. We want to be in that mix. Obviously that's your goal to try and make a run for championship. We're not going to set our sights low, we're going to try every game to win."

    2012 LEADERS
    Scoring
    1. Ivory Latta (14.3)
    2. Temeka Johnson (12.2)
    3. Glory Johnson (11.5)

    Rebounding
    1. Glory Johnson (6.8)
    2. Kayla Pedersen (4.4)
    3. Courtney Paris (3.3)

    Assists
    1. Temeka Johnson (4.7)
    2. Ivory Latta (3.3)
    3. Riquna Williams (2.1)

    More

    Video

    Fever vs. Sparks

    Nneka Ogwumike scores 21 points and Alana Beard adds 17 to help the Sparks beat the Fever, 77-73.

    Sky vs. Shock

    Odyssey Sims scores 24 points to lead the Shock to a win over the Sky, 79-69.

    Lynx vs. Sun

    Maya Moore scores 17 points to help the Lynx beat the Sun, 76-65.

    Dream vs. Mystics

    Ivory Latta scores 21 points and Kara Lawson adds14 as the surging Mystics beat the Dream, 77-67.

    Liberty vs. Mercury

    Diana Taurasi records 15 points and 10 assists, Britney Griner adds 18 points as the Mercury roll to their 15th straight win.