Shock Players Set High Hopes For 2011
After relocating from Detroit to Green Country, 2010 was a rebuilding year for the Tulsa Shock. The team found its feet through the transition, and this year is promised to be bigger and better than the last.
In order to make this season a winning one, the team is returning to the fundamentals and focusing on teamwork, said forward Jennifer Lacy.
“We are working on coming out there and being a team, competing on both ends of the floor and cutting down on mistakes,” Lacy said. “Just being an overall, more efficient, tougher team.”
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Returning players attribute a new sense of tenacity and commitment to Coach Nolan Richardson.
“His energy is totally renewed from last year,” Lacy said. “I think he is really excited to come back and give the city of Tulsa the type of basketball that he is used to giving them. He is really committed to learning the women’s game more and it is really reflected in the way he is coaching.”
And Richardson’s enthusiasm for the upcoming season has passed right down to the team.
“It’s infectious,” Lacy said. “The energy he has, has translated into what we are doing out on the court. Everybody’s supportive; everybody’s energetic; everybody’s eager to learn. Everyone has the willingness to come out there work hard and play together. We are really committed to what our coaches want out there on the floor and playing the style of basketball that Coach intended last year.”
Strong first-round draft picks and seasoned veterans on the roster also have the Shock feeling confident approaching opening night on June 4th in San Antonio.
“I think this year is going to be really stable,” Shock forward Tiffany Jackson said. “[Coach Richardson] got the players he wanted from the beginning and he had the chance to be hands on in picking the team. And I think he did a great jog at picking players and getting personalities and skills that match and mesh well together.”
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With a cohesive, united team, there’s no stopping the Shock’s winning spirit.
“Chemistry is huge,” Jackson continued. “You can have all the talent in the world; you can look great on paper, but you have you have to be able to transfer it on to the court. And that is where chemistry and stability comes in. Having the same 11 girls and learning everyone’s ability I think is going to be big for us.”
It is now the Shock’s second year in Tulsa, and they are ready to prove they are no longer rookies. The 2011 season is about getting the crowd pumped and being a winning team.
“We are looking forward to playing hard and winning,” Jackson said. “We are going to bring the fans exciting basketball. We are going to be playing up-tempo basketball and getting after it, and at the same time it’s fun for us, as well.”