Practice Notes: Observations From The First Two Days Of Training Camp

Welcome to practice notes: a continuous feature during the season that will showcase observations from Shock practice, so everything that you don�t see on television. It may not be your traditional practice or game recap story but it will be quick hitting, informative and provide readers with an insider perspective on Shock practice and the shaping of the roster. Training camp opened this past Sunday, April 25 and continued today.

For the first week, the team is doing two-a-days, morning and night, before they move onto one practice a day leading up to tip-off. Observations from the first two days:

Alexis Hornbuckle, Plenette Pierson and Scholanda Robinson have great chemistry both on and off the court. Always positive in the huddle, during drills and keeping everyone�s spirits up.

Pierson is the leader in the huddle � giving the pump up and the cool down speech after each break.

Coach Nolan Richardson runs all his drills full-court. All of them.

Danielle Green is the only player who wears a headband. Stylish.

Water breaks are not very long, about 30 seconds to a minute after 25 minutes of practice time.

Assistant Coach Tammy Bagby instructs the players to get their hands-off their knees during every break.

Shanna Crossley appears to have completely restored trust in her left knee. She�s running the floor and shooting the ball really well in practice.

Nobody is excused from handling the ball in practice. "You better come in here early and work on your handles. You never know what kind of pressure you are going to see in-game" - Assistant Coach Tammy Bagby.

Coach Richardson gave a demonstration on what people think constitutes a good point guard : he was dribbling an imaginary ball between his legs while jerking his head left and right, violently. After the demonstration, Richardson explained that that�s not a point guard: �A point guard is someone who first of all can see and secondly, can get the ball to their teammates.�

Brittany Gilliam ran suicides the width of the court after practice last night. It was 9 p.m.

Gilliam, Amanda Thompson and Green stuck around and shot for about 30 minutes after practice.

Coach Richardson on the first two days of practice: �I thought the girls really played hard. They worked hard and that�s what you ask for at the beginning stages of practice � that you work with a lot of energy. We don�t work long but we work hard. There�s a lot of things we are going to clean up but this is only the first time anyone has played with each other the first time. New coach, new players, it�s a little more difficult to get organized. It might take five or six practices before I really know what�s going on.�