Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

May 10, 2014

Sophomore stint

Goodrich feeling confident heading into 2nd season with the Shock

TULSA — This time around, Angel Goodrich has a little better idea of what she’s walking into at Shock training camp.

“It’s not that I wasn’t confident last year, but it was a lot scarier,” the second year guard and Sequoyah alumna said during Shock media day Thursday at the BOK Center. “I didn’t know what to expect then or what to think.”

Even with a new coach on hand — Tulsa’s fourth in five years — the confidence gained from making it through her rookie season received an added boost during the offseason. Goodrich, along with fellow Shock player Vicky Baugh, played for a Vologda-Chevakata, a Russian club that employs an up-tempo, physical style similar to the one used by new Shock coach Fred Williams.

Neither Goodrich nor Baugh speak any Russian. Their club coach did not speak any English and their league provided translator was often unavailable, thus making communication on and off the court challenging at best when the team’s one bilingual player was not around.

“It was tough. We couldn’t really communicate with anyone. We’d go in the locker room and listen to him talk for about 30 minutes. We (Baugh and Goodrich) would understand maybe two words of it.”

Goodrich started 16 of the team’s 31 games last season, averaging 4.4 points, 1.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game.

Even with that bolstered confidence, starts as a rookie and support she’s received from family and friends back home, Goodrich was quick to acknowledge that she is not guaranteed a spot on the team’s final roster. The Shock must cut three more players before its regular season opener May 17 at San Antonio. The team’s last preseason game is Monday at home against the Chinese Olympic Team.

“With this league, you just don’t know (whether you’ll get cut),” she said. “I’m trying, but I don’t want to tell anyone that I’m for sure going to make the team. It’s just that tough.”

 

WNBA training camp notebook

Shaking off the rust:
Unlike several of her teammates who played abroad, forward Nicole Powell spent her offseason working as an assistant coach at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash. She said she is eager to see what impact the time off of the court and on the sidelines has had on her game.

“It is what it is. The coaching staff and everyone here knew when I accepted the position at Gonzaga. I’ve stayed in shape, but haven’t necessarily been able to play, so there might be some rust.”

Where am I? Although rookie point guard and first round draft pick Odyssey Sims had been to Oklahoma before, most of her previous visits were to the central part of the state. With the quick turnaround from wrapping up the semester at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, to the start of training camp, Sims is still working on getting her bearings and getting a routine going.

“I really don’t know anything about Tulsa or Oklahoma,” she said. “I’m still just looking at what’s around. I haven’t just hit the highway yet, although I hope to soon.”

Cut No. 1: The Shock made its first roster cut Tuesday, waiving forward Amber Dvorak. A graduate of Drury University in Springfield, Mo., Dvorak averaged 4 points per game and 1.5 rebounds in the team’s two preseason games against the San Antonio Stars.

Cut No. 2: The San Antonio Stars waived former OU standout Whitney Hand-Jones Thursday. A 2013 third-round draft pick by the Stars, Hand-Jones sat out last season to rehab from a left knee injury.

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