By LENZY KREHBIEL-BURTON
TULSA — The whirlwind has died down a little for Angel Goodrich.
With training camp now behind her, the former Sequoyah High School and University of Kansas standout is getting acclimated to playing basketball professionally.
“Those first couple of days (of training camp), it felt like I was slapped in the face,” she said during the team’s Media Day Wednesday. “Now it’s kind of calmed down and I’m getting to know the rest of the team a lot better.”
In the team’s preseason debut Thursday, a 72-58 loss to the Atlanta Dream, Goodrich did not score, but had one rebound, one assist and one turnover in almost 14 minutes of playing time.
“Just getting out there and a little bit of experience was great,” she said. “I had fun and was very nervous. Not sure if anyone could tell or not, but I was. It was definitely a great experience, though and hopefully I get a little more time next game.”
The team has two preseason games this weekend on the West Coast, starting with a Friday night match-up with the Seattle Storm, a team Goodrich followed while growing up, in part because of their three-time Olympic gold medal-winning point guard.
“Growing up, I looked up to Seattle with Sue Bird,” Goodrich said. “That (Thursday) was the first game, so hopefully the nerves are gone.”
Despite losing both Bird and three-time MVP Lauren Jackson for the season due to injury, the Storm won its preseason opener Sunday, a 67-66 road victory over the Los Angeles Sparks.
The Shock will also play at Los Angeles Sunday before opening the regular season May 25 at Atlanta. Tulsa’s home opener is scheduled for 2 p.m. on May 27 against the Washington Mystics at the BOK Center.
By May 23, the Shock roster will be trimmed down to 11 players. Among the 18 women originally invited to training camp are nine players from the team’s 2012 roster and former University of Texas forward Tiffany Jackson-Jones, who had 11 double-doubles for Tulsa during the 2011 season and sat out the 2012 campaign due to pregnancy.
After the first week of camp, rookie guard Italee Lucas, rookie forwards Vicky Baugh and Brittany Spears and six-year veteran guard Doneeka Lewis were waived. As of Wednesday, the 14-player Shock roster has six guards, six forwards and two centers. Goodrich and first-round draft pick Skylar Diggins are the only rookies still on the roster.
“We’re still evaluating for those spots and which way we want to go,” coach Gary Kloppenburg said. “With an 11-person roster, it gets difficult with those last two or three spots. Do you want to keep a big? Do you want to keep a guard? Those are the decisions we’ll have to make and we’ll probably take all of our time to make that call.
“It’s been difficult. We told the players coming in to make it difficult for us to decide. Come in, work hard and show us you can play in this league – and they’ve done that.”