Dishin & Swishin 4/30/15 Podcast: Tulsa looks to Shock the Western Conference in 2015

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Women’s basketball is in a period of calm after the NCAA tournament and before WNBA team camps begin. So this seemed like a good time to celebrate the euphoria of draft day one more time, but we will do so in a short podcast this week, looking through the eyes of the Tulsa Shock.

Today’s podcast brings you two interviews from the draft. First, Shock coach Fred Williams is one-on-one with host David Siegel, discussing the team, the draft, and the future. Second, Amanda Zahui B, the team’s number one draft choice meets the media. Thanks to all the “other voices” you hear asking questions.

The franchise that used to dominate the WNBA while in Detroit has certainly struggled, with a record of 41-129 since the move, a winning percentage under .250. They are still looking for their first playoff spot since moving to Oklahoma. The 2011 draft, expected to be crucial to the team’s success produced Liz Cambage, the dynamic center from Australia who prefers not to come play in the WNBA, and Kayla Pedersen, now a role player for the Connecticut Sun.

Still, Shock fans have a reason to believe success could be around the corner.

The last three drafts have produced three stars for the team, forward Glory Johnson, and the backcourt of Skylar Diggins and Odyssey Sims. Courtney Paris, while still undersized, has become a dependable rebounder in the post. Perhaps most important, though, Fred Williams, who led the Atlanta Dream to WNBA finals, took over as head coach, bringing his resume of success with him.

This offseason the building of a contender continued, with the signings of free agents Karima Christmas and Plenette Pierson. Two veterans with playoff experience that are known for their intangibles and work ethic; they are the type of additions that a young team needs to succeed.

Perhaps the biggest piece though, came on draft day with the addition of Minnesota center Zahui B., with the number two overall draft pick. The early entrant has already shown a personality and graciousness that are a marketer’s dream, and her legitimate 6-5 solid build will give the Shock a shot blocker and rebounder to patrol the paint against the WNBA’s bigger centers.

The Shock is clearly looking ahead, and doing what it can to build a winner. They have to deal with the fallout from the Glory Johnson arrest and whatever punishment the league hands down, if any, but over the course of the season they should be able to handle it. With Minnesota, Phoenix, Los Angeles, and even Seattle making bold offseason moves, it will still be a challenge to be a playoff team, but if Tulsa does make it, it should not “Shock” anyone.

Enjoy the podcast!

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