Shock-Silver Stars Preview
While Skylar Diggins looks poised to rebound from a lackluster rookie season, one of the Tulsa Shock's newest additions is hoping to take her high-scoring ways to the next level.
Odyssey Sims will make her WNBA debut Saturday night in a visit to the San Antonio Stars.
After being taken No. 3 overall in last year's draft, Diggins couldn't find her shooting touch for much of her first season. She connected at a 32.8 percent clip and converted 24.4 percent of her 3-point attempts while averaging 8.5 points.
If the Shock's three preseason games were any indication, the point guard might be ready to put those woes behind her. She made 27 of 48 from the field and 5 of 10 from beyond the arc while averaging 26.0 points in her club's three victories.
"I think she's improved in the offseason. I think the structure of the things we do offensively and defensively have helped her," first-year coach Fred Williams said.
Williams and Diggins will try to lead Tulsa to its first playoff berth since the franchise left Detroit after the 2009 season. The Shock have gone 29-107 since moving but reached double-digit wins for the first time in 2013, going 11-23.
They're hoping Sims, the No. 2 overall pick in the draft this year, will help them get over the hump even with last season's leading scorer Liz Cambage sitting out to play with the Australian national team. Sims averaged 28.5 points as a senior at Baylor and became the second NCAA women's player to top 1,000 in a season while finishing her college career with 2,533.
She also made a school-record 258 3-pointers and had 642 assists in 145 games.
Sims averaged 18.5 points while appearing in two preseason contests. She had 24 points in 13 minutes of a 107-61 rout of the Chinese national team Monday.
Her first regular-season opponent is a San Antonio club that finished one game ahead of Tulsa last year while failing to make the playoffs for the first time in seven seasons.
The Stars opened 2014 with a 79-75 loss to Atlanta on Friday, with Becky Hammon sitting out due to a sprained left ankle. Hammon was limited to one game in 2013 because of a broken right finger and torn left ACL.
She is scheduled to be re-evaluated before Saturday's home opener.
Sophia Young-Malcolm, who sat out last year with a knee injury, had eight points and a team-best 12 rebounds against the Dream. However, she missed two free throws with 1:39 left that would have given San Antonio a lead.
Danielle Robinson scored 23 points in the defeat and Danielle Adams had 18.
The Stars and Shock split four meetings last season, winning once on each other's home floor. Tulsa's Riquna Williams scored a league-record 51 points in a 98-65 rout at San Antonio on Sept. 9.