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Sports

July 15, 2014

For Shock’s Goodrich, it’s like starting over

TULSA — To borrow from John Lennon, for second year Tulsa Shock guard Angel Goodrich, this season is just like starting over.            

After starting 16 games and averaging 22 minutes of court time per game last season under then coach Gary Kloppenburg, Goodrich has had to adjust to a different role this season under first year coach Fred Williams.

With rookie Odyssey Sims averaging almost 14 points per game and fellow second-year guard Skylar Diggins putting up strong enough numbers to earn a starting spot in Saturday’s WNBA All-Star game in Phoenix, Goodrich is now coming off of the bench and averaging seven minutes of court time per game.

In response, the Sequoyah alumna has reverted to being a bigger gym rat in an effort to maximize her chances at getting back on the court and help Tulsa make its first playoff appearance since moving from Detroit five years ago.

“I’m just coming in and doing extra,” she said. “I’m coming in and trying to expand my game, trying to get shots up every day. I’m just working on myself and trying to stay focused and ready for when my shot comes. With what little time I get, I have to be able to go in and contribute.”

Wedged between a home-and-home series with the San Antonio Silver Stars, the team has a four-day break later this week and early next week for the All-Star game. Although the Shock (7-13) is once again in the basement of the six-team Western Conference, they are only one game out of the fourth and final playoff spot, currently held by the Los Angeles Sparks. Eight of the team’s losses have been by 10 points or less.

“When you have a young team like this, still stretching to finish out and get these close ones, we have to come out strong,” Williams said. “That’s a teaching point for us.”

“They are good,” Indiana Fever coach Lin Dunn said after a two-point win over the Shock Tuesday night. “They don’t go away and they keep battling and fighting with you. Even when we got ahead by 13, we felt like they were going to make a run.”

Goodrich will be stepping away during the break briefly for a family wedding, but has no plans to stray far from the gym over those four days as her team tries to get it together and string together enough wins among its remaining 13 games to find the postseason. Tulsa still has three games left with the defending champion Minnesota Lynx (15-4) — including two at the Target Center — leaving little room for error.

“We’ve got to stick together, because we can’t just take it back or change it,” she said. “It’s another loss that we’ve had before. We’ve just got to start off better, as we haven’t played a full 40 minutes. We’ve been talking about it over and over and over and we’ve just got to change it. We’ve got to make a change starting now, because we’re more than halfway through the season. If we’re going to do anything different, we’ve got to do it as a team. That’s the only way anything’s going to change.”

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