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Monday, July 18, 2011
Future is tomorrow for Tulsa

By Sarah Spain

"We Got Next" might have started out as a slogan for the WNBA as a whole, but now it seems best suited for its struggling Tulsa franchise. As its 1-14 record so dismally displays, the Shock most certainly do not have now.

One win. A .067 win percentage. A nine-game losing skid. Heck, things have gotten so bad, its 1-6 record at home almost seems respectable next to its 0-8 mark on the road.

Tulsa's offense is shooting a putrid .388 from the field and opponents are averaging 15 more points per game. We're about to come up on the All-Star break, and the team is already nine and a half games back in the Western Conference. It's going to be a long second half for the Shock.

When Teresa Edwards took over as head coach last week, she took on a whole host of problems left by former head man Nolan Richardson. But amongst the Shock's many thorns, Edwards will find a few roses. Namely, rookies Liz Cambage and Kayla Pedersen.

Cambage, a 6-foot-8 center out of Australia, and Pedersen, a 6-4 forward from Stanford, are two reasons Shock fans have to be optimistic. Cambage is second on the team in points and rebounds, with 13.6 and 5.3 per game, respectively, while Pedersen is just behind in both categories, with 11.1 and 4.9.

The transition from basement-dwellers to playoff contenders doesn't happen overnight, so Tulsa fans will have to be patient. Cambage and Pedersen are talented enough individually to be All-Stars down the road, but the Shock brass has got to surround them with talent if it wants the team to win consistently.

Once the team's up-and-coming stars have found their groove in the pros and the supporting cast is in place, seasons like this one will be a thing of the past for the Shock. Until then, Tulsa fans will just have to wait.

Someday soon, next will be now.