Editor’s note: Seattle Times reporter Jayda Evans will have a weekly conversation with a newsmaker in the WNBA. This week, she speaks with Tulsa guard Skylar Diggins, whose Shock is off to a 0-5 start in her second WNBA season. Tulsa is the only team that hasn’t won a game this season. Four of the five defeats were by a combined 10 points, including a 62-60 decision against the Storm at KeyArena on Sunday. Tulsa is off until a home matchup Friday against Phoenix.
Seattle Times: Tulsa had a coaching change and the roster has only two active players with more than five years of experience, but the constant since the team relocated from Detroit in 2010 is the losing. How are you handling the change from a career at Notre Dame where you lost only 20 games in four years?
Skylar Diggins: Nobody wants to lose. We have a very young team, for starters, and we’re revamping our program and I think we’re setting the foundation now. I think, no, it is … it is very different from last year (when Tulsa finished at 11-23). We had three games at the beginning of the year (2014) that we should’ve won. In the league, it’s something I learned last year, it’s a quick turnaround. Everyone beats everyone eventually and you can’t focus on any one loss.
Q: Four of the losses this season were a one-possession difference and last season you played so many overtime games. Is it really just the youth?
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Diggins: I don’t know. It’s apples and oranges from last year. But we played the defending champion Minnesota Lynx and had to come back from 16 down and ran out of gas (losing 94-93). San Antonio was at their home on opening night. We’re definitely desperate for wins but it’s not like we’re 0-17. We have to keep a positive attitude.
Q: Yeah, I was thinking that San Antonio defeat must have been the hardest since former Notre Dame teammate Kayla McBride nailed the winning three-pointer over you.
Diggins: It was a tough shot by a tough player. That’s (McBride) one of my favorite people and we’re really close. I hit her up (via text) after and was like, ‘Great shot. I hate that you made it on us!’ But I’m always wishing for her to do well. She’s a great person. It’s good to see her having the start of her rookie career like she’s having.
Q: How do you personally deal with losses? Sleep?
Diggins: Watch film and get over it. Like I said, it’s a quick turnaround.
Q: You’re one of a few younger players who opted not to go overseas to improve. Do you ever wonder whether that experience would’ve helped you learn how to win on the pro level?
Diggins: Absolutely not.
Q: Well, you used the time well, from launching trademark merchandise to posing for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. How was that experience on Guana Island?
Diggins: It was amazing. I had a good time over there and I’m glad with how my spread came out. It was very classy in my mind. I also worked with Sprint Postup’s social-media program that takes fans on the insider view on the NBA lifestyle since it’s the mecca of pop culture. So, I had an opportunity to go to Fashion Week in New York, which was really cool, and the Grammys. I did a lot of different events. I thought the whole offseason was a success for me and one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life was to stay (stateside).
Jayda Evans: 206-464-2067 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @JaydaEvans.