Shoni Schimmel working her way back

University of Louisville women’s basketball fans waited patiently for Shoni Schimmel, of the Atlanta Dream, to be sent into a televised WNBA game against the Tulsa Shock on Tuesday, believing Shoni could provide an offensive boost. She never got on the floor, however, in an 85-75 home floor loss.

Shoni, they figured, would be just what the Dream needed on a night when former UofL great Angel McCoughtry was scoring 25 points. Wasn’t going to happen.Shoni-Schimmel-UofLCardGame

Schimmel sat in the same spot on the bench all night, never removing her light blue warmup jersey. No way Coach Michael Cooper was going to insert her in the game, win or lose. The Dream never had the lead, losing its seventh game in 12 starts, and in last place in the Eastern Division.

She’s apparently out of shape, unable to contribute effectively after taking the off season away from basketball. Well almost. Shoni did help her mother coach their high school basketball team.

“The bottom line is she understands the magnitude of being a professional basketball player, a professional athlete now,” Cooper told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It’s about keeping your body in tip-top shape all year around to where when you come to training camp, training camp shouldn’t be a time for you to get in shape, training camp is a time to take the shape you’re in and take it to another level with your teammates.”

Schimmel has played in 10 games, starting in two of them, while averaging only 15.1 minutes per game. She’s managing only 4.4 points and 2.4 points assists per game.

“I’m not too worried about it, and I don’t think Coop is either,” said Schimmel. “We have an understanding there.”

Schimmel expects to return to top shape in about three weeks.