2012-13 Chattanooga Menís Basketball Preseason Notes

2012-13 Chattanooga Men's Basketball Preseason Notes

 - This is the first UTC roster since well before the move to DI (1977-78) to not have a single junior college transfer on its roster.

 - Chattanooga returns just one starter in 5-man Drazen Zlovaric (Novi Sad, Serbia). Zlovaric is the top returning scorer and rebounder with averages of 10.2 points and 6.4 boards per game.

 - UTC graduated 53.7% of its points, 42.5% of its rebounds, 73.7% of its assists and 54.5% of its minutes. Also gone are 57.3% of the Mocs shot attempts, 78.6% from three-point range. The departed shot 37.5% (398-1060) from the floor and 33.1% (188-568) beyond the arc, while the returners made 46.5% (367-789) from the field and 33.5% (52-155) from deep.

 - The bulk of the Mocs' experience comes in the paint with Zlovaric joined by junior Z. Mason (Nashville, Tenn.) and sophomores Jared Bryant (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Lance Stokes (Orlando, Fla.). Walk-ons Drew Baker (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Sam Watson (Knoxville, Tenn.) each have three years on the squad as well with 13 starts, 11 by Watson.

 - Mason played his first collegiate hoops season after spending two years at Ole Miss on the football squad. He appeared in 25 games, starting one, averaging 5.6 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. Those numbers increased to 7.8 points and boards per conference game as the rust came off.

 - Bryant and Stokes were key performers in reserve roles in 2011-12. Bryant played in 29 games, starting one, averaging 10.1 minutes per game (3.2 ppg, 2.7 rpg). Stokes earned seven starts in 25 appearances starting out at the 3 and then playing at the 4 due to injuries. He should stick at the 4. The duo shot 59.6% and 53.8% from the floor; respectively, while Stokes also made 81.3% of his free throw attempts.

 - The backcourt returns just three players, all from a reserve role. Senior Dontay Hampton (Chattanooga, Tenn.) and sophomore Ronrico White (Knoxville, Tenn.) were the first guards off the bench in 2011-12. Hampton was sixth in minutes played, while White was eighth. Hampton, a former walk-on, will start the season on the sideline recovering from a knee injury. He scored 7.1 points per contest last season, while White tallied 5.0 ppg. Sophomore Martynas Bareika (Kedainiai, Lithuania) saw limited minutes in 12 games as a redshirt freshman, but he is in the mix at the 2 and 3 wing spots.

 - The Mocs added five freshmen, all guards/wings: Alex Bran (Memphis, Tenn.), Farad Cobb (West Palm Beach, Fla.), Casey Jones (New Orleans, La.), Gee McGhee (Baton Rouge, La.) and Eric Robertson (Huntsville, Ala.). Cobb (6-0, 160), the No. 38 point guard in the Class of 2012 by, looks to have the best shot at taking over at the 1. McGhee (6-5, 200) and Robertson (6-4, 191) are combo guards. McGhee can play all three wing positions, while Robertson is a 2 that can work at the 1 as well. Jones (6-5, 185) is a high flyer who will see action at the 3. Bran is a promising walk-on out of St. George's in the Memphis area.

Head Coach John Shulman returns for his ninth season on the bench.  The Mocs have won two SoCon Tournament Championships (2005, 2009) and four SoCon North Division titles (2005, 2008, 2009, 2011) including three of the last five, during his tenure.

 - He has led UTC to two NCAA Tournaments with SoCon Tournament wins in 2005 and 2009.

 - Added Casey Long to the staff in place of Rick Cabrera (Tennessee Tech).

 - Chattanooga has won an amazing 92.2% of its games under Shulman when leading with five minutes to play (118-10). When the score is within five points, leading or trailing, with five to go, Shulman and his charges are 52-31 (.627).

There are a total of 19 home dates including the resumption of the Blue-Gold scrimmage. It takes the stead of a traditional exhibition game as the Mocs will now participate in closed scrimmages with Belmont (home) and Tennessee Tech (away). Teams have the option of either holding closed scrimmages or exhibition games.

 - The 18 home games break UTC's school record of 17 set in the 1985-86 and 2011-12 seasons.

 - Chattanooga hosts a record-tying seven Division I home games including the CBE and Dr Pepper Classic fields. The last time seven DI schools visited McKenzie Arena was the 1990-91 season. It is the third time overall with seven on the 1989-90 slate as well.

 - The Kansas game marks the sixth time the Mocs have faced a previous season's finalist. It is the second year in a row UTC has done it with Butler on the docket in 2011-12 (57-46 loss). Previously, the Mocs played North Carolina (1982 champ) at home on Dec. 21, 1982 losing 73-66, at Michigan (1993 runner-up) on Dec. 5, 1993 losing 97-86, at Kansas (2003 runner-up) losing 90-76 on Nov. 21, 2003 and Memphis (2008 runner-up) in San Juan, P.R., on Nov. 20, 2008 losing 83-71.

 - The contest with the Jayhawks is part of the CBE Classic which will bring three teams and six games to McKenzie Arena Nov. 18-20. Louisiana Tech, Southeast Missouri and Troy square off in a round-robin to claim the title of the Chattanooga Sub-Regional.

 - The game at KU is the first Big 12 meeting for the Mocs since Missouri on Nov. 24, 2009. It's the first matchup with a current Big 12 member since Nov. 21, 2003 at...Kansas.

 - The meeting at LSU is the first between the two programs. It is the third year in a row - and nine of the last 10 - with at least one SEC team is on the schedule. Texas A&M now stands as the only SEC school the Mocs have yet to face.

 - Freshman Gee McGhee returns to his native Baton Rouge to face LSU. Fellow newcomer Casey Jones is from nearby New Orleans.

 - It's the third time in four years UTC meets Georgia Tech. It's the second consecutive season Jan. 2 includes a Big Six conference opponent for the Mocs (Tennessee).

 - Return non-conference meetings from 2011-12: Kennesaw State (65-59 loss) and Mercer (67-56 loss). Utah Valley State returns to the Dr Pepper Classic where it was a 74-59 loser to UTC in the title game.

 - New opponents in 2012-13 (Last Meeting): Eastern Kentucky (12/30/09), Georgia Tech (2/16/11), High Point (1st meeting), Kansas (11/21/03), LSU (1st meeting), Louisiana Tech (11/24/77), Reinhardt (12/21/10), Southeast Missouri (1st meeting), Tennessee Temple (12/21/09), Troy (1st meeting). The Yellow Jackets of Georgia Tech dot the most past schedules of the new opponents with this year's matchup being the 17th. La. Tech holds the distinction of being the Mocs' first win and opponent of the DI era.

 - The 23rd Annual Dr Pepper Classic field matches UTC up with High Point in the first round. The Panthers were 13-18 last season, 8-10 tying for sixth in the Big South Conference. Austin Peay meets Utah Valley in the other half of the bracket. APSU ended up sixth in the OVC last year, while UVU won the Great West Conference. The Govs lost 77-62 to the Mocs in the title game of the 2000 Dr Pepper Classic, while the Wolverines were UTC's victim in 2011. Chattanooga is 36-8 with 14 championships.

 - Chattanooga faces one Big 12, one SEC, one ACC, two maybe three OVC, two A-Sun, one Big South, one Sun Belt, one WAC and possibly one Great West school.

Chattanooga has been the dominant program since joining the SoCon in 1977-78 after winning the 1977 NCAA Division II title.

 - UTC has won 28 championships in 35 seasons in the league including 10 regular-season (prior to division play starting in 1994-95), eight division and 10 tournament. Davidson is second during that span with 19, 11 of which are of the division variety.

 - The Mocs 20 regular-season/tourney titles are far and away the most through those 35 campaigns followed by East Tennessee State (now in Atlantic Sun) with nine (3 reg season/6 tourney) and Davidson (1 reg season/7 tourney) with eight.

 - Chattanooga has won a title of some kind in 19 of its 35 years in the SoCon.

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