(Photo Credit: Dale Rutemeyer/GoMocs.com): Catching up with the Mocs men’s basketball program
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.---GoMocs.com takes a quick look at a few notes with the Chattanooga Mocs basketball program.
Summer Workouts Have Begun
The Mocs get two hours per week of individual and team activities for those student-athletes on campus during the summer. This year, all 15 squad members are in town for summer school and workouts. Some quick thoughts from Head Coach Will Wade on the early progress:
“It’s been good so far. We’ve divided into smaller groups of three and four. We’re trying to really focus in on individual defensive skills and shoring up some of our issues from last year. Really trying to shift toward a pressure man-to-man defense by putting in the principles and building blocks to be a good pressure man-to-man defensive team.
Who has caught your eye among returnees:
“I think Greg Pryor has been very good. He’s lost some weight, he’s in the best shape of his life. He’s making progress…making that jump which is what you hope from someone who started as a freshman and is an experienced player. Sometimes it is easy to rest on that and just assume good things are going to come to you, but he has really worked hard, even harder than he did last year which positions him to make another big jump this year.”
Is there a newcomer that has surprised in any way:
“All of the newcomers have had their moments. Chuck Ester is probably further along than we thought. He has a really, really good spirit, a good way about him on the court. He’s extremely skilled. He still has a long way to go, he has a lot of work he needs to do…we need to continue to work on his motor, but he is a smart kid who picks up basketball well. He’s been a nice surprise so far.”
New Staff Additions
A key to most successful programs is the stability of the coaching staff. That is not easy for mid-majors to accomplish, but Wade’s three assistant coaches – Turner Battle, Casey Long and Wes Long – along with Director of Basketball Operations Brooks Savage are all back. That said, there are three new staff members.
Trey Draper and Chattanooga native Jordan Clark serve as graduate managers, while Alex Wharton joins the program as video coordinator.
Wharton worked last season at the University of Houston where he aided in internal operations with the Cougars’ hoops program. He was a graduate assistant at Angelo State prior to his return to his alma mater. He played junior college ball for Grayson County College.
Draper comes to the Scenic City from his hometown of Memphis, Tenn. He was a walk-on guard for the Memphis Tigers where he was a part of two Conference USA regular season and three tournament championship squads. A strong student, Trey graduate the summer before his senior season with a degree in Sport and Leisure Management.
Clark has a new position, but he returns from the 2013-14 staff where he served in a volunteer capacity. He is a former student assistant at Tennessee and prepped at Baylor playing for his father Austin.
2014-15 Schedule Close to Release
While it is not ready to be released, the 2014-15 schedule is shaping up. The release date is dependent upon the final contracts being signed, but everything points toward an exciting campaign. Unless something changes, 17 home dates await fans young and old. Season tickets from 2013-14 can be renewed throughout the month of July. New ticket purchases begin in August.