CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.---Chattanooga Mocs Head Coach Will Wade wasted very little time putting together his first recruiting class. In fact, it pretty much went according to plan.
“It’s very rare in recruiting that you sit down coming out of the summer, put your list together of four or five guys, and you are able to get the guys you want,” Wade said. “We were able to do that. It’s a credit to the staff. The staff did a really good job getting in there with these guys, figuring out what we needed, what we wanted and honing in on them and getting them signed.”
The Mocs penned four in the early signing period which began Wednesday. Three guards and a forward comprise the class that has two high school and two junior college performers. The group ranks tied for 40th in Hoop Scoop’s Top 50 recruiting classes. UTC is right behind Virginia and immediately in front of Florida, Missouri, UCF and Georgia Tech.
Junior college forward Duke Ethridge (Lakeland, Ga./South Georgia Technical) and guard Jacolby Mobley (Starkville, Miss./East Mississippi C.C.) link with prep guards Brandon Maxwell (Orlando, Fla./Orlando Christian Prep) and Shaq Preston (New Orleans, La./East Jefferson H.S.). The quartet joins sophomores Justin Tuoyo (Fayetteville, Ga.) and Tre’ McLean (Charleston, S.C.) who are sitting out this season as four-year transfers from VCU and Queens, respectively, as new on-court additions for 2014-15.
Ethridge led the Jets to a 22-10 record in 2012-13 averaging 19.1 points and 8.9 rebounds per game, while shooting 42.1 percent from three-point range. He is a perfect fit in Wade’s Chaos system in the “mismatch” position as a smaller, quicker, physical 4-man. Ethridge was Freshman of the Year and first team All-Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association last season.
Maxwell ranks as the No. 14 prospect in Florida according to future150.com (3-star prospect) and as the No. 47 shooting guard in the country. He profiles as a combo guard for the Mocs after posting 20.7 points per game making 96 three-pointers for Lake Howell High School in 2012-13 and is the son of former Florida star and NBA Champion Vernon Maxwell.
Mobley is a 5’10” combo guard with ability at the one and two. He was ranked fifth in the state of Mississippi’s high school class of 2012 by ESPN.com playing at Starkville High School. He topped 20 points six times as a freshman at EMCC with a high of 35 against East Central tallying 13.6 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. He aided Mark White’s Lions run to the NJCAA National Tournament which was the fourth year in a row for the program.Preston is a 6’3” wing from East Jefferson High School in New Orleans. He is tabbed as the No. 7 prospect in the state on the NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune’s Super 16 list. He earned LSWA Class 4A All-State honorable mention and All-New Orleans Area Large School Team as a junior while garnering All-District 10-4A MVP honors.
“Each of them is long, athletic and plays very, very fast,” Wade added. “In fact, we are going to have to slow some of them down which is what you want. Most of them played in a pressing system in high school or junior college. They complement our roster. We wanted to get some help in the shooting department, address our athleticism and we wanted guys that fit our style of play. We certainly addressed all three with this class.”
Chattanooga hosts former Mocs guard Lincoln Walters’ Montreat Cavaliers Saturday, November 16, at 7 p.m. Links to video (PPV), audio (free) and live stats can be accessed on GoMocs.com., and fans can follow @GoMocsMBB on twitter for live updates. Tickets are available on GoMocs.com or by calling the ticket office at (423) 266-MOCS (6627).GoMocs.com is the official website of the Chattanooga Mocs. The Mocs can also be followed on their official Facebook page or on Twitter. Find out how to join the UTC Mocs Club and support more than 300 student-athletes by clicking here.