Mocs 2010-11 Menís Basketball Season Wrap-Up
Chattanooga won its 18th regular season title, 4th under John Shulman
Courtesy: GoMocs.com

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. --- The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga completed its 2010-11 season with its 18th Southern Conference regular season title.  Chattanooga went 16-16, 12-6 in the SoCon North sharing the division crown with Western Carolina.

It was an impressive result considering the Mocs were picked to finish third in the division.  Chattanooga entered the year with three returning starters, none of which had more than a season's experience in the role.

Next year's squad returns four starters as centers Jeremy Saffore (Nashville, Tenn.) and DeAntre Jefferson (Bloomington, Ill.) depart from the five spot.  The Mocs also lose wings Jeff Smith (Chattanooga, Tenn.) and Troy Cage (Baton Rouge, La.).  Smith, a fifth-year senior, has already completed his degree in business management and is slated to earn two more concentrations in May leaving with three degrees in hand.

Chattanooga returns starters at the one, two, three and four.  All four players will be seniors.  UTC will have seven letter winners back, four redshirts and a transfer not to mention a signing class which will include all high school seniors.

Keegan Bell (Hazel Green, Ala.) made quite a stir earning second team All-SoCon mention by the media at the point and is poised to become the school's all-time assist leader in 2011-12.  Omar Wattad (Johnson City, Tenn.) tallied all-league honors from the coaches and joined Bell on the second team media.  Wattad was the team's leading scorer at 14.3 points per game and was the Mocs' most consistent scoring threat. 

Ricky Taylor (Brownsville, Tenn.) will be entering his fourth year in the program.  He is the active scoring leader with 836 points.  Chris Early (Huntington, W.Va.) emerged as a more consistent presence in the post making the outlook for 2011-12 that much brighter.

Letter winners due to return include rising senior Jahmal Burroughs (New Orleans, La.), and juniors-to-be Dontay Hampton (Chattanooga, Tenn.) and Sam Watson (Knoxville, Tenn.).  Drazen Zlovaric (Novi Sad, Serbia) sat out per NCAA transfer this year coming from Georgia.  He is top candidate for the minutes vacated by Jefferson and Saffore.

2010 signee Martynas Bareika (Kedainiai, Lithuania) is coming off a redshirt year, as are walk-ons Drew Baker (Knoxville, Tenn.), Micah Ballard (Maryville, Tenn.) and Ryan Gentle (Nashville, Tenn.).  The Mocs signed three early and are active in the spring signing period.

CLOSING SECONDS

  • Chattanooga was 12-6 in league play, 8-1 at home and 4-5 on the road, with an 8-2 record against North Division opponents, 4-4 vs. South.
  • The Mocs won their 28th SoCon Championship in 34 seasons in the league sharing the North Division title with Western Carolina. It's the 18th regular season crown with eight coming in division play. UTC has won a conference record-tying 10 tournament titles. The 28 championships easily lead the SoCon in the 34 years of the Mocs' membership. Davidson is second with 17 (11 reg. season with 10 division & 6 tourneys).
  • Chattanooga has won four North Division titles in Shulman's seven seasons including three in the last four. UTC's three in the last four years is the most in the league ahead of Appalachian State (2), Western Carolina (2), Davidson (2), Wofford (2) and College of Charleston (1). The four in seven years is also the most in the SoCon during his tenure (tied by Davidson), while two tournament crowns is second only to Davidson's (2006-08) three.
  • The Mocs are 641-391 (.621) since moving to Division I (1977-78), 347-190 (.646) in SoCon contests. UTC is 52-24 (.684) in SoCon Tourney games. In 34 seasons, the Mocs played in the championship game 17 times with Davidson's 10 finals appearances ranking second.
  • Chattanooga was 12-1 in games where the score is within five points (leading or trailing) with five minutes left in the contest with wins over Kennesaw State (-1), Marshall (-2), Western Carolina (tied), at Elon (+3), at UNCG (+1), at The Citadel (+1), Samford (+3), College of Charleston (+2), home against UNCG (-3), home vs. Elon (+4) and Georgia Southern (+4) along with the road win at Samford (tie/OT). The lone loss was at home to Austin Peay (-4). The Mocs were 13-0 when leading with five to play regardless of the score differential.
  • Shulman in particular has been phenomenal with a lead late in games, as well as close games. For his career, Chattanooga is 109-5 (.956) when leading with five minutes to play. With the score within five points and either team leading at the five minute mark, his squads are 47-22 (.681).
  • The Mocs were strong in close games in 2010-11 going 3-1 (.750) in one-point games and 5-2 (.714) in games decided by three points or less. UTC was 12-6 (.667) when the final margin is nine points or less.
  • Chattanooga was 12-3 (.800) when holding opponents under 70 points, 4-13 otherwise.
  • The Mocs won four games in 2010-11 when trailing at the half. The biggest first half comebacks were from 12 points behind College of Charleston and 10 down at Marshall and at Elon. Chattanooga came back from second half deficits of seven at Kennesaw State, eight at Marshall, five at home against Appalachian State, five at Elon and six at Samford. UTC was 12-1 when leading at the half.
  • Chattanooga led the Southern Conference in rebounding (38.5/gm) and Defensive Rebound Pct (74.1%). In league games only, UTC is first rebounding (38.4/gm), Defensive Rebound Pct (75.4%) and three-pointers made per game (8.8).
  • Chattanooga made 10 or more treys 13 times (12-1). Nine of the 13 came at McKenzie Arena where UTC shot 35.8 percent (149-416) from beyond the arc making 9.3 per game. Opponents hit 10 or more 15 times (6-9).
  • Chattanooga played in several back-and-forth games.

Date

Opponent

Lead Changes

Ties

11/15

Austin Peay (L)

12

7

11/17

@Kennesaw State (W)

3

8

11/20

@Marshall (W)

8

5

12/2

App State (W)

9

4

12/4

Western Carolina (W)

9

4

12/17

@Elon (W)

11

3

1/13

@The Citadel (W)

9

7

1/27

UNC Greensboro (W)

15

16

2/12

@Appalachian State (L)

13

10

2/26

@Samford (W)

14

12

PLAYER NOTES

Keegan Bell (Hazel Green, Ala.)

  • Bob Cousy Award watch list.
  • 2nd team All-Conference (media)
  • Finished season with 182 assists which is the 3rd best season total in school history (DI era) behind Tim Brooks (1992-93) with 205 in 1991-92 and 209 in 1992-93. His 5.7 assist-per-game average is 5th. Bell's 1st season total of 159 is 6th on the list.
  • Now has 341 career assists which is 4th in the DI era. He trail Brooks and Wes Moore (1996-99) who both tallied 414 as well as Casey Long (2004-07) with 386. Bell's 5.2 average is 3rd behind Brooks at 6.6 and Ray Trowell (2003-04) at 5.4.
  • 2nd in SoCon in assists per game (5.7) and in assist/turnover ratio (2.4), while ranking seventh in three-pointers made per game (1.9).
  • 24th nationally in assists and 30nd in A/TO ratio.
  • 3rd on the team in scoring (9.7 ppg) and free throw pct (73.0). Team leader in steals with 28 and minutes played (34.5/gm). Played 36.7 minutes per game in SoCon outings.
  • Recorded five or more assists in 19 games (37 career).
  • Made 100th career trey vs. Furman. 16th Moc to reach that total. Bell is 15th all-time in 3pt FGM (110) and 11th in attempts (355).
  • 22nd DI player to record 1,000 minutes in a season at UTC with 1,105. 1st since the trio of Stephen McDowell (1,177), Khalil Hartwell (1,029) and Nicchaeus Doaks (1,021) did so in 2008-09. Gerald Wilkins (1983-85) holds the record with 1,188 minutes (37.1/gm) in the 1985 season. Bell's 1,105 minutes played is 4th in the DI era.
  • Started 31 of 32 games played at the one.

Chris Early (Huntington, W. Va.)

  • 2nd on the squad with 196 rebounds, 6.3 per game, 6th in the league on the boards.
  • 4th on the team in scoring averaging 9.3 ppg.
  • SoCon averages: 10.8 points and 5.7 rebounds per game shooting 49.2% FG and 70.6% FT. He had 15 total double figure scoring games this season.
  • 2 20-pt efforts including a career-high 23 points in the home win over Furman.
  • Home averages: 12.1 points and 6.6 rebounds per contest shooting 51.6% (64-124) from the floor including 40.4% (21-52) from 3pt range and 73.8% (45-61) from the line.
  • Started 29 of 31 games played at the four.

DeAntre Jefferson (Bloomington, Ill.)

  • Led Mocs in reb with 206, 6.4/gm. Four double-digit games on the boards. Ranked 4th in SoCon in rebounding.
  • Led Mocs in FG pct. (64.8%). Missed leading league in FG% by three made baskets (3.0 FGM per game is minimum).
  • Started six of 32 games played at the five (started senior night at the four - 7 starts).

Ricky Taylor (Brownsville, Tenn.)

  • Mocs' active career scoring leader with 836 points. Needs 164 points to become 18th 1,000-pt scorer in DI era and 1st since Nicchaeus Doaks (2006-09) and Stephen McDowell (2008-09) turned the trick during 2009 season.
  • 13th in SoCon scoring averaging 13.0 ppg.
  • Led team in FTM (94) and FT% (75.2).
  • Topped 100-mark in career 3-pt made (15th Mocs to do so) in the loss at App State and 800 points in home win over Furman. 14th all-time in 3pt made with 111, one ahead of Bell, and 13th in attempts (330).
  • Scored in double digits a team-best 22 times, 45 in his career.
  • Scored 20 or more three times this year, nine times in his career, including career-best 41 points in double overtime win over UNC Greensboro (1/27).
  • SoCon games only averages of 14.1 points and 4.3 boards per game. Made 40.3% from 3pt range in SoCon games compared to 34.6% overall.
  • Home game averages: 15.6 points and 3.6 rebounds per contest shooting 47.7% (83-174) from the floor and 39.7% (27-68) beyond the arc.

Omar Wattad (Johnson City, Tenn.)

  • All-Conference (coaches), 2nd team media
  • Led team in scoring (14.3 ppg), FGM (143), 3pt FGM (88) and 3pt% (36.1). Ranked 10th in the SoCon in scoring and 2nd in 3pt made per game (2.8).
  • 35th nationally in treys made per game and 59th in 3pt pct.
  • In SoCon games only, averaged 15.1 pts and 3.6 reb per contest while shooting 39.0 percent (55-141) from 3pt range making 3.1 per game.
  • Scored in double digits 21 times including a team-high seven 20-pt games (one 30).
  • Made three or more threes 15 times this season.

2011-12 EARLY SIGINING CLASS

The Mocs signed three in the early signing period, all high school seniors.

Xavian Rimmer (Jackson, Miss.)

6-2, PG, Piney Woods Country Life School, Piney Woods, Miss.

MVP of Mississippi 2A State Tournament leading Piney Woods to title...powerfully built guard....rated as the No. 8 prospect (Hoop Scoop) in Miss....averaged 18 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists per game (junior)...rated top 150 in the nation (PG) on ESPN.com.

Trey Brown (Brandon, Miss.)

6-7, G/F, Brandon High School, Brandon, Miss.

Named to Mississippi team in the Mississippi-Alabama All-Star Game...averaged 16.8 pts and 8.4 reb per game as a senior...projects as a two/three for the Mocs with his long, athletic frame, good range on his jump shot and solid ball skills...rated No. 20 top prospect in Mississippi by Hoop Scoop.

Emmanuel "Manny" Ochenje (Carbondale, Ill.)

6-9, C, Brehm Prep, Carbondale, Ill.

No. 1 rated recruit for state of Illinois 2012 class who re-classified into 2011...rated No. 17 center and No. 82 overall player for 2012 by ESPN.com...long, athletic with ability to run the floor playing either the 4 or 5.

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