CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.---The Chattanooga Mocs basketball team is in high gear preparing for the start of the 2013-14 season. Here are some notes as we await the opening tip in McKenzie Arena on Friday, November 8.
OPEN PRACTICE SATURDAY OCTOBER 12
Head Coach Will Wade is offering a first view of Chaos for fans on Saturday October 12. The squad hits the McKenzie Arena floor at 11 a.m., and for 90 minutes, it performs and interacts with supporters on a special campus weekend.
“It’s exciting to do it in conjunction with Homecoming,” Wade said. “We talk about being the city’s team and being here for our alumni, fans and students. This is a chance to engage those that mean most to us. Anyone can come to this event.
“We want them to know we are working hard for them and appreciate their support while making sure they know basketball season is just around the corner.”
FIRST WEEKEND OF PRACTICE HIGHLIGHTS CASEY JONES
UTC started practice on Friday and is now a few days into preparing for the upcoming season. Through individual workouts and the first few practices, sophomore wing Casey Jones (New Orleans, La.) has really stood out.
“Casey has been great,” Wade stated. “He’s picked up right where he left off from individual workouts. He’s been at the top or led us on the effort chart every day. He does all the little things…the effort plays, the hustle plays. He’s always attacking and aggressive.
“He’s everything we are about in ‘Chaos’.”
Jones saw action in 18 games as a freshman, starting 15. A December knee injury cost the high-energy performer 13 games. When he returned there was a marked improvement after a slow start.
His averages for the season were 5.3 points and 3.6 rebounds per contest, but he was at his best at the end of the year. He re-entered the starting lineup for the final four games and tallied 10.8 points and 4.3 rebounds per game, while shooting 65.5 percent from the field.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the team come together instead of individual workouts,” Jones stated prior to Friday’s start date. “I want to see it all unfold together and see how it’s going to work out.”
When asked by a reporter “what’s it going to look like,” Jones showed a sampling of his personality.
“It’s going to look amazing…Chaos baby,” Jones said with a smile.
MASON AND MCGHEE GARNER PRESEASON NOTICE
Mason and sophomore Gee McGhee (Baton Rouge, La.) earned spots on the College Sports Madness preseason All-Southern Conference teams. Mason was a second team mention, while McGhee slotted in on the fourth team.
THREE OF FIRST FOUR AT HOME
The Mocs open the season with three of four in the friendly confines of McKenzie Arena. It starts with local foe Covenant on the eighth of November in a season tip-off double-header for the men’s and women’s programs. The men get it started at 5:30 p.m., followed by the Lady Mocs tackling Alabama in the nightcap.
After a trip to Radford (11/11), former UTC guard Lincoln Walters brings his Montreat squad to the Roundhouse on Saturday, November 16, while Kennesaw State visits three days later on Tuesday the 19th. Both games start at 7 p.m.
“One of our team goals is to really establish a distinct home-court advantage,” Wade noted. “Having the first three of four at home gives us an opportunity to set out to do just that. We’re hopeful for great crowds for those games and are really working hard to get our students bought in right from the start.”
Wade concluded. “A great student section is key to getting that dominant home-court advantage.”
TICKETS ON SALE
Season tickets are on sale at GoMocs.com or by calling (423) 266-MOCS (6627). Plenty of good seats remain in the newly-renovated lower bowl. Single game tickets go on sale Monday, October 14.