Freshman guard Greg Pryor.
Courtesy: Dale Rutemeyer
Basketball Preview: Mocs at Furman in SoCon Opener

2013-14 CHATTANOOGA MOCS BASKETBALL PREVIEW
Chattanooga (6-8/0-0) at Furman (6-7/0-0)
Game 15 | Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014 | 4 p.m. | Timmons Arena | Greenville, S.C.

LINKS
Season Stats | Schedule | Roster | Tickets (Home) | Furman

MEDIA AVAILABILITY
TV: ESPN3.com - Darren Goldwater (PxP) & Dean Keener (color) on the call

RADIO: The Mocs Sports Network flagship station is ESPN 105.1 FM the Zone in Chattanooga. Jim Reynolds is in his 34th season as the Voice of the Mocs.

VIDEOSTREAM: Links for live video (ESPN3), audio (free) and live stats are available on the GoMocs.com men’s basketball schedule page.

PROMOTIONS: Opening of the SoCon schedule.

SOCIAL MEDIA
Follow the action on Twitter @GoMocsMBB. Get interactive using the hashtags #GoMocs and #CHAOS. Tag @GoMocsMBB with your photos from the game, well-wishes for the team and more.

NEXT UP
The Mocs continue on to The Citadel on January 6 before returning to McKenzie Arena to host Samford (Jan. 9) and Wofford (Jan. 11).

OPENING TIPS
- The New Year brings a new slate…namely the start of Southern Conference play. This year, Chattanooga begins on the road at Furman and The Citadel. An unbalanced 11-team, 16-game schedule includes six home-and-home series and four single meetings. The home-and-home opponents are Furman, Samford, Wofford, Appalachian State, UNCG and Western Carolina, while the Mocs match up with The Citadel (away), Elon (home), Davidson (away) and Georgia Southern (home) just once.

- Chattanooga is coming off its 16th Dr Pepper Classic Championship in the 24th year of the event. It’s won five of the last six. The Mocs claimed wins over Grand Canyon (69-64) from the WAC and Maine (86-80) of the America East Conference. Maine defeated Conference USA member Middle Tennessee, a 2013 NCAA At Large team, in overtime in the opening game.

- The Mocs are 19-17 (.528) in SoCon openers, 6-11 on the road. They are 2-1 vs. Furman (1-1 at Furman) in their first league game of the season.

- Chattanooga is 48-25 (.658) all-time against the Paladins with the first game coming in 1921-22. For more series information, turn to page three of the game notes package.

- The Mocs are 360-213 (.628) all-time in SoCon regular season play, 139-148 (.484) on the road.

- Chattanooga is in its 37th season in the league. It has won either the regular season, tournament or division title in 19 of those seasons with 10 regular season, 10 tourney and eight division crowns.

- Z. Mason is coming off an MVP performance at the Dr Pepper Classic. It marks the second straight year the senior forward has captured the award. He had 31 points, 26 rebounds and seven blocks in the two wins.

- Mason has posted three double-doubles in a row. He is averaging 24.0 points, 12.7 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game over that span.

- Ronrico White and Casey Jones are coming off 20-point performances against Maine. The duo joins Mason (4 times) and Martynas Bareika (once) in scoring 20 or more in a game this season.

- White missed the first nine games this season after summer hip surgery. He scored in double-digits in both Dr Pepper Classic games earning all-tourney honors for the second year in a row.

- White averaged 15.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game in the Dr Pepper Classic shooting 47.4 percent (9-19) from the field including 60 percent (6-10) from beyond the arc.

- His 5-5 shooting from 3pt range is the best for a Mocs since Brandon Born (1992-95) went 6-6 tying the school record vs. Southern Miss on January 2, 1994. He matched Gary Robb’s (1993-94) mark first set on November 27, 1992 at Alaska-Anchorage.

- Jones’ 20 points are a career high. That was one night after posting a new high in assists (5) against Grand Canyon.

- Gee McGhee also had a career best in the win over Maine with 17 points and 10 assists. It’s the first points-assists double-double since Keegan Bell (2010-12) had 10 points and 16 assists in the 2011 Dr Pepper Classic win (12/29/11) over Longwood.

- Martynas Bareika has started the last five games. In his last six, he is averaging 13.7 points and 4.0 boards per contest.

- Mason leads the SoCon in blocks at 2.1 per game. He also ranks fifth in scoring (18.1), third in rebounding (8.4) and fifth in FG percentage (55.0).

- Behind Mason, the Mocs are second to Western Carolina (4.0) in the league in blocked shots (4.4). Casey Jones (T7th, 0.9) and T.J. Williams (T12th, 0.7) are also listed in the top 15.

- Mason is chasing a couple of career milestones. He currently has 833 points and 484 rebounds. He is on pace to become just the eighth Moc of the DI era to record 1,000 points and 500 boards.

- He is now 13th in the DI era in rebounding, 13 behind Eric Smith (1978-81) in 12th with 497.

- Mason has 25 blocks this year which gives him 62 for his two-plus years on the hardwood, good for eighth place on the Mocs career list, three behind Daymond Woods (1992-93) in seventh.

- Bareika is 30th in the Southern Conference in scoring (10.5), ninth in FT percentage (78.0) and 11th in 3pt made per game (1.9) and 3pt% (39.7).

- Alex Bran (39.0) is 13th the league in 3pt%.

- Chattanooga leads the SoCon in steals (8.3) and turnover margin (+2.5).

- That the Mocs lead the conference in steals is not surprising. Three rank among the league leaders: Greg Pryor and Gee McGhee (T4, 1.4) and Lance Stokes (T15, 1.2).

- McGhee is also 24th in scoring (11.4), fourth in assists (3.5) and sixth in A/TO ratio (1.6).

- Pryor is also sixth in FT% (79.5). He’s registered one or fewer turnovers in eight of the 14 outings.

- Jones is tied for 17th in rebounding (5.1) and fourth in FG% (55.2).

HEAD COACH WILL WADE
- Head Coach Will Wade is 6-8 in his first season as a head coach. He is Chattanooga’s 18th head coach, seventh of the DI era.

- Wade is 5-1 at home, 0-6 away and 1-1 in neutral site contests.

- He is 0-0 vs. Furman, 0-0 vs. SoCon teams.

- Wade is a 2005 graduate of Clemson. He has worked with current collegiate head coaches Larry Shyatt (Wyoming), Oliver Purnell (DePaul), Tommy Amaker (Harvard) and Shaka Smart (VCU) at Clemson, Harvard and VCU, respectively.

- Wade’s staff includes a former head coach, Wes Long (Queens, 2009-13), former Mocs standout Casey Long (2004-07) and Buffalo star Turner Battle. Casey Long was retained from the previous regime. He also welcomed back Mocs great Johnny Taylor (1996-97). Taylor, a Chattanooga native, led Chattanooga to the 1997 NCAA Sweet 16 before becoming the school’s first NBA first round draft selection (Orlando). Taylor completed a 15-year pro career and returned to the Scenic City to complete his degree in criminal justice.

SCOUTING THE PALADINS
- Furman is 6-7 with wins over Sewanee, Gardner-Webb, Brevard, Presbyterian, Liberty and UC Davis.

- The Paladins also feature a first-year head coach in Niko Medved. He was most recently an assistant coach at Colorado State.

- Stephen Croone leads Furman posting 20.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.6 assists per contest.

- Larry Wideman (12.2) and William Gates (10.8) also average in double digits.

- The Paladins shoot 44.1 percent from the field, 36.0 percent from 3pt range and 70.3 percent from the charity stripe.

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