Mocs excited for "fresh start" in SoCon play
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- John Shulman knows his team's record.
He also knows it's not what most University of Tennessee at Chattanooga basketball fans expected from his senior-laden squad.
But he's not about to start panicking just yet.
"I don't think we're a 2-4 team. We're very close to being 5-1," Shulman said Wednesday. "We coulda-shoulda up at Butler. We coulda-shoulda against Kennesaw, and we coulda-shoulda against Gardner-Webb. I couldn't say that about some of our games last year, so we're not far off.
"We just need to tweak a few things."
The Mocs' first chance to make those changes comes Thursday night in their Southern Conference-opener at Georgia Southern.
The Mocs went just 2-2 on what looked to be a very favorable four-game homestand, with one of its wins coming against non-Division I opponent Warren Wilson. Now UTC hopes a conference-opening road trip will be the fresh start it needs to get back on track.
"As of right now, we're treating it like it's a new season," said junior guard Dontay Hampton. "We're still 0-0 in the conference, so we're just trying to get some momentum coming out of a tough road game at Georgia Southern."
The Mocs started 7-0 in league play a year ago, but it will be tough to repeat that feat this season with a visit to College of Charleston following Thursday's stop in Statesboro.
While the offense has struggled to find its rhythm, it's lack of effort on rebounding that's concerned Shulman the most. However, he believes that problem, as well as overall pride in the program, can be remedied in a hurry.
"It's crazy to me to be starting conference play this early, but it is what it is," Shulman said. "We understand that this is a big weekend. I don't think our kids want to be 2-4. They're not proud of it, and I'm not proud of it. But we're not down in the dumps.
"Our attitude with our basketball team is going to change. I think we're going to get better. We just need to start doing more 'right' things, and if we start doing those 'right' things than we'll find more success."