CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.---The Chattanooga Mocs men's basketball program opens play Tuesday, Nov. 3, at 7:30 p.m. Well, the staff does. The coaching staff is taking on students in 3-on-3 action in the Aquatics & Recreation Center (ARC) across the street from McKenzie Arena.
The team’s connection with the student body is vital to its success in 2015-16.
“It's very important," coach Matt McCall said. "We need this arena to continue to be one of the most difficult environments to play in the Southern Conference. The best way to do that is for us to interact with the students.
“We need them to come to games, fill the stands, be loud and be into it.”
As far as the roster for the staff, there is some talent to draw from. Director of Basketball Operations Eddie Shannon was named an SEC Legend last year for his playing career at Florida. Video coordinator Jacob Kurtz was a walk-on with the Gators who started seven games last season. Assistant coach Jess Bopp and athletics performance guru Collin Crane played collegiately at Plymouth (N.H.) State and Carson-Newman, respectively.
When asked about the game plan and his involvement, McCall had a little fun with his response.
“I'll be in,” he smiled. “No question about it. Eddie, as the point guard, needs get me as many shots as possible. Jake needs to pepare to be a screener and rebounder...needs to keep firing them back out to the ball coach and I'll try to knock them down if I can.
“There's no question, those guys are going to put me on their backs and carry me through.”
The opponent is Team Get Buckets which captured the 13-team qualifying tournament. The team is comprised of Sabien Smith, Nigel Bethel, Alexander Gheen and Ibrahim Teshome. The first squad to 15, leading by two or more, is the winner with one point for baskets inside the arc and two from behind it.
The Mocs host Covenant in an exhibition game on Friday, Nov. 6, at 7 p.m. They start the season a week later at Georgia on Nov. 13, with the home opener on Monday, Nov. 16, vs. Hiwassee.