(from gomocs.com) 2015-16 CHATTANOOGA MOCS BASKETBALL PREVIEW
Mercer (11-3/1-0) at Chattanooga (12-2/1-0)
Game 15 | Tue., Jan. 5, 2016 | 7 p.m. | McKenzie Arena (10,995) | Chattanooga, Tenn.
LINKS: Access links for video, audio and live stats on the men's basketball schedule page on GoMocs.com.
VIDEO: SoCon Digital Network.
RADIO: The Mocs Sports Network flagship station is 96.1 the Legend FM in Chattanooga. Jim Reynolds is in his 36th year as the play-by-play "Voice of the Mocs".
PROMOTIONS: $2 Alumni tickets for the student section.
Follow the action on Twitter @GoMocsMBB. Get interactive using the hashtags GoMocs and ReptheC.
ALUMNI TICKET DEAL FOR MERCER GAME ON TUESDAY
It's back to the future for Chattanooga Mocs alums for Tuesday's game against Mercer in McKenzie Arena. Tickets are just $2 to sit in the student section for the contest between two of the leading squads in the Southern Conference. This is for advance purchase only, it is not available on gameday.
Purchase tickets in the student section (lower level) by calling Jarren Ramsey at (423) 425-5740 by Monday, January 4. Already have season tickets? You are all set—just come and sit in the student section.
T-shirts, pom-poms, and other blue and gold swag will be given out at the game. The first 100 people to register are guaranteed a T-shirt.
Saturday, Jan. 9, at Furman, 12:30 p.m. (Fox Sports SE)
Monday, Jan. 11, at Wofford, 7 p.m. (ESPN3.com)
Thursday, Jan. 14, Western Carolina, 7 p.m.
Chattanooga was No. 6 in last week's CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25. Mercer was tabbed No. 17. The poll is announced on Mondays here.
- UTC is looking for its first 13-2 start since opening the 1983-84 season 14-2.
- The Mocs are on a seven-game winning streak. The team has won its last seven regular season SoCon games dating back to last season.
- Chattanooga is 10-0 when scoring 70 or more points topping 80 eight times including the last two. Mercer leads the SoCon in scoring defense (62.4) and has allowed opponents 70 or more just five times (3-2 in those games). Check out the indicators on page 9 of the notes package.
- UTC is shooting 47.5 percent from the floor ranking 50th in the country. The stingy Bears defense limits the opposition to 37.8 percent shooting which is 16th nationally.
- Mercer is ninth in the nation in rebound margin (+11.5). The Mocs are +7.9 during win streak.
- Second of a four-game-in-10-day trek with three on the road: Saturday, Jan. 2 at The Citadel, W, 84-78, Tuesday, Jan. 5 vs. Mercer, 7 p.m. (SoCon DN), Saturday, Jan. 9 at Furman, 12:30 p.m. (FSN SE) and Monday, Jan. 11 at Wofford, 7 p.m. (ESPN3). Complete schedule on page 2 of the notes package.
- Last three 13-2 or better openings? 1983-84 (14-2), 1981-82 (18-2) and 1976-77 (13-2).
- 64th meeting between the two schools. Mercer leads 34-29. More series notes on page 6 of the notes package.
- UTC is 388-220 in regular season SoCon games, 236-67 at home.
- There are three common opponents entering Tuesday's game. The Mocs and Bears went 3-0 each against Alabama State, Hiwassee and Kennesaw State.
- Leading the SoCon in scoring margin (+10.5), FG% (47.5), 3pt% (38.8) and blocks (4.9).
- Individual league leaders: Justin Tuoyo in blocks (2.3) and Eric Robertson in 3pt% (46.2). Complete SoCon standings and stat rankings are on page 8 of the notes package.
- For more information, click the notes link above to access game notes for both programs.
HEAD COACH MATT MCCALL
- Head Coach Matt McCall is 12-2 in his first season as a head coach. He comes to Chattanooga from Florida where he was an assistant to Billy Donovan over the last four years. He is 5-0 at home.
- First Mocs ball coach to start his tenure 11-2. Also matched Henry Dickerson's (1998-02) best undefeated start of 3-0 in 1997-98.
- McCall is a 2004 graduate of Florida. He spent 10 seasons with Billy Donovan working as a student manager (2003-06), director of basketball ops (2006-08) and assistant coach (2011-15). He spent three seasons as an assistant to Mike Jarvis at Florida Atlantic (2008-11) culminating with a school-best 21-11 mark in 2010-11.
- McCall's staff includes a former head coach, Reggie Witherspoon (Buffalo, 1999-2013), fellow former FAU assistant Peter Gash and Jesse Bopp, a former prep school head coach that most recently served as director of basketball ops for Shaka Smart at VCU. Former Gator SEC Legend Eddie Shannon is the director of basketball ops, while Jacob Kurtz is video coordinator after completing his playing career in 2015 at UF. Jordan Clark returns as graduate manager.
SCOUTING THE BEARS
- 11-3 overall, 1-0 in the Southern Conference, Mercer is coming off a home win over Samford (69-50) to open league play.
- Like Chattanooga, Mercer owns a win over an SEC program, 69-66 (OT) at Arkansas.
- Head Coach Bob Hoffman is in his 23rd year as a collegiate head coach, 26 including three seasons as women's coach at Southern Nazarene (Okla.). He is 155-101 in his eighth campaign at Mercer, 467-255 overall. He is 3-1 against the Mocs.
- Mercer leads the SoCon in scoring defense (62.4), FG percentage defense (37.8%), rebound margin (+11.5) and defensive rebound percentage (76.7%). Individually, Stephon Jelks leads the league in rebounding (9.0) and defensive rebounds (6.6), while Desmond Ringer is tops in FG percentage (64.2%).
- Jelks is the team scoring leader at 12.1 ppg. Jestin Lewis chips in 11.6, while Phillip Leonard (9.6) and Demetre Rivers (9.3) average just under double digits.
- Mercer has started the same lineup in 13 of 14 games: Leonard. Lewis, Rivers, Jelks and Ringer.
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ABOUT CHATTANOOGA BASKETBALL
- The Mocs are by far the most successful program in the Southern Conference since joining the league in 1977-78. The team has won 28 titles with 10 regular season, 10 tournament and eight division.
- 15 NCAA Tournament Appearances: 1961 (DII), 1973 (DII), 1975 (DII), 1976 (DII Runner-up), 1977 (DII National Champs), 1981, 1982, 1983, 1988, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997 (Sweet 16), 2005, 2009
- 10 SoCon Tournament Crowns: 1981, 1982, 1983, 1988, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2005, 2009
- 10 SoCon Regular Season Championships: 1981, 1982, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994
- 8 Division Titles: 1995, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2011
- The 1997 team went to the NCAA Sweet 16 with wins over Georgia and Illinois.
- 5 SoCon Players of the Year: Willie White (1981-82), Keith Nelson (1991-92), Tim Brooks (1992-93), Chad Copeland (1993-94) and Johnny Taylor (1996-97).
- 2 SoCon Defensive Player of the Year: Z. Mason (2014), Justin Tuoyo (2015).
- 3 SoCon Coaches of the Year: Murray Arnold (1982, '83), Mack McCarthy (1986, '92, '93) and Will Wade (2014).
- 9 NBA Draft Picks: Walter "Moose" McGary (1973 & '74), William Gordon (1977), Wayne Golden (1977), Russ Schoene (1982), Nick Morken (1982), Willie White (1984), Gerald Wilkins (1985, 13 seasons) and Johnny Taylor (1997 1st Round).