A new era of UTC Men's Basketball starts this Friday when Lamont Paris takes the court as the Mocs' head coach for the first time.
Channel 3 sports reporter Jill Jelnick got the chance to sit down with the first-year head coach, and has more on the Mocs' newest member.
JILL: Coach it's been eight months now since you've been in Chattanooga. What is your first impression of the Scenic City?
COACH PARIS: First of all I can't believe it's been that long. It's literally unbelievable that it's been eight months. But the city has been great and the people are unbelievably nice. Just a great community.
JILL: You're coming from Wisconsin, an extensive resume with the Badgers. But this is your first time calling the shots. What do you foresee being your biggest challenge?
COACH PARIS: Gameday will obviously be different and everything leading up to that will also be different just from a decision making stand point. I will say this, I was fortunate in my last position to be working with two former head coaches that gave me a lot of leeway and latitude and that helped bridge the gap.
JILL: It's no secret that this is a very young team. You have no seniors, a handful of juniors, and a whole lot of freshmen. When you have a young team like this, how do you take that into account and how do you make it work?
COACH PARIS: One of the things you have to recognize with this many young guys, and also with a new staff and a new system all together, you have to be a teacher first. And with so many young guys, I think it's more important that you do that.
JILL: We talked to a lot of the players at the beginning of the season and we asked them in one word, how would you describe coach Paris. And a lot of them said loving.
COACH PARIS: I think they have to know that you care about them, so we do a lot of things to make sure they know that. That's good, I'm glad they said that because we have some days where I get on them pretty good. But it's good they know what my intentions are and that I'm not just a platoon leader and screaming at guys. I spend some time getting to know them as well."
UTC will open up the 2017-2018 basketball season Friday November 10th on the road against Wyoming.