CHATTANOOGA (GoMocs.com) --- It’s officially a new year for the Chattanooga Mocs men’s basketball program. A majority of the 2018-19 roster already is on campus starting summer classes and beginning preparations for the upcoming campaign.

That includes four hours of skill work per week over the course of the summer months before practice starts in earnest in October.

"We made a lot of good additions," Coach Lamont Paris began. "We're very excited with every last one of them. They’re all positive additions. We live in a day and age where change is part of the process. It often times is when there is a change in leadership.

"We're excited about the opportunity to coach these guys. Each is excited to play for Chattanooga and be coached by our staff."

So as we turn the page, it’s time to look forward to the group that’s starting now for the upcoming season. GoMocs.com begins a preview series this month looking at three position groups: point guards, wings and posts.

There are seven new faces for 2018-19 to go with returning starter David Jean-Baptiste and redshirt freshmen Justin Brown and Duane Moss. Transfers Jerry Johnson, Jr., (Fairfield) and Ramon Vila (Arizona State) are also back after sitting out last season due to NCAA transfer rules. Johnson is available from the get-go, while Vila is eligible after fall finals complete.

Those five will help incorporate the seven newcomers and South Alabama transfer A.J. Caldwell into the team’s culture. While the roster has just 40 career games and 18 starts in Chattanooga Mocs uniforms, Jean-Baptiste accounts for 33 and 17 of those, respectively, the group has 184 DI appearances with 19 starts. Last year’s crew had just 144 games played with 12 starts scattered along its ledger.

To go even deeper, the 2017-18 squad entered the season with around 2,000 minutes total in DI contests. That amounts to 10 total team games. This crew, led by Johnson’s 1,311, is just a shade less than 3,000. While it’s basically five more games, all five student-athletes with DI experience this year come in with a fresh feel and expectations.

"We have a good mix of youth and experience,” Paris continued. “There are guys looking to expand their responsibilities on a team as well as guys needing to be mentored. It's a good mix of everything…from guys who haven't played college basketball at all to quite a few that have meaningful experience and minutes.

“Everyone is excited to show what they can do; but more importantly, collectively, what we can do. I sense a very high level of enthusiasm out of this group...their eagerness to be coached, improve and to play and win together."

ROSTER BREAKDOWN BY POSITION

Point Guards (1s & 2s): Maurice Commander (Fr., Chicago, Ill.), David Jean-Baptiste (So., Miami, Fla.), Jerry Johnson, Jr. (Jr., Memphis, Tenn.), Donovann Toatley (Fr., Upper Marlboro, Md.).

Forwards (3s & 4s): Kevin Easley (Fr., Indianapolis, Ind.), Rod Johnson (Jr., Sun Prairie, Wisc.), Keigan Kerby (Fr., Hampton Beach, N.H.), Duane Moss (R-Fr., Myrtle Beach, S.C.), Jonathan Scott (Jr., Monument, Colo.).

Centers (5s): Justin Brown (R-Fr., Lansing, Ill.), Thomas Smallwood (Sr., Bordeaux, France), Ramon Vila (So., Barcelona, Spain).

ROSTER BREAKDOWN BY CLASS

Seniors (1): Thomas Smallwood.

Juniors (3): Jerry Johnson, Jr., Rod Johnson, Jonathan Scott.

Sophomores (2): David Jean-Baptiste, Ramon Vila, A.J. Caldwell (sitting out 2018-19 due to NCAA transfer rules).

Freshmen (6): Justin Brown, Maurice Commander, Kevin Easley, Keigan Kerby, Duane Moss, Donovann Toatley.

HOW THEY GOT HERE

High School Signee (7): Justin Brown, Maurice Commander, Kevin Easley, David Jean-Baptiste, Keigan Kerby, Duane Moss, Donovann Toatley.

Junior College Signee (2): Rod Johnson (Highland C.C.), Jonathan Scott (Otero J.C.).

Graduate Transfer (1): Thomas Smallwood (UAB).

4-year Transfers (3): Jerry Johnson, Jr. (Fairfield), Ramon Vila (Arizona State), A.J. Caldwell (South Alabama).

TICKETS

Season tickets are on sale. Click the link above for more information. The Mocs ticketing and marketing staff has a new incentive program for timely season ticket renewals and purchases. Here’s the breakdown by month:

Purchase by July 1…

Receive 2018 Mocs Flag

Special Edition Season Tickets

Entered to win signed basketball by Coaches Paris & Burrows

Invitation to exclusive season ticket holder event

Clear Mocs Bag for arena use

 

Purchase by August 1…

Special Edition Season Tickets

Entered to win signed basketball by Coaches Paris & Burrows

Invitation to exclusive season ticket holder event

Clear Mocs Bag for arena use

 

Purchase by September 1…

Invitation to exclusive season ticket holder event

Clear Mocs Bag for arena use