Mocs looking for first win in Friday's home opener
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- Offense wasn't supposed to be a problem this year for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men's basketball team.
But two games and two traditional defensive powers into the season, the Mocs are 0-2 and averaging just 49.5 points per game.
"Some of us are just shaking our heads, but we'll get it and figure it out," said senior point guard Keegan Bell. "Indiana and Butler are tough defensive teams and the scouted us really well.
"But we keep working. We'll figure it out, and hopefully against Kennesaw State we'll be able to get a few more points over 49."
The opportunity to do that comes at 7 p.m. ET Friday night when the Mocs host the Owls (0-2) in their home-opener at McKenzie Arena.
UTC is excited to finally play in front of its home crowd, for while a two-game road swing at Indiana's Assembly Hall and Butler's Hinkle Fieldhouse provided some great basketball memories, it didn't produce the best results.
"Those are two big nights. Those crowds were going crazy. Indiana is intense and Butler raised its Final Four banner before our game," Bell said. "It will be nice to have some loving fans and hopefully some good encouragement."
The Mocs certainly saw some encouraging signs in Tuesday's 57-46 loss to the Bulldogs. Head coach John Shulman repeatedly praised his team's effort, and declared it a drastic defensive step forward from Sunday's 78-53 loss to the Hoosiers.
As a result, confidence is still high for the Mocs, who say it's still a bit early to be judged purely on their overall record.
"We definitely made progress from the first game to the second game, but it's just really hard to evaluate our team based on the first two games of the season," forward Drazen Zlovaric said. "Both games were on the road against really good competition, and the reality is a lot of us still haven't played that much together.
"I still think we're going to be really good this season."