CHATTANOOGA ( Chattanooga Mocs men’s basketball team’s 2017-18 season officially gets underway today with the first practice of the Lamont Paris Era.

Paris was hired in April as the 20th head men’s basketball coach. wrote a lot about it here, here, here and even a little about what some top basketball minds and talents thought about it here.

But that was then and this is now. The Mocs have been together since early summer. The NCAA allows programs two hours per week of practice time in the “off season”. As a couple of the student-athletes shared on Friday, it shoots up to 20 for the foreseeable future (also known as from now until the end of the season).

Paris appreciates the two hours per week, and many coaches point out when practice officially begins that they’ve been working for weeks on end. But the Mocs leader says there’s a different feel when Monday gets here.

“That's one of the best things the NCAA has decided is getting these two hours per week of actual basketball instruction leading into the first official practice,” he stated. “Some of the drills we're going to do (in practice), we've introduced during the two-hour sessions. It should make for a smoother transition into practice.

“It's a different frame of mind (when official practice starts). You try to establish how you're going to work and how hard you're going to go in each drill during the two-hour sessions. It just naturally ratchets up on the first day of practice. I think everyone laces their shoes up a little tighter, coaches included.

“Just the fact it's the first day of official practice, it changes the psyche of guys as they come in.”


Here’s some additional sound that didn’t work its way into the story…

Paris on team bonding leading into the season:

“We had several team bonding events away from the court during the summer months. It was great seeing how our guys interact off the court. We did conditioning in Coolidge Park on the river along with several other things. We played ultimate Frisbee...we have some guys that would not be on the top of the list of the Ultimate Frisbee draft.”


The first look at this year’s edition comes on Saturday, November 4, in an exhibition game against Francis Marion at 5 p.m., in McKenzie Arena. Season tickets are on sale via (at the link above) or by calling the McKenzie Arena ticket office at 266-MOCS (6627) during normal business hours.


It’s a new era fitting for new threads. Junior Nat Dixon and sophomore Rodney Chatman took a little time to share the new look with our Mocsvision crew. Here’s what fans are seeing on our social media channels via Facebook (ChattanoogaMocs), Twitter (@GoMocsMBB) and Instagram (@GoMocsAthletics).

Dixon got his hands on the home whites, while Chatman grabbed the road blues.