published Friday, June 10th, 2011

Hoop Mocs get SEC tight end?

With Sam Watson taking a medical redshirt for the upcoming season, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga basketball coach John Shulman has been looking to boost his team’s post depth.

He may have found something big.

Zacchaeus Mason, a 6-foot-6, 250-pound tight end at Ole Miss, told that he’s transferring to UTC to play basketball.

Mason was a basketball and football standout at Christ Presbyterian Academy in Nashville. He could have played college basketball at the mid-major level or football in the Southeastern Conference and chose the latter at first.

Shulman said Thursday that nothing is a done deal and he’s not allowed to comment on potential players until paperwork is finalized.

Watson rib removed

Watson, who played in 22 of 32 games last year as a reserve power forward and center, underwent surgery at Baylor University to remove a rib and fix a nerve in his shoulder that had been troubling him for two years.

“We decided that he’s going to be a redshirt victim regardless,” Shulman said. “They couldn’t decide whether he would be out six months or nine, so we just chose to redshirt him and let him heal properly from pretty serious surgery.”

Wattad rehabbing

Shulman said rising senior guard Omar Wattad, who led UTC in scoring with 14.3 points per game last year, is rehabilitating the hip and back problems that plagued him last season.

“Omar played the whole season hurt,” Shulman said. “He never was healthy.”

On campus

Four of Shulman’s Mocs are taking summer classes to either get ahead or finish up, as is the case with Jeremy Saffore. Chris Early, Jahmal Burroughs and Ricky Taylor are the others taking classes.

Shulman said Taylor is an intern with TVA this summer and “he wears a tie every single day.”

Rocky Top update

Incoming freshman Rico White is the only UTC player participating in the Rocky Top League this summer in Knoxville. He was the 58th overall pick of the Rocky Top draft and will play on the Choice Spine team coached by Rick Campbell.

Notre Dame High School coach Brad Harris, a former Lee University star, and incoming Lee junior transfers Steve Bennett, Ryan Westbrooks and Duran Blue also are playing in the league.

about David Uchiyama...

David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...

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June 10, 2011 at 8:07 p.m.
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