published Saturday, November 5th, 2011

Mocs target post improvement

Drazen Zlovaric spun the ball to himself on the left block. He gave a fake to nobody, spun to his right and buried a hook shot before practice Friday in McKenzie Arena.

He made it look easy.

But his University of Tennessee at Chattanooga team had difficulty scoring inside Tuesday in an 82-64 exhibition victory over Tennessee Wesleyan.

UTC's post players combined for 22 points while the guards shot 62 percent from the 3-point line to mask the inside ineffectiveness.

"I was thinking too much, and when you think when you play, it's not good," said Zlovaric, who last played in a college game 19 months ago. "Basketball is instincts and reaction."

Coach John Shulman also wants to see thoughts turned to deeds.

"It's open season if you want to rebound and you want to guard the post and score in the post," he said. "We're throwing it in there. Now they have to do something with it.

"I thought Jared [Bryant] and Jahmal [Burroughs] were our best post players."

Those two totaled 12 points and seven rebounds against the Bulldogs and their 2-3 matchup zone, which TWC coach Mike Poe said he called for to prevent UTC from using its size and strength.

"I'm looking for production, execution, getting a rebound, guarding somebody, running the floor and being alert," Shulman said. "It ain't real difficult. The problem is none of them did it the other night."

UTC's competition doesn't get any easier any time soon. The Mocs are playing at Virginia Tech today in a closed scrimmage that is scheduled to last three hours. Senior guard Omar Wattad should play but junior point guard Dontay Hampton is questionable with a calf contusion.

UTC will begin its regular season Nov. 13 at Indiana -- which has one of the nation's top freshman centers in Cody Zeller -- and then play 48 hours later at two-time NCAA tournament runner-up Butler.

So improvements from Tuesday need to be made immediately.

"We'd get embarrassed, annihilated," Shulman said, "if we play like that against good teams."

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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