published Friday, April 13th, 2012

Eric Robertson signing gives Mocs 5 guys

The signing of Eric Robertson on Thursday morning completed a five-man recruiting class for University of Tennessee at Chattanooga basketball coach John Shulman.

It's a class, Shulman said, that will increases the Mocs' athletic ability and will allow them to play a different style of basketball -- fast.

"I think you'll see us playing in the full court defensively because we'll be able to do it," said Shulman, who also received scholarship papers from Casey Jones this week. "We'll have Farad [Cobb] and [Dontay Hampton] at the point. But instead of having to throw it to the point, my goal is to have three points on the floor at the same time."

Cobb is a 6-foot-1 point guard signed in the fall period along with 6-4 guard GerVaughn McGhee and 6-7 forward Josh Warren. The additions of Jones (18.8 ppg, 8.4 rpg) and Robertson (19 ppg, 8 rpg) make this the largest signing class in Shulman's tenure at UTC.

And following an 11-21 season, and with the coach owning just two years on his contract, it's an important class. Shulman said he tackled the past season head-on in visits and brought up the season on his own accord.

"If [opposing] coaches are bashing us, then they don't have anything good to say about their own program," Shulman said. "We were skilled last year. I don't want to be a white-collar team. I want to be a blue-collar team."

Most of the returning players and the incoming class of freshmen are expected to be on campus long before the fall semester begins.

"We're going to have a lot of kids here over the summer," Shulman said. "It's up to our old guys to welcome everybody and get everybody on the same page."

And Shulman wants it to be a brand new page. Precisely, he said, he wants "everything fresh," and that includes a change in style from the senior-laden station-to-station tempo of last season.

"I want to guard people, and now we're athletic enough to guard people," Shulman said. "With the depth, we've got two guys at each position. We'll be deep and get back and guard people."

Shulman also said Thursday that the Mocs will have 18 home games -- only two non-Division I teams -- and he's ahead of schedule in building the schedule.

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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