published Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Mocs get last chance on road

  • photo
    UTC head basketball coach John Shulman paces on the sidelines in McKenzie arena.
    Photo by Doug Strickland /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga charter buses have been rather quiet when returning from men's basketball road games this season.

In fact, they've been historically quiet.

The Mocs are 10-19 overall, 4-12 in the Southern Conference, and they have not won a single game on the road. No team in UTC history has accomplished that dubious feat for an entire season.

The Mocs can avoid that distinction by pulling out a victory at Furman (13-14, 7-9) tonight in Timmons Arena.

It's their last chance.

"I think it's pretty important because we haven't won one time on the road this year," junior Drazen Zlovaric said. "We've got to get one."

The unofficial team rule is that televisions are turned off in the bus after loses. But after victories, somebody usually pops in a movie for everyone to watch.

"We haven't watched a movie all year," senior Keegan Bell said. "Not a one. Maybe we should have somebody pack one. Maybe that's our problem."

UTC is 0-13 away from McKenzie Arena and 0-8 in SoCon road games and has lost those games by an average of 8.3 points. It's the only team in the conference without a road win in league play. After all, the team with the worst overall record, The Citadel, won at UTC on Saturday.

"We're going over there to win a basketball game," coach John Shulman said. "It would be nice to win two. It would also be nice to collect on all the games we should have under our belt."

UTC is locked into the No. 6 seed from the North Division for the SoCon tournament. Furman can move up to fourth from the South with a win and a little help to overtake the College of Charleston.

"They have all of their bigs back from last year, and they are big, talented and they have quick guards," Shulman said. "They just have young guys on the perimeter. But they're good. They pressure and throw it in to [Brandon] Sebirumbi.

"They'll play us just like they did in the tournament last year."

"I've never been part of a team that's lost so many close games," senior Omar Wattad said. "I still believe this team can win four games in four days."

Wattad is referring to playing four games in the SoCon tournament on a neutral court in Asheville beginning March 2.

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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