published Friday, November 9th, 2012

Ronrico White to start at point in UTC opener

  • photo
    Ronrico White, right, starts a fast break against freshman Gee McGee
    Photo by Tim Barber /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Dontay Hampton's recovery from knee surgery is going as planned.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga senior guard jogged laps on the McKenzie Arena concourse during Mocs basketball practice Thursday.

He should be back in the lineup at some point this season. Nobody knows exactly when. But he should return to his role of starting point guard.

In the meantime, sophomore guard Ronrico White will begin the season as the starting point guard with freshman Farad Cobb coming off the bench Monday night when UTC opens the season against Tennessee Temple.

"The team needs me to be a point guard, and that's what I'm going to do to help the team be successful," White said. "I'm not looking down the road. I'm looking at Temple, and I'm the point guard."

Coach John Shulman said senior Drazen Zlovaric will start at center and junior Zaccheus Mason will start at power forward. Shulman said he is leaning toward starting freshmen Casey Jones and Gee McGhee at small forward and shooting guard, respectively.

"I've got to find five that will go out there and defend, and five that have a little experience," Shulman said. "It would be so much fun to coach this team without games. It's amazing how far this team has come, but we are not a finished product by any means.

"The pressures of winning and losing cannot get in the way of our improving."

Shulman likely will change the starting rotation several times this season with different guards hearing their names during pregame introductions. And Lance Stokes could start in place of Mason a time or two.

"It's a big responsibility to start," Mason said. "This year I'm one of the main guys that has to produce for the team. It's a big step. I worked all summer to take on this challenge."

Cobb could grow quickly into the starting point guard and allow White to move back to his natural shooting guard position. There currently are three freshmen and sophomore Martynas Bareika juggling playing time for the two wing positions.

"When you have young kids, it's going to be up and down," Shulman said. "I don't know how many times we'll change our lineup. We'll assess it day by day."

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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