published Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Georgia distrupted UTC Moc's game plan

  • photo
    Lance Stokes (3) drives the baseline during Georgia's game against the Chattanooga Moccasins on Monday.
    Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Watching replays of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga's 87-56 basketball loss at Georgia on Monday did little to alter coach Will Wade's first impressions after the game.

The Mocs were stomped.

First they were startled and scared after the Bulldogs rushed out to a 20-9 lead that included hitting two of their first four 3-point attempts, which flew in the face of UTC's scouting report.

The Bulldogs didn't follow the scouting report designed by assistant Wes Long and approved by Wade.

"We've got to stick with what we're doing," Wade said Tuesday. "You have to let the numbers play in your favor."

The scouting report noted that Georgia (3-4) shot 28.6 percent from the 3-point line in its six previous games. So the Mocs were willing to allow those shots.

But the Bulldogs started hot from the outside with 3s from Kenny Gaines and Nemamja Djurisic.

"That's life. Things aren't always going to go your way," UTC junior forward Lance Stokes said. "You have to be able to respond to adversity."

The Mocs (3-6) didn't respond Monday until well into the second half.

"We don't hang in there long enough," said Wade, who will take a recruiting trip this weekend.

The Mocs didn't handle the Bulldogs' first-half success, and Wade said there's no excuse despite a late arrival and playing against a Southeastern Conference opponent with bigger players at every position on the floor.

"You have to give yourself a chance to let the numbers play out," Wade said. "By the end of the game it evened out and they shot [27.8 percent] from the 3-point line.

"We've got to stick with what we're doing. You are what you are. They barely hit their average."

But the early-game blur of watching the ball go through their baskets on 19 of 32 overall attempts for the Bulldogs crushed UTC into a 47-17 deficit at halftime. Georgia inflated its cushion to 37 points about three minutes into the second half.

"You are what you are the later in the season it gets," Wade said. "Only once every three games there will be an anomaly."

UTC followed the game plan in its only win over a Division I team this year, when it beat IUPUI 87-76 in Las Vegas.

The Mocs held the Panthers' two best players -- Ian Chiles and Mitch Patton -- 24 points below their combined scoring average. Yet they allowed reserve Ja'Rob McCallum to score 25 after he averaged 7.8 points in his first seven games.

"They were doing something that they weren't used to," Wade said. "That guy [McCallum] got tired and missed shots in the end.

"You have to stick with it and allow the numbers to come back to you."

The most important comeback Tuesday was the result Wade received from an X-ray on the left foot of Lance Stokes -- negative for a fracture.

The injury news improved further for UTC when Wade learned that hip injuries to freshman Greg Pryor and sophomore Casey Jones, who did not play in the second half Monday after a collision, are not serious and they will practice this week.

"We're OK," Wade said. "We've just got some nicks and bruises now."

Contact David Uchiyama at duchiyama@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6484. Follow him at twitter.com/UchiyamaCTFP.

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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