The current road trip is already different because it will keep the Mocs away from Chattanooga for five days.
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga departed McKenzie Arena on Wednesday, will play at Elon tonight at 7, then play at UNC Greensboro on Sunday at 2.
The change is playing Sunday instead of Saturday, and it's necessary because the Zac Brown Band has booked the Greensboro Coliseum for Saturday night.
"If I knew who that was I'd be really mad," John Shulman joked. "I don't like that we have to stay an extra day, but I know they can't help it. In some ways, it's better from preparation. But [Jim Reynolds] and I will be in a hotel for an extra day and we have families back here in Chattanooga."
Shulman is also considering other changes for this trip.
He said before practice Wednesday that he'd likely change the starting lineup, but would not divulge who will sit for the tip and who will be on the court.
Shulman also said he may change the routine of being on the road. The extra day may allow for some extra-curricular activity. But that too is up in the air.
He's thinking. But he doesn't know for sure.
"We may do some different things on the road because we've been going forever, the weather has been bad, it's rainy and cold and we got beat by Western," Shulman said. "I have an idea about the extra day. But my idea may change after Thursday night.
"I can't tell you my ideas. I don't tell my wife all my ideas. I wish we were in Charleston an extra day -- no offense to Greensboro."
A couple Mocs spent the off-day in Charleston sun-bathing. They won't be laying outside their hotel this weekend.
"You have to stay enthused and fresh and your head has to be clear," Shulman said. "This is the dog days."
The Mocs (8-11, 3-3 SoCon) will be facing two North Division rivals this weekend. The Phoenix (11-7, 4-2) lead the Mocs by one game and the Spartans (4-13, 2-4) trail UTC by one game.
"We're in a two-to-three week period where there's a lot of things that will happen to [determine] where you'll be in it or out of it," Shulman said. "We have 12 games left and we have to stay in a good frame of mind."
The change Shulman would appreciate witnessing the most on this trip is improved defensive effort and execution. He noted that the Mocs have been down by double-digits during the second half of their last four games and could have easily gone 0-4 instead of 2-2 in that stretch.
Junior forward Martynas Bareika and freshman Gee McGhee have been asked to slow fast-starting guards in the second half. They've done so with moderate results.
Continuing, or improving, that trend may land Bareika in the starting lineup at some point soon.
"I'm trying to guard, a lot of times if somebody's hot it's on me," Bareika said. "It's definitely one way to get in the starting lineup. I think that's everybody's [individual] goal.
"We, as a team, we want to get out of the middle of the standings and go up."
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 ...