University of Tennessee at Chattanooga basketball forward Zaccheus Mason has been in the Chattem practice facility working out with the help of Mocs managers.
The senior will work out for his new coach next.
"It will feel like the first workout you've ever had," Mason said. "You never know what they have in store, and with a new coaching staff you don't know what to expect."
Summer workouts for the Mocs will begin Wednesday under the eye of first-year head coach Will Wade.
Installing his style of "Chaos" defense will begin with basic footwork and work up to five-on-five competition when fall practice begins in October.
"It's time to get on the court and sweat with them and start the process of improving their games and instilling a championship work ethic," Wade said. "It's a big day. I'm excited for it."
But baby steps come first.
NCAA rules allow players to spend a total of two hours per week under the supervision of coaches. Each UTC player likely will have three 40-minute sessions per week. In most cases, Wade said, one session will be one-on-one, another will be with the player's position group and the other will be with the whole team.
"We won't install anything, but we'll work on the nuts and bolts of getting good at the little things," Wade said about the summer workouts. "We'll work on shooting 3s from our 3-point areas, we'll work on where we want to post up and we'll spend a lot of time working on our defense."
The defense will be different. "Chaos," as he's branded it, will be very similar to the "Havoc" that Wade coached at Virginia Commonwealth -- fast-paced and trapping at every possible moment. A base fundamental is defending one-on-one in the full court and half court.
"We're going to put a lot of the building blocks in during the summer and build up," Wade said. "We'll spend a lot of time one-on-one -- how many times can you turn a guy? -- and that feeds into what we'll do later with the press."
Wade said he expects most of the players on the 2013-14 roster to participate Wednesday, but he's working to get a few freshmen on campus.
Rising senior Sam Watson and rising junior Jared Bryant are no longer part of the team. Watson had a one-year scholarship and Bryant will be transferring. Alex Bran and Jay Wimbley are walk-ons expected to participate.
Mason, the lone senior on the squad, is ready to get to work. He's also a little anxious and nervous, yet confident, as if he were going on a first date.
"Coach said these next few weeks are going to be tough," Mason said. "He wants me to help the other guys and keep pushing.
"I'm interested to see how it all goes."
Contact David Uchiyama at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6484. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/UchiyamaCTFP.
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 ...