published Friday, October 4th, 2013

Chattanooga Mocs basketball team embraces 'Rat Race'

The Mocs' Gee McGhee, No. 12, advances against the Catamounts' Mike Brown, No. 2, during a game against Western Carolina at McKenzie Arena.
The Mocs' Gee McGhee, No. 12, advances against the Catamounts' Mike Brown, No. 2, during a game against Western Carolina at McKenzie Arena.
Photo by Jake Daniels.

Gee McGhee loves competition.

And he's loving preseason basketball practice under first-year University of Tennessee at Chattanooga coach Will Wade.

Almost every drill every day is a competition with ramifications for the winners and losers.

"I love 'Rat Race,'" McGhee said, describing it as a 3-on-2 fastbreak drill with the first team to seven winning. And if you lose?

"You get an 'L,'" McGee said. "Those L's add up and you have to run."

Through the Mocs' five official practices since last Friday, McGee admitted that he's had to run for too many losses.

"Once, maybe twice -- once or twice," he said, hiding a grin.

Wade gave the players the day off Thursday after three straight days of practice. He spent the day visiting an out-of-state recruit.

"I thought practice Monday and Tuesday was good, and Tuesday, at the end of practice for a four-minute stretch, we looked as good as we have all year," Wade said. "Yesterday was tough with three practices in three days. Until [Wednesday] we improved every day. We were still good on offensive execution."

The Mocs have been going with 11 healthy players since the full-team two-hour sessions began a week ago. Ronrico White has been out with a hip injury. Justin Tuoyo had minor knee surgery, and Wade said freshman Anthanee Doyle still needs time to recover from an undisclosed illness.

A little help is on the way. Wade said Justin Tuoyo -- who must sit out this season after transferring from Virginia Commonwealth -- should return to practice this weekend. Wade said one or two walk-ons will be added in the coming days.

"We've been going really hard," sophomore Eric Robertson said. "I could go play a game right 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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