The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga basketball Mocs will compete against a team other than themselves for the first time under first-year head coach Will Wade when they travel to the midstate for a closed scrimmage today.
They've played, practiced and prepared together and against each other in summer workouts, individual sessions and official practice. But it's hard to tell whether success is good offense or bad defense -- or vice versa.
The Mocs need to learn at least three things today.
1. Can their pressure defense disrupt opponents?
The UTC defense certainly disrupted the Mocs' offense in the two open practices. But isn't that like kissing your sister, because the defense has a clue of what the offense wants to do? UTC players are now used to the pressure. This is the first test of "Chaos" and how the Mocs play it.
2. Can the Mocs execute their half-court offense?
Coach Will Wade has kept offensive instruction as a freshman-level class this season. It's hard to tell whether all of the fumbles, tipped passes and turnovers are the result of his emphasis on defense or the offense not doing its job.
3. Can they shoot in a foreign arena?
There are three shots that Wade loves to see his players take and make: 3-pointers, layups or dunks and free throws. UTC shot 29.8 percent from the arc last year, 41.8 percent from the floor and 66.5 percent from the stripe.
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 ...