The “Chaos” system new Chattanooga basketball coach Will Wade brought with him from VCU involves relentless full-court defensive pressure, but it also makes liberal use of the 3-pointer.
Wade has said many times that he’d like the Mocs to squeeze off 30 3-pointers a game and make at least 10. But the question when he took over the program was whether he’d have enough marksmen available. Anyone is good at taking 3s. Not everyone is good at making them.
That’s why a major portion of the Mocs’ summer practice time allowed by the NCAA has been spent on the game’s most basic skill.
“We’ve been working a lot on our shooting,” Wade said. “Working on getting shots from different areas. We’ve spent a lot more time on offense this [summer] than we did in the spring. We’ve really focused in on that.”
As a result, Wade sounds more confident about his team’s ability to deliver on his goal of draining those 10 3s a game then he did in the spring.
“Eric Robertson is a good shooter,” Wade said. “Casey Jones has made great strides. Gee McGee is shooting it better. Z. Mason is shooting it better. Alex Bran is a good shooter, and our freshman Greg Pryor can really shoot it. He’s been a pleasant surprise.”
Moc fans might recall that Pryor, a 6-2 freshman, was a late signee Wade uncovered in mid-June by calling Southwest Illinois College coach Jay Harrington. Pryor clearly had Division I talent, but he wasn’t satisfied with the offers he had received and had resigned himself to starting his college career in junior college—he was already on campus at SWIC—before Wade reached out.
Having been able to work out Pryor in recent weeks, Wade is even more pleased with him than he was when Pryor signed in June.
“He just knows how to play,” Wade said. “He brings great leadership, but he can shoot, and score. He’s also a tough kid.”
Another Memphis area product who will fit into Wade’s plans is the 6-1 sophomore Bran, who walked on last year and offered some glimpses of his shooting prowess: 12 points against Reinhardt, nine against Utah Valley and UNC Greensboro, eight in just six minutes against Mercer.
Bran shot .375 (9 of 24) from 3, an excellent percentage that Wade would happily take again this season. Wade plans to get Bran more than 24 shots from behind the arc.
“Very, very good shooter,” Wade said. “And he’s got other skills that will be beneficial. He’s a great leader and has got a command of the team. But he can really knock down shots. Our task in the fall is arming him with things defensively that will help him.
“I’ve got a lot of confidence in Alex. I really like him, both on the ball and off the ball. He’s got a toughness to him. We’re gonna need him.”
Sign up for our email list to get your morning news delivered directly to your inbox. All we need is your email address.