The Chattanooga men's basketball program began practice on Friday, and is now a few days into preparing for the 2013-14 season. Through those first few practices, sophomore wing Casey Jones has stood out.
“Casey has been great,” Wade said. “He’s picked up right where we left off from individual workouts. He’s been at the top or led us on the effort chart every day. He does all the little things ... the effort plays, the hustle plays. He’s always attacking and aggressive.
Jones saw action in 18 games as a true freshman, starting 15. A December knee injury cost the high-energy guard 13 games, but upon his return, there was a marked improvement to his game.
He averaged 5.3 points and 3.6 rebounds on the year, but, without question, he played his best ball towards the end. He re-entered the starting lineup for the final four games, tallying 10.8 points and 4.3 rebounds per contest while shooting 65.5 percent from the field.
“He’s everything we are about in ‘Chaos’," Wade added.
Open practice on October 12: Wade if offering the fans a first-hand look at Chaos on Saturday, Oct. 12. The squad hits the McKenzie Arena floor at 11 a.m., and for 90 minutes, the Mocs will perform and interact with supporters on a special campus weekend.
“It’s exciting to do it in conjunction with Homecoming,” Wade said. “We talk about being the city’s team and being here for our alumni, fans and students. This is a chance to engage those that mean most to us. Anyone can come to this event.
“We want them to know we are working hard for them and appreciate their support while making sure they know basketball season is just around the corner.”
Later that evening, the Mocs football team will take on Furman at Finley Stadium (6 p.m.).
Three of UTC’s first four games at home: The Mocs open the season by hosting three of their first four games at McKenzie Arena. The season starts with local foe Covenant (Nov. 8), and following the team’s road trip to Radford (Nov. 11), Chattanooga returns to the Scenic City for two more home games.
Former UTC guard Lincoln Walters brings his Montreat squad to the Roundhouse on Saturday, Nov. 16, while Kennesaw State visits three days later on Tuesday, Nov. 19.
“One of our three team goals is to really establish a distinct home-court advantage,” Wade said. “Having the first three of four games at home gives us an opportunity to set out to do just that. We’re hopeful for great crowds for those games and are really working hard to get our students bought in right from the start.
“A great student section is key to getting that dominant home-court advantage.”
Mason and McGhee garner preseason honors: Senior forward Z. Mason and sophomore guard Gee McGhee both earned spots on the College Sports Madness preseason All-Southern Conference teams.
Mason, who led the Mocs in scoring (14.9 ppg) and rebounding (7.6 rpg) in 2012-13, earned a second-team mention, while McGhee (12.1 ppg) landed on the fourth team.
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