Monday, January 14, 2013
- by B.B. Branton
Today will not be a pretty practice. I'm going to kill 'em. We have got to be meaner and tougher."
-- UTC head men's basketball coach John Shulman prior to today's (Monday) practice.
Saturday afternoon in Charleston, S.C. turned out to be a bad day for the UTC men's basketball players, losing 86-59 to the College of Charleston.
Monday's practice could be worse, though without a clock or an opponent.
The last time the Mocs lost a SoCon game by 25 or more was at home six weeks ago (Dec.1)to Davidson, 81-55.
"We've got to get Saturday out of our system" said UTC men's coach John Shulman at the Chattem practice facility prior to today's workout. "Saturday's game exposed a lot of things.
"We have got to defend and rebound. We've got to get meaner and tougher."
Winners of five of six, including two straight on the road in the Southern Conference, prior to the COC loss, the Mocs (7-10, 2-2) are back home this week against Appalachian State (Thursday) and Western Carolina (Saturday).
Prior to the COC game, the Mocs led the SoCon in rebound margin (+5.6), rebounds per game (38.4) and offensive rebound percentage (37.5%), while ranking third in defensive rebound percentage (71.7%).
Charleston out rebounded the Mocs, 46-32, including 35-24 in defensive rebounds.
"Today's practice is pretty important," Shulman stated.
So important that Shulman wanted to focus on fixing the problems (rebounding and defense), most likely would not mention Thursday's home game with Appalachian State (7 p.m. at McKenzie Arena), excused the media from it's usual observation of the first 15 minutes of practice and planned for the players not to shoot the ball. Not shoot at all.
"They'll touch the ball when they are on defense, but the only time they will shoot will be before practice."
The Mocs need to continue the good success at home - winners of their last three at McKenzie - this week before another three-game SoCon road swing at Elon, UNC-Greensboro and Georgia Southern (Jan 24-26, Feb. 2).
Wake Up Call For COC: "They were playing ugly and winning (10-4, 2-0) before losing to Samford at home last Thursday,'' said Shulman. "That was a wake up call for them and, that, combined with a second of a two-game road trip in Charleston turned out bad for us."
The Mocs had beaten The Citadel, 70-65, across town on Thursday.
"Charleston didn't get our best game last Saturday or even an average game from us and that was disappointing."
Coach Shulman hopes the disappointment and below average play is gone by Thursday night's tip off at 7 p.m.
He and the players do not need another Black Monday.
contact B.B. Branton at firstname.lastname@example.org