Wednesday, January 16, 2013
- by B.B. Branton
“You control your own destiny,” Chattanooga men’s basketball coach John Shulman told his players Tuesday at the start of practice.
Currently at 2-2 in Southern Conference play (7-10 overall) and the top two teams in the North Division – Western Carolina and Appalachian State - coming to McKenzie Arena this week, UTC can have a lot to say about the standings after the dust settles Saturday night.
Appalachian State – Thursday 7 p.m. ... The Mountaineers (7-8, 3-1) are the hottest team in the North Division, winners of three straight and tied for second with Samford (5-12, 3-1).
UTC leads the series, 42-30 and 25-7 at home.
Can History Continue to Repeat Itself?: The Mocs, winners of the last two of three on the road in the SoCon, have swept this series (App. State/Western Carolina) at home the last five years and six of the last seven in the Coach Shulman Era.
Close Wins: UTC beat App State last year in McKenzie Arena on a Dontay Hampton game-winning basket in the final second for a 65-63 win, while the Mocs posted a 78-74 overtime win in 2009.
Top Scorers: App State’s Jay Canty (15.3 ppg) and Nathan Healy (14.3 ppg) are Nos. 5 and 10 scorers in the SoCon, while UTC’s Z. Mason (13.2 ppg) is 16th).
Western Carolina – Saturday 7 p.m. – The Catamounts ( 7-10, 4-1) hold down the top spot in the North Division, but have not beaten UTC in McKenzie since 2007 and only twice in Chattanooga since 1970.
UTC leads the series, 57-21 ... 34-2 at home.
WC’s Trey Sumler is second in the SoCon in scoring (17.8 ppg).
Controlling the Boards: Chattanooga leads the league in rebounding (38.0 rbpg) with App State fourth (35.7 rbpg) and Western Carolina is sixth (34.4 rbpg).
On offense, App. State is second (72.3 ppg), Western Carolina is fifth (69.6 ppg) and UTC is sixth (66.9).
For the Mocs: Z. Mason leads in points (13.2) and rebounds (7.0) … Drazen Zlovaric has 8.6 ppg and 4.9 rbpg …
Ready to Play: Senior Dontay Hampton and soph. Lance Stokes are both ready to play at home ... Hampton is back from an ACL injury in July and Stokes is back after breaking his left foot in mid-Nov.
This Week: It’s not a make or break two game series for any school, but a sweep or a two-game loss can be huge with a third of the conference schedule completed after Saturday.
SoCon North Division
Western Carolina ... 4-1 … 7-10
Appalachian State … 3-1 … 7-8
Samford … 3-1 … 5-12
Elon … 2-2 … 9-7
Chattanooga … 2-2 … 7-10
UNCG … 1-3 … 3-12
contact B.B. Branton at email@example.com