UTC Men's Basketball Purpose-Driven Road Trip

Mocs are at Western Carolina Tonight

Thursday, February 28, 2013 - by B.B. Branton

Last Friday Chattanooga men’s basketball assistant coach Casey Long believed the UTC players needed to re-focus their efforts.

Less than 24 hours after the team’s embarrassing , uninspired, 94-68, home loss to UNC-Greensboro last Thursday night, coach Long preached about why the players are here and what they are playing for.

“I reminded them that this program has a rich tradition of winning and that they owe it to the coaches and those who have come before them to play with a purpose, a passion and sense of urgency,” said the first year assistant coach.

The Mocs took those words to heart and to the court as they played an inspired brand of basketball Saturday night in an impressive 72-68 triumph against Northern Division leader Elon.

“I told them that when I played here for coach John Shulman our number one focus and goal was to win the conference and make the NCAA tournament which we did my sophomore year in 2005,” Long stated.

Mocs at Western Carolina: The Mocs (7-9) must carry that same purpose and intensity from last week into tonight’s road game (7 p.m. 105.1 FM ESPN The Zone) at Western Carolina (8-8) where they have not won since Feb. 12, 2007.

Battling for a Tourney Bye: UTC and Catamounts are two of four teams fighting for the fourth and final first round bye in next week’s Southern Conference tournament.

Samford (9-7) needs one win secure the spot and is at Appalachian State (8-8) tonight, while UTC and W.C. go at it in Cullowhee, N.C.

For the Mocs to have a chance at the bye, they have to win both games this weekend (at App State on Saturday), Samford has to lose twice, thus giving App State and Western Carolina a two-game split and all four teams would be finish at 9-9. In that scenario, UTC would have swept the series with Samford and App. State and split with Western Carolina.

The Last Time …:  It’s been 20 years since UTC has won road games at App State and Western Carolina in the same season (1992-93) … ironically, that season, UTC won the SoCon title in Asheville, N.C.  where next week’s tournament will be played.

Coach Long Knows Road Wins: Coach Long was the Mocs starting point guard the last time UTC won at App. State (Jan. 2006) and Western Carolina(Feb. 2007).

contact B.B. Branton at william.branton@comcast.net


Chattanooga Women Shock No.4 Tennessee, 67-63

Before the season started some people across the country called Chattanooga women’s basketball coach Jim Foster crazy for scheduling three top 10 teams – Notre Dame (national runner-up) Stanford and Tennessee - before Christmas. After Wednesday night’s UTC shocking 67-63 home win against No.4 Tennessee before 4,160, those same folks might believe coach Foster is crazy like ... (click for more)

Lady Mocs Withstand Comeback To Beat Lady Vols, 67-63

Jim Foster has won more of his share of big games in his 37 years coaching women’s college basketball, first at Vanderbilt and then at Ohio State. He can now say he’s done the same at Chattanooga after his Lady Mocs handed the Tennessee Lady Vols their first loss of the season Wednesday night at McKenzie Arena in front of 4,160 bi-partisan fans. It may have been UTC’s ... (click for more)

10-Year-Old Boy Seriously Injured In Attack By Pit Bull At His Home In Sale Creek

A 10-year-old boy suffered serious injuries when he was attacked by a pit bull on Thanksgiving Day morning. At approximately 10:12 a.m. deputies were called to 175 Daugherty Ferry Road regarding a report of a dog attack on a child. On arrival the Sale Creek Fire Department found the child on the front porch of the residence.  The child’s father said his son came ... (click for more)

Alecia Driggins Faces Multiple Charges After Robbery And Hit-And-Run In East Ridge

East Ridge Police arrived on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. at the East Ridge Flea Market at 6725 Ringgold Road in response to a reported pedestrian struck and hit and run incident. Once on the scene, police determined that the incident was actually a robbery. The victim advised police that a white woman claiming to be a police officer grabbed her purse and attempted to flee ... (click for more)

Lawlessness At Heritage Park

As a frequent visitor at Heritage Park in East Brainerd, I must say that the situation is becoming slightly out of control.  To start, parking is atrocious.  The unpaved lot contains nothing but loose gravel which has naturally given way to divots in the ground assuring you a few bumps.  Why isn't this area smoothed out?  It's not worth parking there anyways ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A ‘Black Friday’ Poem

On this, “Black Friday,” when frantic shopping and crowded aisles cause some nerves to wear thin, please allow me to share a poem a friend sent me not long ago called “Shoes in Church.” Perhaps it will be fitting: SHOES IN CHURCH I showered and shaved. I adjusted my tie. I got there and sat In a pew just in time. Bowing my head in prayer, as I closed my eyes. I saw ... (click for more)