Paris, Mocs Sign Two Transfers

Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Chattanooga Mocs men’s basketball Coach Lamont Paris announced two experienced additions to the 2018-19 roster Monday. Junior college wing Jonathan Scott and graduate transfer post Thomas Smallwood bring great balance to the next edition.

Scott fills a void made by graduate transfer Nat Dixon. The tenacious wing is known for both his offensive and defensive prowess. Most importantly, it’s his effort that draws the most attention from a well-rounded game. 

He prepped at uber-successful Lewis-Palmer in Colorado before leading Otero J.
C., to a 49-14 mark over two seasons. He was key in OJC’s drive to the 2018 NJCAA DI Men’s Basketball Championship eventually falling 77-76 to No. 14 Motlow State.

Scott posted 12.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists per contest shooting 46.9 percent from the field including 44.4 percent from 3pt range. The led to NJCAA Region IX All-Tournament honors helping Otero to the national tournament. He has two years of eligibility remaining. 

“Jonathan plays extremely hard,” Coach Lamont Paris began. “He has good shooting ability and competes very hard on the defensive end, which is probably what I like most about him other than he’s a very mature young man. He’s very serious about being as good as he can be at basketball.

“He takes great pride in being a good defender. That’s a role we’ll likely ask him t perform.” 

Smallwood is the first graduate transfer in school history. The 7-foot Frenchman signed with Jerod Haase at UAB before Haase departed for Stanford after the big man’s first season. He played limited minutes the following two campaigns, but fits in seamlessly with what the Mocs like from their big men.

His freshman campaign was promising averaging 3.9 points and 1.9 boards in just 4.7 minutes per contest. That included 56 percent shooting with a nice touch from deep making 46.2 percent from 3pt territory. His career highs came in Conference USA play with 13 points against Florida Atlantic and six boards vs. UTSA in 2016. 

Smallwood played in the 36 games for the Blazers with one start. He competed for the Pau Lacq Orthez U21 squad prior to coming stateside.

“Another experienced and mature guy,” Paris added. “I think that’ll be important for the locker room. Adding that size is the first thing that will strike you.

“Along with his size, he has good feel for the game. He’s comfortable handling and passing the ball and can make shots with range. I think he’s going to surprise…maybe even himself…with what he’s capable of doing.”

The duo makes it eight newcomers to the Mocs roster. Transfers Jerry Johnson, Jr., (Fairlfield) and Ramon Vila (Arizona State) are already on campus. Early signees Maurice Commander (Chicago, Ill.) and Donovann Toatley (Upper Marlboro, Md.) were joined from the high school ranks by Kevin Easley, Jr., (Indianapolis, Ind.) and Keigan Kerby (Hampton Beach, N.H.) at the start of the April period.

“I think it’s nice to have a full roster,” Paris concluded. “With some of the additions we’ve made, we’ll have options that weren’t available last year from playing bigger or smaller or more skilled. Overall, I’m happy with our skill.

“The guys coming back are more experienced with what we want to do, but I’m excited with adding more experience, more size where we needed it, more shooting ability where we needed and overall, I love the versatility of this roster.”

GoMocs.com will profile the new roster and addition during the summer months. Be sure to check in on a regular basis for the updates.

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