Mocs Basketball Team Picked to Win the SoCon Title

( SPARTANBURG, S.C. — The Chattanooga Mocs men’s basketball team has been selected as the 2021-22 Southern Conference preseason favorite in both the coaches and media poll while graduate guard David Jean-Baptiste and sophomore guard Malachi Smith were selected to the all-conference preseason team, the league office announced at its media day gathering Tuesday afternoon. 

Chattanooga (77) picked up seven of the 10 possible first-place votes in the coaches poll to top Furman (71), who finished second and received two top votes. ETSU (59), Mercer (58 – 1) and Wofford (49) round out the top five in that such poll. 

In the media poll, Chattanooga (254) was picked as the heavy favorite after receiving 18 of 27 possible first-place votes while Furman (220) collected the second-most top votes with three to finish second. Similar to the coaches poll, Wofford (191 – 1), Mercer (190 – 2) and ETSU (186) made up the top five. UNCG (160 – 3) finished sixth and picked up three first-place predictions. 

Smith and Jean-Baptiste land on the Preseason All-Southern Conference team after both being named to the league’s first team last season. The duo led the team last season with 16.8 and 16.1 points per game averages, respectively, while Smith paced the squad on the boards with 8.8 rebounds per game. Jean-Baptiste has scored 1,217 points in his UTC career, 13th most in program history.

 Redshirt senior Hayden Brown of The Citadel was named the Preseason Southern Conference Player of the Year after returning to the Bulldogs after a stellar 2020-21 campaign. Brown ranked in the leagues’ top two in numerous categories last season including points per game (18.8/2nd), rebounds per game (10.5/1st) and field goal percentage (.508/2nd). 

Chattanooga kicks off the season with an exhibition tilt against College of Wooster on November 4 at 7:00 p.m. ET inside McKenzie Arena. The regular season will get started in Los Angeles, California on November 9 at 10:00 p.m. ET for a matchup against WCC-member Loyola Marymount. 

The full preseason Southern Conference polls and team are listed below.


Preseason Southern Conference Player of the Year

Hayden Brown, R-Sr., F, The Citadel


Preseason All-Southern Conference team

David Jean-Baptiste, Gr., G, Chattanooga

Malachi Smith, So., G, Chattanooga

Hayden Brown, R-Sr., F, The Citadel

Ledarrius Brewer, R-Jr., G, ETSU

David Sloan, Sr., G, ETSU

Mike Bothwell, Sr., G, Furman

Alex Hunter, 5th, G, Furman

Neftali Alvarez, R-Jr., G, Mercer

Felipe Haase, R-Sr., F, Mercer

Jake Stephens, Sr., C, VMI


Preseason Coaches Poll

1. Chattanooga (7)          77

2. Furman (2)                    71

3. ETSU                           59

4. Mercer (1)                     58

5. Wofford                         49

6. UNCG                           45

7. VMI                              32

8. Samford                        24

9. The Citadel                    23

10. Western Carolina         12


Preseason Media Poll

1. Chattanooga (18)        254

2. Furman (3)                   220

3. Wofford (1)                   191

4. Mercer (2)                    190

5. ETSU                          186

6. UNCG (3)                     160

7. VMI                              104

8. The Citadel                    74

9. Samford                        57

Categories: Sports – Local Sports News, Sports – UTC Mocs