Mocs Take Talented Team Out West For Season Opener With Loyola Marymount
Chattanooga-(WDEF-TV) – The Chattanooga Mocs won their season opener out west Tuesday night. UTC took on Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles. L.A. is famous for stars, and UTC should fit right in because it appears they have a star-studded team. Chattanooga has been picked to win the Southern Conference title.
There are many reasons why UTC was picked to win the SoCon. First of all, they return one of the best players in the league in guard Malachi Smith. Last year he became the first player in Chattanooga history to lead the team in points, rebounds, and assists.
Said Paris:”He’s better. He’s a better player. He sees things better right now. He has worked on his finishes around the basket. He’s a better player. There’s no question.”
Secondly, the Mocs have size. There’s 6’10 UCF transfer Avery Diggs, and 6’9 Kansas transfer Silvio De Sousa.
Paris:”He has got some physical gifts that I haven’t been around for a guy at his position in a long, long time. Just how he can affect the game in ways we haven’t been able to in the past. As a rebounder. A rim protector. As a physical body around the basket.”
“Thirdly, the team has depth, which is a luxury for a head coach. Depth and the amount of guys that you feel. That you’d feel comfortable with in putting in a game. This is the most guys we’ve ever had.”
Chattanooga is riding an 11 game non conference winning streak, but Coach Paris knows that keeping that streak alive won’t be easy.
Said Paris:”We’ve had other seasons where we played three high major teams and had an easier overall non-conference schedule than this. So we have an older team, and I do want to challenge them, so that when we get into Southern Conference play, we’ll have a really good idea of what’s working and what’s not working and how really certain things are.”
Mocs get a tough opener tonight against Loyola Marymount.
Said Paris:”It’s a challenge. There’s no doubt it’s challenging. You know I think they think this is kind of their year. Honestly. They expect to be really good and finish in the top whatever in that league. They do.”
-Updated to include results of season opener.