CHARLESTON, S.C. — Fresh thoughts and observations from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga's 86-59 loss Saturday at the College of Charleston:
The opening tip
The Mocs laid an egg -- a rotted stinky one left in the fridge two months after the expiration date on the carton.
UTC played its worst game of the season.
A running clock should have followed Adjehi Baru's NBA-quality alley-oop at the 12:09 mark.
The video is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZkaq7oWyp0
All credit for the video clip goes to the College of Charleston support staff.
All credit for the on-court wood-shedding goes to the Cougars basketball program, from coach Doug Wojcik down to the garbage-time players who worked in practice to help the starters recover from a humbling 62-57 loss to Samford.
Everybody in TD Arena had a feeling this would be a whipping very early in the game. The only hesitation of anybody calling "Sharpie" was the fact Samford came from behind to beat the Cougars on Thursday.
Mocs' chalk talk
No amount of X's-and-O's work would have helped UTC in this game.
The Cougars "hedged" on every ball-screen, which forced the UTC point guards to dribble backward, disrupting the timing of the plays.
The term comes from both the defending guard and defending post player closing in on the guard on a ball-screen. It's a trend I've noticed this year. UTC guards don't like getting "hedged."
There were 70 missed shots in the game, and only 31 left the fingertips of Charleston players. Yet they grabbed 46 rebounds compared to just 32 for UTC. That is not part of the Mocs' formula for success.
Stats Stat! II
Coach Wojcik sent 15 players into the game against the Mocs.
It's tough for a college team to have 15 healthy and eligible players to play at this point of the season in a blow-out.
The Mocs' freshmen combined for 28 points.
Gee McGhee had a span when he went to the free-throw line on three straight possessions. He went 3-of-6 on those.
Eric Robertson hit two 3s after officials could have gone with a running clock.
In all, not much to report.
What they take from their first real whipping of the year will be more paramount.
The open floor
Before Saturday, the Mocs were rolling in the right direction -- perhaps not at a high rate of speed -- but they were at least doing the speed limit in the right-hand lane.
We'll see if this whipping was a bump in the road or a rock slide closing two lanes of traffic.
David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...