Shulman predicts Mocs will surprise

Shulman predicts Mocs will surprise

October 28th, 2012 by David Uchiyama in Sports - College

Chattanooga head coach John Shulman talks from the sideline.

Photo by Contributed Photo

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga basketball coach John Shulman has 132 wins in seven seasons. He has 127 losses.

His record in Southern Conference regular-season games is an even 71 up and 71 down after a tumultuous 5-13 season last year with a team of four senior starters.

Shulman will begin his eighth season with a much different group -- a younger team without a junior college transfer on the roster for the first time in the program's Division I era.

"I stressed so bad last year that the cheerleaders were stressed, the clock-keeper was stressed -- boy, that helped us a lot, didn't it?" Shulman said. "What I've learned is you can only control what you can. I tried to control everything, and you can't."

Former athletic director Rick Hart had control of Shulman's future at the end of last season. He took no action with Shulman's contract before departing to be athletic director at Southern Methodist University.

The coach has a contract covering this season and next.

"You can't worry about that," Shulman said. "You have to have blinders on and go coach your team. All that stuff is outside the building. I have 15 guys counting on us to coach their team."

Shulman has coached the Mocs to at least shares of four North Division titles and SoCon tournament championships in 2005 and 2009. Davidson and Wofford are the only other teams to win the tournament in the last 10 years.

"We have a young team with no expectations, and I think we're going to surprise a lot of people," Shulman said. "If we surprise some people, then the sun will come up. If not, then the sun will still come up."

Each of Shulman's assistants this season played for him either at Tennessee Tech or UTC. Brent Jolly joined UTC in 2003 and worked his way up to top assistant. DeAntoine Beasley joined Shulman last year after playing at Tech and then professionally. Those two will handle most of the offensive coaching.

This summer Shulman asked Casey Long, point guard of the 2005 Mocs team, to join the staff. He and Shulman will handle most of the defensive coaching. Jonathan Adams is the director of basketball operations, and John Runyan is the graduate manager.

"Brent was born to coach. Beasley was our starting 4-man and backup point guard," Shulman said. "Casey is the one that disappointed me the most that he didn't get into it right away, but he wanted to go out and make some money first."

No matter the responsibilities of the assistants, all responsibility ends with Shulman. He is the head coach.

"I made a vow: I hope people see a different basketball team with a different mentality -- a bunch of kids who are diving around and taking charges," Shulman said. "I hope they see a different coach, too."