Chattanooga Mocs work to avoid complacency

Chattanooga Mocs work to avoid complacency

January 6th, 2014 by David Uchiyama in Sports - College

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Will Wade has a bit of a problem.

But it's a good one to have and something the Mocs haven't experienced in quite some time.

UTC men's head basketball coach Will Wade.

Photo by C. B. Schmelter/Times Free Press.

The Mocs are winning.

They're winning close games and feeling good about themselves after winning three straight games including 72-63 on Saturday at Furman. It's a streak that they could extend tonight in McAlister Fieldhouse against The Citadel.

The problem -- if that word can be applied here -- is preventing UTC from getting complacent and responding to something they haven't experienced a lot. Winning.

"When you lose, you have more of a sense of urgency," junior Ronrico White said. "When you win, you kind of start feeling complacent. That's what we're fighting -- complacency.

"We have to keep going."

Wade addressed the topic on Saturday night with the Mocs (7-8, 1-0 SoCon) who won its two games in the Dr Pepper Classic which ties UTC with Davidson for the longest win streak of any SoCon team this season.

"It's all about understanding what goes into having success," Wade said as the Mocs stopped for lunch on Sunday at a Zaxby's in the Lowcountry. "You have to know what goes into winning and you need to focus on those things, not the results."

Wade experienced a 12-game win-streak last year as an assistant coach for Virginia Commonwealth before it lost in overtime.

"It's a good problem to have and you'd rather have it this way than the other way," Wade said. "It can present challenges and something different for this team right now.

"We'll use a lot of those methodologies [from VCU] and strategies."

Junior forward Lance Stokes, who has embraced his role coming off the bench, must have paid attention in that meeting.

"We have to stick with what got us success and try to do a little more," Stokes said. "We'll have to respond even better and do things even better to have success Monday night."

Winning on Monday could be considered historic.

UTC has not swept a SoCon road swing -- two games in three days away from McKenzie Arena -- since 2008. Former coach John Shulman accomplished that feat only once and his predecessor Jeff Lebo never accomplished it in his two seasons.

"These road games are huge to keep our momentum going from the Dr Pepper Classic," White said. "We could come home on a four-game winning streak."

But unlike sweeping a two game SoCon swing, that's been accomplished 11 times this century.

Contact David Uchiyama at duchiyama@timesfreepress.com or at 423-757-6484. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/UchiyamaCTFP.