Three quick takeaways from the Mocs' 91-63 exhibition victory over Covenant:
The Mocs are going to hustle, all over the floor: There won't be any lack of effort from the Mocs this season. At one point, Casey Jones dove into the scorers' table for a loose ball. On a later possession, Eric Robertson chased a Covenant player from behind and forced a steal, which led to Dee Oldham getting fouled on the other end. If there was a ball on the ground, there was usually a player with a white jersey on attempting to get to it. If that's the sort of effort that the Mocs are going to put forth on a day-in, day-out basis, it will bode well.
The team's 3-point shooting was hot and cold: The Mocs made their first five 3-pointers. Then proceeded to miss their next 11 before a pair of McLean 3-pointers right before the end of the first half. They struggled in the second half, hitting only 3 of their 14 attempts. The team has shown that they can hit the shot, but the feeling is that they can't fall in love with the shots, especially with interior bangers like Tuoyo and Ethridge inside.
This team is still a work in progress: At times, it wasn't pretty, but that's what exhibition games are for. Coach Matt McCall did a lot of experimenting with rotations, which gave the coaching staff a chance to see how players meshed in different lineups. The primary rotation looks as though it's going to be nine players, with Greg Pryor, Oldham and Johnathan Burroughs-Cook at the lead guard positions, Casey Jones, Robertson and Tre' McLean the primaries on the wings and Chuck Ester, Duke Ethridge and Justin Tuoyo playing the majority of the minutes on the interior. The offense wasn't crisp, and the defense at times was great and sometimes not so good. At one point late in the game, McCall yelled at his players to "stop taking jumpers, play the right way!" There's still a lot to work out, but it was a good first game.
Contact Gene Henley at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at twitter.com/genehenleytfp.