A couple of unexpected exits left the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men's basketball team thin in the post entering the 2016-17 season.
But now the Mocs have a player who could help them fill that need.
Trayvond Massenburg, a 6-foot-8 forward from Philadelphia, has signed with the program and will have two seasons of eligibility remaining starting this year. His addition is intended to help offset the losses of graduated senior Duke Ethridge as well as Traevis Graham and Jackson White, walk-on sophomores who could have contributed but are no longer with the program.
Massenburg drove to Chattanooga from Philadelphia this past week, a two-day, 800-mile journey that ended Thursday evening. He averaged 5.6 points and 5.5 rebounds as a sophomore at Southeastern Community College in West Burlington, Iowa. He had averages of 6.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks as a freshman at Miami Dade College.
"We have to try to manage expectations for him," UTC coach Matt McCall said Sunday afternoon. "The biggest thing is understanding where he's at and understanding he's walking into a difficult situation not having been here all summer. For myself, our staff, our players, we have to do a great job bringing him along.
"He's got great length and size, and for us, it adds another frontcourt player right now with Justin (Tuoyo), Casey (Jones), Chuck (Ester) and Tre' (McLean) already in the front. It benefits our team, gives us some depth going forward and should make practice competitive."
The Mocs begin practice in early October. They'll host Covenant in an exhibition Nov. 4 before opening the season Nov. 11 against Tennessee in Knoxville as part of the Maui Invitational Mainland.
McCall acknowledged Massenburg will have to catch up to his new teammates.
"But again, he has to understand exactly where he's at, and how difficult it's going to be going forward to really get on the floor and be able to help our team," McCall said. "We've got to bring him along, cause there's people that have been in our program for a year, and everybody else has been working all summer, so it's a challenge to bring him up to speed."
The UTC athletic department is pushing its "Go for the Gold" campaign for both men's and women's basketball season tickets.
Because both U.S. Olympic basketball teams won gold medals in Rio de Janeiro, season tickets (maximum of six) will be discounted 50 percent for a limited time. Discounts are available for nonpadded reserved and general admission seats for men's basketball and general admission seats for women's basketball.
Check for prices at gomocs.com today. The promotion runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, and the promotion code goforgold should be used.
Contact Gene Henley at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @genehenleytfp.