Mocs trying to rediscover defense - WSMV News 4

Mocs trying to rediscover defense

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CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- It was just more than a week ago that John Shulman smiled when looking at the Southern Conference defensive statistics.

His University of Tennessee at Chattanooga basketball team was at the top of many of them.

He's not smiling as much this week.

Instead of building a wall, the Mocs' defense seems to have hit one after giving up nearly 84 points per game in three straight losses.

"Welcome to coaching 20-year-old kids," Shulman said with a grin. "This is a team that two weeks ago was 26th in the nation in defensive field goal percentage, and now we can't stop anybody."

The worst part is the Mocs don't feel like they're doing much differently.

"I don't know what it is, man. It's funky," said sophomore forward Zaccheus Mason. "I can't put my finger on what the difference is. We'll just keep working hard at it and try to fix the little things."

It's not the best time for Chattanooga to struggle getting stops.

In desperate need of a win to keep pace in the North, the Mocs (9-12, 3-5 in SoCon) will host South Division-leading Davidson (14-4, 8-0) and the league's top offense on Thursday night (7 p.m. ET, McKenzie Arena).

"They've been young and inexperienced the last two years, but they started to figure it out at the end of last year and now they're really, really good," Shulman said.

The Wildcats are averaging 80.0 points per contest while leading the league in free throw percentage and ranking second in field goal percentage.

If there is an upside for UTC, it's that the Mocs have suddenly started to find the offense they've been missing most of the year. Chattanooga scored more than 70 points in its last three games and currently sits second in the league behind Davidson at 71.5 points per game.

Problem is, it hasn't translated in the win column.

"We put up 87, 70 and 71 the last three games, but once again, it's about getting stops. The more stops you get, the more success you have," said Shulman.


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