Coach: Matt McCall
Ratings and Rankings:
– Kenpom: 107
– RPI: 59
– AP/USA Today: Not ranked
Seeding: The Mocs have two top-100 RPI wins, so they could slide up to the 12 or 13 range if things break right elsewhere.
Names you need to know: The Mocs have eight players averaging at least 7 points per game, led by Tre’ McLean (12.3) and Justin Tuoyo. McLean grabs 6.4 boards per game and Tuoyo pulls down 5.0 while scoring 11.2 points per contest.
Stats you need to know: Chattanooga is one of the best in the country at turning opponents over, in fact they do it in one of five possessions. They’ve also posted a steal percentage of 11.0, which leads to plenty of transition opportunities on the other end.
Big wins, bad losses: The Mocs have wins over Georges and Dayton, which is ranked in the RPI’s top-25. Losses to UNC Greensboro and Western Carolina sully their resume some.
How’d they get here?: Beat Samford by five in their SoCon tourney opener, followed that up with a four-point win over Western Carolina and then outlasted ETSU, 73-67, in the final.
Outlook: The Mocs could very well emerge as a trendy Cinderella pick next week as they’ve shown their mettle against top competition in the non-conference and mostly cruised through their Southern slate. Their defense could really be trouble for a Power 5 team that takes them likely.
How do I know you?: Mocs coach Matt McCall is in his first season in Chattanooga, but he’s no stranger to the big stage. He was an assistant under Billy Donovan for four years at Florida. He was a manager for the Gators’ 2006 national title team and the director of operations for the 2007 championship. He could emerge as a target for even bigger jobs if Chattanooga can make a run, even if this is just his first year as a head coach.