Chattanooga’s 2012-13 men’s basketball schedule could be completed “possibly by Monday,” according to UTC head coach John Shulman.
Shulman said the Mocs’ remaining open slot on the schedule will be a road money game at a high-major school. UTC is asking $80-$90,000 for the “guarantee game” that will not come with a return visit from the opponent. Shulman said the Mocs have a deal in principle with an ACC opponent that he hopes will complete the team’s schedule.
UTC’s 2012-13 schedule is highlighted by a trip to historic Allen Fieldhouse to face the Kansas Jayhawks, a participant in last season’s Final Four. This will mark the second consecutive year the Mocs face the previous year’s national runner-up. A trip to Butler last November resulted in a 57-46 loss at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
The agreement with Kansas comes as part of a tournament that allows the Mocs to host a three day round-robin with visiting Division I schools. The participants are still being sorted out, but as of now, it appears Louisiana Tech and Jacksonville State are among the three teams visiting McKenzie Arena.
Other home games scheduled on UTC’s non-conference slate include Eastern Kentucky and Mercer. A road game at Kennesaw State is also on the docket.
Shulman said the Mocs will host 18 home games next year, two of which are non-Division I opponents, and hit the road for three “guarantee games.” One is the aforementioned visit to Kansas, while a trip to LSU and a to-be-announced ACC school will be the others.
Once finalized, a complete list of UTC’s 2012-13 opponents will be announced.
Filing out the staff
Last week’s departure of UTC assistant coach Rick Cabrera to Tennessee Tech leaves Shulman with an open seat on the sideline.
Shulman said he’s “sifting through about 8,000 emails and texts” of potential candidates, but has narrowed down his list and already conducted some preliminary interviews.
“When you’re doing this you’ve got an idea of who you’d like to bring in, and then you’ve got a few wild cards and couple crazy ideas,” Shulman said.
Cabrera spent four years on the UTC bench before joining coach Steve Payne’s staff at TTU.
Shulman said he’s neither looking for a staunch recruiter, nor a strictly X’s and O’s coach, but a hybrid of both.
“I don’t have to rush, rush, rush to make a decision, but I think we’ll have someone in place by June 1 or the middle of June by the latest,” said Shulman, who added that he has “a few guys” on his short list of potential hires.
UTC rising junior power forward Z. Mason underwent surgery on May 11 to alleviate lingering pain from a knee injury suffered late last season.
During a Jan. 19 game at UNC Greensboro, Mason’s kneecap subluxed—partially dislocating and then popping back into place. Bruising, swelling and soreness ensued and he missed a month of action.
Surgery on the knee was meant to smooth out a rough, jagged edge on the kneecap that continued to bother Mason.
“The knee never fully healed, and that’s normal, but it just kept aggravating him,” Shulman said. “The surgery was good and he’s moving around OK without crutches.