The Mocs final out of conference game of the season is against Lipscomb. It is also the Mocs first game after the holidays. It will also be their third game of the season against the Atlantic Sun, and quite possibly the best team the Mocs will have played from the conference.
Lipscomb was picked second by the media and third by the coaches in the Atlantic Sun preseason polls. After winning eight of their final ten games a year ago in conference play, the Bison have earned a lot of respect in the last nine months.
Martin Smith is the leading returning scorer in the league and a Preseason All A-Sun pick. At 6-5, he is not a huge player, but he is one of the best players in the conference. His twin, Malcolm Smith, finished third on the team in scoring and second in rebounding a year ago. These two twins certainly pack a punch for the Bison. The Bison's other All A-Sun selection is JC Hampton. He is one of the top three point shooters in the conference.
Where will Chad Lang fit into the mix this year? He is the biggest player in the league at 6-11 and 310 pounds. The Belmont transfer did not see a ton of playing time for the Bruins but will be expected to play minutes for the Bison.
This will be a very interesting team this year. The Bison have some inside presence, some shooting presence and appear to be an overall good team. This is a tricky tough out of conference game. The Bison do not have the name value that a lot of other teams on the Mocs schedule have, but they could end up being one of the better teams.
Lipscomb goes to Vanderbilt, Colorado and Texas early in the season, then Missouri just after playing the Mocs. That will challenge this team. On top of that, they will play Austin Peay and Belmont twice, not to mention Tennessee Tech and Tennessee State. This is a team that plays virtually any team that would agree to play them in the state of Tennessee. That is eight of their fifteen non-conference games against D1 teams against in-state teams. Very impressive.
The Mocs used to play the Dr Pepper Classic at this time of year and it used to be the time of year that they would start to show if they were going to get hot or not. This game against Lipscomb could indicate similar things. The Mocs will be trying to get some positive momentum rolling into SoCon play that starts just after New Year's. This will be an important contest for the Mocs.