Former Tennessee player Dane Bradshaw scored 27 points to help Toyota of Knoxville open up defense of its Pilot Rocky Top League championship Monday night at Bearden High School with a 109-101 win over First Tennessee.
"Coach (Rick) Campbell does a real good job picking players who are unselfish and fit together,'' said Bradshaw, who also had 13 rebounds and five assists.
Campbell gave Bradshaw the credit.
"Didn't he look good tonight?'' Campbell asked. "Dane just wins, he just wins.''
Cameron Tatum scored 37 on 13-of-30 shooting (7-of-11 from the line) for First Tennessee to top all scorers on the first night.
"I wanted to come out here and see where I was at,'' said Tatum, who redshirted last season at UT and underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. "I felt like I was 100 percent.''
Tatum said he wasn't surprised to see Bradshaw shine.
"Dane will always have some tricks up his sleeve,'' he said. "He's a smart basketball player.''
Not Here Yet: UT signee Renaldo Woolridge did not play as he has yet to arrive in Knoxville. Woolridge is expected to be in Knoxville and ready for league play by next week.
Bad News: Ron Slay and Damon Johnson used the same word to sum-up the News-Sentinel’s performance on opening night: “Embarrassing.’’
Slay and Johnson, two former Vols who have gone on to great success playing pro ball in Europe, couldn’t overcome Tyler Smith and the HT Group in a 123-76 loss.
“We got embarrassed,’’ said Johnson, the MVP of the PRTL last season. “We didn’t play well together, we came down and took quick shots, and there was no defense. We are not going to lose like that again.’’
Slay, whose fun-loving, crowd-pleasing ways have long made him a fan-favorite, was clearly irritated in defeat.
“We have two professional players on our team, and people need to know their roles,’’ Slay said. “We’re going to make adjustments; we need to take open shots.’’
Making a Name: Grainger's Skylar McBee was easily the most impressive of the three high school players in action Monday. McBee scored 18 points for Richardson Construction on 7-of-11 shooting, including 4-of-6 beyond the 3-point arc. McBee has offers from East Tennessee State, Middle Tennessee State, UAB and Indiana State.
Clemson Crusher: Terrence Oglesby, who earned All-Atlantic Coast Conference freshman honors at Clemson, had a rough first outing. Oglesby, a product of Bradley Central in Cleveland, had 21 points on 7-of-24 shooting.