Dave Hooker audio:
- Dave Hooker interviews Scotty Hopson about overtime and going against Tyler Smith
- Dave Hooker interviews Bobby Maze about Courtney Pigram’s big night
- Dave Hooker interviews Tyler Smith about Wednesday night’s overtime game
- Dave Hooker interviews Cameron Tatum about his improvement
- Dave Hooker interviews Tony White Jr. about his play in the Rocky Top League
Tennessee forward Wayne Chism found that out at halftime of Toyota’s 104-96 win over the News Sentinel Wednesday night.
Former UT players Dane Bradshaw and Rashard Lee let Chism know he needed to pick up his game after the News Sentinel led by double digits in the first half en route to a 52-50 lead at halftime.
Chism didn’t play in the second half and left the bench before the game concluded at Bearden High School. He could not be reached for comment.
“I just told him I wanted to see the real Wayne Chism,’’ said Toyota coach Rick Campbell. “I know it’s a grind for him throughout the year, but I’ve got to cover the other guys who are playing hard. Everyone on this team wants to win.’’
Bradshaw, who was best known for his competitive fire during his UT playing days, said there are times for fun and times to be serious.
“We got down by 12 or 15, and we were like, ‘let’s take this seriously,’ ” said Bradshaw, who played for Toyota last season. “Wayne was just trying to entertain the crowd, but sometimes we need him to be more serious. We’re trying to win out here.’’
Chism, the second overall pick in the league draft, was 4-of-10 shooting and 1-of-2 from the free throw line for nine points when he left the game.
Former Eastern Michigan player and first-team All-CBA player James “Boo” Williams played Chism even during Monday’s first game. Chism had 19 points (7-of-14 shooting) and 13 rebounds, and Williams had 18 points (9-of-15 shooting) and 13 rebounds.
Former Carson-Newman standout Andy Tipton, an unsung hero on the Toyota team last year, said the team takes itself seriously.
“Coach Campbell is real competitive, and he wants people to play hard,’’ Tipton said. “That’s the only way to play basketball. If you don’t play hard, you don’t play at all; he (Campbell) doesn’t care who you are.’’
Former UT standout Ron Slay, who scored 30 points for the News Sentinel in the loss, said Chism is only hurting himself by not doing his best.
“Wayne has to keep his head in it, but I know this is kind of how Wayne is in pickup games,’’ Slay said. “But he can definitely make gains in his game out here and work on things. You’ve got to use this league to your advantage.’’
Slay, Bradshaw, Lee and Damon Johnson — all European professionals — certainly play hard.
“I love Wayne; he’s a great kid,’’ said Campbell, a former Lincoln-Memorial assistant. “Maybe we can work out a trade if it will help him. I’m a huge fan of the Vols and I want to see him do well.’’
UT captain Tyler Smith had yet to arrive for his 9 p.m. game when Chism left the gym, but he heard about the situation and said he planned to seek him out.
“It is competitive out here, and I know Wayne has been working hard on his game,’’ Smith said. “Maybe someone just touched a nerve. I’ll ask Wayne about this; we need to talk about this.’’
Bradshaw joked with Slay that he’s worried about the News Sentinel’s team chemistry after they fell to 0-2.
Slay fired back with a smile: “It has been horrible so far.’’
Notebook: The News Sentinel played without incoming UT freshman Phillip Jurick, who is out with an undisclosed foot injury. ... UT center Brian Williams did not show up. ... Incoming UT freshman Renaldo Woolridge isn't enrolling until the second term of summer school (July 7) and might not play in the league.