Vols force East Carolina into 35 turnovers

DePaul is next game on Sunday

East Carolina's DaQuan Joyner, left, goes up for a rebound during a game against Tennessee in the Paradise Jam basketball tournament, in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Friday, Nov. 20, 2009. Tennessee won 105-66.

Photo by AP Photo/Brennan Linsley

East Carolina's DaQuan Joyner, left, goes up for a rebound during a game against Tennessee in the Paradise Jam basketball tournament, in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Friday, Nov. 20, 2009. Tennessee won 105-66.

ST. THOMAS, Virgin Islands — The Tennessee men’s basketball team was jammin’ in the Caribbean on Friday afternoon.

The 10th-ranked Vols scored a 105-66 victory over East Carolina in the first round of the Paradise Jam.

Tennessee (3-0) forced the Pirates (1-3) into 35 turnovers, the most in coach Bruce Pearl’s five-year tenure with the Vols.

“I guess it does surprise me a little bit; they had almost as many turnovers as shots (38),’’ Pearl said. “We’re doing different things with the press . . . and the guys are wanting to press and therefor are willing to accept the adjustments.

“But DePaul had only eight turnovers in their (win) against Northern Iowa, so we’ll see what we do.’’

The Vols play the Blue Demons (2-0) in the semifinals on Sunday (TV: FSS, 6 p.m.) at the University of Virgin Islands Sports and Fitness Center. DePaul advanced Friday by defeating Northern Iowa 60-52.

UT figures to be well-rested; none of the Vols played more than 23 minutes against East Carolina.

“Depth is an advantage in a half, in a game and over the course of a season,’’ Pearl said. “We want to try to make it our advantage all the way through.’’

The Vols took advantage of the sizzling shooting of sophomore Scotty Hopson, who continued his season-opening tear with a game-high 25 points.

Hopson connected on 10 of 15 shots against East Carolina, including 4 of 5 beyond the 3-point arc.

“You continue to see what Scotty Hopson is all about,’’ Pearl said. “He’s so much more aggressive and more comfortable offensively. It’s within the flow, he’s not forcing anything.’’

Hopson was most proud of the way the defense forced the action against East Carolina, closing out the game with relentless pressure and effort.

“This is a totally different team than last year,’’ said Hopson, who’s shooting 77.7 percent (14-of-18) from beyond the 3-point arc this season. “Our depth has an effect on teams, and we’re not gonna let up.’’

Bobby Maze scored 15 points, Cameron Tatum came off the bench to score 14, Tyler Smith had 13 and Melvin Goins had 10 and a team-high five assists.

Smith and Tatum also had four steals apiece for the Vols, who had 17 as a team.

“Tyler had a great game, just so solid,’’ Pearl said. “And Cam, he comes in right after J.P. (Prince, at the wing), and what an advantage. You’ve got to have a knack for being able to come off the bench and play like that.’’

East Carolina coach Mack McCarthy was impressed.

“They certainly wore us down,’’ McCarthy said. “They don’t lose much when they go to the bench.’’

The Pirates out-rebounded the Vols, 28-23, but Pearl didn’t seem too concerned on account of the circumstances.

“They had six offensive rebounds to our 15 defensive rebounds, that’s OK,’’ Pearl said. “Offensively, we had eight rebounds, but we didn’t miss much.’’

The Vols shot 40-of-69 (58 percent) from the floor and were 13-of-24 (54.2 percent) from 3-point range.

Brock Young led the Pirates with 15 points and four assists, but the point guard also turned the ball over 12 times. Young was second in the nation last season with 227 assists.

Orange Slices: Friday’s game was Pearl’s first against a Conference USA opponent other than Memphis. . . . UT is 45-36 all-time againstConference USA opponents. . . . The Vols’ only prior meeting with DePaul was in 1973, when UT scored a 96-61 victory.

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Comments » 51

VolinLexington writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

All_Vol writes:

I hope the controlled chaos is back this year. Last year it seemed to fall apart because of Maze's lack of foot speed and his on the ball defense was poor. Hopefully they have addressed this in the off season.

Govolsps writes:

in response to deerbedar1717:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Agreed.

I like the team chemistry and they definitely have the firepower. I still question the defense though and how well it will do against real teams.

abnerPeabody writes:

Give the play by play duty to the new man on the block.He was head and shoulders ahead of that other guy,you know the one.Mr.checkerboard. Bob K.

CuccessfulVol writes:

Awesome. Great win. We obviously can't rely on the three the entire season, and I hope to see more and more post play for Williams, Hall, Chism and Smith. I am sure CBP is aware though. One thing to note is that we had at least 4 players in double figures and several others right behind that. We definitely need lots of contributions from all the talent that we have.

johnlg00 writes:

Thanks to another poster for providing a link to the TV feed for the game. However, since they charged $8.00 to watch it, I settled for the Vol Network feed through utsports.com. Sounds like the team really has the attack mentality CBP likes. They were sharing the ball and taking pretty good care of it, given the fast pace of the game.

A superficial look at the stats would horrify a purist. UT was out-rebounded by a no doubt smaller team and ECU shot 51% from the floor, as BUF pointed out. However, the enormous number of turnovers forced made those numbers meaningless. The Vols themselves apparently had an even higher FG percentage due in part to all the easy shots they got in transition. It will be interesting to see how much DePaul can slow the game down Sunday and how the Vols deal with it. Right now, it looks like anyone trying to run with this Vol team will be in deep trouble!

CHS52VOL writes:

Vols defensive pressure is relentless! They will take many opponents out of their game with the press. Great game. Congrats to our Vols! Scotty Hopson will have a long career in the NBA when he decides to make that move. Hope it's not 2010.

johnlg00 writes:

Addressing a couple of other posters' comments, I don't think Maze's foot speed was as much of an issue last year as the lack of a consistent replacement for him when he sat. In any case, he seems faster this year and Goins seems to have pretty good quicks himself.

As for the question about the defense, as I said, the stats won't likely ever look pretty. When a team breaks the press, they often have fairly easy shots. When the floor is spread out, it is easier for an opponent to get offensive rebounds. As long as the Vols can force large numbers of turnovers, those other things just don't matter.

The real test will come when an opponent manages to slow the game down, forcing the Vols both to work the ball themselves against a set defense and to defend against the other team's offensive sets. Last year, UT could neither pressure the other team effectively OR play a consistently sound half-court game. They seem to have solved the first half of that equation, but the success of the whole season will ride on how well they can solve that second part. So far, it seems they can shoot the ball SO much better than they did last year. That alone will make them better offensively. It remains to be seen how well they can defend in the half-court.

AceVentura writes:

in response to abnerPeabody:

Give the play by play duty to the new man on the block.He was head and shoulders ahead of that other guy,you know the one.Mr.checkerboard. Bob K.

Yeah John was way better thank Bob K. John got excited when we did stuff not when the other team does stuff. And man I felt like I was watching the game by how detailed the guy was. That was incredible. Give him the job time for Bob K to go.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to BIGGEST_UT_FAN:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I hope you are right about that, but if he keeps shooting his current percentage, he will be looked at closely by the NBA, and dang! those bucks look big.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to AceVentura:

Yeah John was way better thank Bob K. John got excited when we did stuff not when the other team does stuff. And man I felt like I was watching the game by how detailed the guy was. That was incredible. Give him the job time for Bob K to go.

Agree that John Wilkerson is a good game announcer. He substitutes fairly often for Mickey Deerstone on the Lady Vol broadcasts and does a great job for them, too.

HtownVol writes:

This is the best chance for the Vols to go to the final four. We are even better than our #10 ranking. I have never seen a complete team from the Vols, I am 26. Been watching the Vols for about 14 years. I am proud to be a Vol fan.

Tyler is being very unselfish. He could take more shots, but he is in it for a championship. We will lose some players, but if Hopson comes back we will be a very good team for a few years. Bruce Pearl is getting the players that fit his style.

It is no doubt that UT (should) be a final four team this year!

Also, how is UK ranked #5 ? They have not done a thing yet. Their best players are freshmen (except Patterson). The Vols will show everyone that UT will be the regular season SEC champs. Go on UK fans, tell me why you are better. Give me facts, though.

SeanJean writes:

We look silly good so far. We have so many guys who can score 20 points it's almost silly. And the pressure is just relentless. Hopson has taken a major step. What a talent.

richvol writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Agree that John Wilkerson is a good game announcer. He substitutes fairly often for Mickey Deerstone on the Lady Vol broadcasts and does a great job for them, too.

Your observation about UT not being able to defend the half court or run a half court offense last year is accurate and they must because that's the way teams will play them this year. There are some,like Louisville,that can run with UT but most will slow it down and we better be good at both styles of play.

I never listen to Kesling because of his whiny voice and his lack of ability to keep up with the speed of the game. It's irritating.

PoochPuntOn3rdDown writes:

105-66 final score sure sounds a lot better than the score of the KY - Sam Houston State game. But we'll get to that later. This TN team is playing together, Pearl has gotten the most out of Tatum, Scotty is playing like Scotty should, Tyler is leading along with Chism, and everyone that played had an assist. Sounds like a fine coaching job, so far. Now as for our friends up I-75....

Yeah, just watched the Sam Houston State - Kentucky game. KY won by 10 and someone named Corey Allmond now holds the Rupp Arena record for three-pointers in a game. So, next time a Wildcat fan references Jodie Meeks holding the scoring record at TBA, you can come back with Corey Allmond. And at least Meeks was from the SEC and not the feared Southland Conference.

Please don't tell me this KY team is a Top 10 team. They don't play defense, they throw lazy, showboat passes, they whine when they don't get calls; in short, this is a team of highly touted individuals that will have a hard time coming together as a team. And John Wall looks lost at times - against Sam Houston State....

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Addressing a couple of other posters' comments, I don't think Maze's foot speed was as much of an issue last year as the lack of a consistent replacement for him when he sat. In any case, he seems faster this year and Goins seems to have pretty good quicks himself.

As for the question about the defense, as I said, the stats won't likely ever look pretty. When a team breaks the press, they often have fairly easy shots. When the floor is spread out, it is easier for an opponent to get offensive rebounds. As long as the Vols can force large numbers of turnovers, those other things just don't matter.

The real test will come when an opponent manages to slow the game down, forcing the Vols both to work the ball themselves against a set defense and to defend against the other team's offensive sets. Last year, UT could neither pressure the other team effectively OR play a consistently sound half-court game. They seem to have solved the first half of that equation, but the success of the whole season will ride on how well they can solve that second part. So far, it seems they can shoot the ball SO much better than they did last year. That alone will make them better offensively. It remains to be seen how well they can defend in the half-court.

very good points. I think the biggest factor may be Tatum and whether he can keep hitting the 3's. We also need for Chism to stay around the basket for the rebounds. If Tatum isn't hitting, it will be hard to get a team out of the zone defense.

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

many of you keep sticking thorns in Ky, but when all is said and done, they will be in the top 5 or 10 all year. This is a typical Calipari team, they will only get better. Watch out come January. By the way, I am a big UT fan but Ky is going to be the team to beat in the SEC, even this yr with all the freshmen.

VOLoom writes:

comparing us with KY is meaningless at this point of the season. No matter how Ky looks now you better bet they will play ten times better against us.

RoadTrip writes:

in response to HtownVol:

This is the best chance for the Vols to go to the final four. We are even better than our #10 ranking. I have never seen a complete team from the Vols, I am 26. Been watching the Vols for about 14 years. I am proud to be a Vol fan.

Tyler is being very unselfish. He could take more shots, but he is in it for a championship. We will lose some players, but if Hopson comes back we will be a very good team for a few years. Bruce Pearl is getting the players that fit his style.

It is no doubt that UT (should) be a final four team this year!

Also, how is UK ranked #5 ? They have not done a thing yet. Their best players are freshmen (except Patterson). The Vols will show everyone that UT will be the regular season SEC champs. Go on UK fans, tell me why you are better. Give me facts, though.

Fully agree with your post. Doesn't seem to matter that the rest of the SEC has caught up and moved past UK for years now, the press keeps going back into their memory banks of yesteryear. Calipari isn't the answer they seek at UK either. He is in the SEC now, and if he thinks dribble drive and off to the pros you go is going to work, well guess again.

Final four potential for the Vols if they stay healthy and focused. The wild card beyond that is always the refs and home cookin'.

lomas98 writes:

I hope to see them matchup with Purdue. They are a solid team and will challenge Mich St. for the Big 10 title. They will also help SOS for tournament. The non conference schedule this year is not as strong as last season and Purdue will help strengthen that.

Brentwoodvol writes:

Wow no lopers or idiots on board today. Great posts by everyone. I enjoyed reading, keep it up!!! Go Vols

fundamentals83 writes:

So what's Hopson's shooting % from 3 for the year now? 6-7 the other night 4-5 tonight. I can't remember game 1. Gotta be somewhere in the 80s.

FatherVol writes:

in response to VolinLexington:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

What, have you actually touched J-Cal?

DownTheField writes:

in response to Walkman:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

syracuse looks freaking good! they will destroy memphis

DownTheField writes:

in response to CatScratchFever:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

i don't get it... what do you mean?

DownTheField writes:

in response to CatScratchFever:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

oh, you're a Kentucky fan? that's cool... why do you always hang around a tennessee message board? seems pretty lame

murrayvol writes:

in response to CatScratchFever:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

We just want you to feel welcome CatScratch.

DownTheField writes:

in response to CatScratchFever:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

fair enough

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

in response to murrayvol:

We just want you to feel welcome CatScratch.

Hey CatScratch..I just wanted to say "hi" again and make you feel welcome, like the last poster said....I think maybe the reason UK comes up so quickly is that UT and UK are rivals plus, we are looking forward to playing them....I think we just might beat them this year, once maybe twice...Who the heck knows???..UK will get better as the season progresses, but I'm not sure how long will stay in the top 10....Anyway, have a nice evening and enjoy your games!!!

tennrich1 writes:

in response to jhayes0926#638474:

very good points. I think the biggest factor may be Tatum and whether he can keep hitting the 3's. We also need for Chism to stay around the basket for the rebounds. If Tatum isn't hitting, it will be hard to get a team out of the zone defense.

Not to beat up on Kentucky because they definitely have great players, but Cal MUST have these types around him to be successful. He just CAN NOT adjust during games like so many great coaches do(see the 2006 and 2007 Tennessee games while at UM...better players but couldnt put them in the right schemes to win)....and all those great players are HARD to make a team out of....Williams at NC did it in 2008 though.

murrayvol writes:

in response to CatScratchFever:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Better than I deserve.

Hope you and your fellow Cat fanciers have a good supply of patience on hand. This project could take awhile.

chazz25 writes:

kesling...eh so so, bertelkamp....ok, ward....priceless

MiserableFloridaVol writes:

in response to fundamentals83:

So what's Hopson's shooting % from 3 for the year now? 6-7 the other night 4-5 tonight. I can't remember game 1. Gotta be somewhere in the 80s.

around 77%

ArealVolFan writes:

in response to CatScratchFever:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You know its funny how you mention KY being on the minds of the Vols, I was checking out some KY message boards the other day to see what they thought of KYs chances of getting Harris and what their reaction was when we got him. Surprisingly, they had several threads on the UNC-Ashville game, Hopson, Today's games, and T. Harris of course. So, I'd say TN is on KYs mind as much as KY is on TNs mind. Thats just what happens when you are the two best teams in the SEC, have Coaches that hate each other, and have a healthy rivalry.

vol_chaz writes:

I agree that Maze does look like a better defensive player so far this year. We are deeper, and this team has come to expect that the other team will play zone against us, like they did all last year, because we couldn't buy a 3 pt shot.. SH is just in a zone right now, wow.

tennezz writes:

Two great games so far...I hope they continue against the better teams!

zansdad writes:

I payed the $8 to watch the game. I liked watching the action, but it was a cut rate production, half the time you could hear commercials running in the background, and then during commercials you could hear the announcers. And, for whatever reason, FCS went with ECU's announcers, so it was all Homer all the time. UT looked good, they played well together, and the lit up the scoreboard. Also, it could have been worse, CBP let up on the pressuer pretty early in the 2nd half. Anyone know if Sundays game is on TV?

PoochPuntOn3rdDown writes:

in response to zansdad:

I payed the $8 to watch the game. I liked watching the action, but it was a cut rate production, half the time you could hear commercials running in the background, and then during commercials you could hear the announcers. And, for whatever reason, FCS went with ECU's announcers, so it was all Homer all the time. UT looked good, they played well together, and the lit up the scoreboard. Also, it could have been worse, CBP let up on the pressuer pretty early in the 2nd half. Anyone know if Sundays game is on TV?

"FSS will televise Sunday's games at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. as well as Monday's third-place game at 6 p.m. and the championship game at 8:30."

VolJunkie writes:

in response to CatScratchFever:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Cat, I have a couple of "kids" at work, just out of school and they bleed UK blue. We have a great time kidding each other (bb only, no football!), I totally respect the passion they have for their team. I know where you are coming from, my son is home for Thanksgiving and we are looking forward to watching some hoops together ... good times, good times.

Should be a great year in the SEC, I don't think you can look past anyone. Hopson is bringing the game we knew he had, yeah, this could be special.

Go Vols!

GerryOP writes:

in response to marc_ash#231781:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Agreed Marc. In no way should anyone concede the SEC to UK. UK and Calipari have yet to prove anything in the SEC and Calipari's past successes have been in conferences where he could be the big bully. This is the SEC. We have a few bullies here already!

There are truly a lot of changes in UT basketball this year from last year. The talented freshmen have become experienced sophomores, Pearl's personal life appears to have settled down, several of last year's team were trying to figure out where they fit in, we've got some very experienced seniors, and some of the freshman look like they may contribute. In retrospect, with everything happening last year in and around the team, Pearl did a fine job delivering as much as he delivered.

I should be a good year, but too soon to predict a Final 4. Along ways to go and many wickets to go through between now and then.

tennesseebee writes:

in response to VolinLexington:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I'm a Vol living near Somerset, and I told my brother-in-law, (wildcat fan), that if we play Ky right now we blister them on the court. Once they get rolling by February, it will be a good game. But right now we would KILL them!

vol_4_fan writes:

in response to deerbedar1717:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

We have not played the BIG name guys yet, that is coming. The teams that we played so far where either in the NCAA last year or top conference picks for this year and we have been very good about putting away teams. At least we have not needed a last second shot (along with some timely calls) and allow some Sam Houton guy to put 92 on the board,,,,just saying!! GBO

bluevol writes:

Yeah man the Vols are lighting it up against those perennial powerhouses Austin Peay, UNC Asheville and East Carolina. In all fairness it is a down year for those three. They have a combined record of what 2-7 I think. =)

NobodyCares (Inactive) writes:

And don't forget Kat fans, Calipari has some weird magical powers! With a wave of his hand he can erase all of your victories!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to Walkman:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Shock and dismay in Baby Blue Country today. How in heck did THAT Syracuse team lose to LeMoyne, whoever they are, AT HOME? I thought UNC was over-rated in the pre-season polls. They lost four starters and a top reserve off of their championship team. Of course, their subs would be competitive in the ACC and they added their usual crop of blue-chip frosh, but there was NO WAY they could have been top-five good this early.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to long_vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Don't we all! Maybe part of the incoherence was due to what I experienced as a very ragged audio signal.

NCVOL09 writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Shock and dismay in Baby Blue Country today. How in heck did THAT Syracuse team lose to LeMoyne, whoever they are, AT HOME? I thought UNC was over-rated in the pre-season polls. They lost four starters and a top reserve off of their championship team. Of course, their subs would be competitive in the ACC and they added their usual crop of blue-chip frosh, but there was NO WAY they could have been top-five good this early.

I agree with you 100%. I grew up in NC and have long been a fan of the Heels, granted it doesn't match my love of UT. However, both UNC and KY will both be much better as the season goes along. They are both very young and full of talent. As strong as UT is right now, KY will be a force come conference season.

As basketball fan, as I mentioned I grew up on Tobacco Road, it has been great to see the fan base in TN, as seen in the message boards grow. The passion shown by UT's fans has always been there, but the understanding of the game itself has really improved as Bruce Pearl has continued his tenure at UT. Fans now know when to cheer, and when are appropriate times to question a call, its no longer strict passion but an added knowledge that runs through the the veins of those that bleed orange.

As someone mentioned earlier there has been great discussion on the boards today, even if we are being nice to the KY fans.

GBO beat Vandy tonight and Depaul tomororw.

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Addressing a couple of other posters' comments, I don't think Maze's foot speed was as much of an issue last year as the lack of a consistent replacement for him when he sat. In any case, he seems faster this year and Goins seems to have pretty good quicks himself.

As for the question about the defense, as I said, the stats won't likely ever look pretty. When a team breaks the press, they often have fairly easy shots. When the floor is spread out, it is easier for an opponent to get offensive rebounds. As long as the Vols can force large numbers of turnovers, those other things just don't matter.

The real test will come when an opponent manages to slow the game down, forcing the Vols both to work the ball themselves against a set defense and to defend against the other team's offensive sets. Last year, UT could neither pressure the other team effectively OR play a consistently sound half-court game. They seem to have solved the first half of that equation, but the success of the whole season will ride on how well they can solve that second part. So far, it seems they can shoot the ball SO much better than they did last year. That alone will make them better offensively. It remains to be seen how well they can defend in the half-court.

I agree with your point about half court defense being a big unknown now. These are the same players as last year, and last year they had holes in half-court defense, and not that much better in half court offense.

Their problems were mostly on the perimeter last year - they couldn't defend on the wings or the point and they couldn't shoot well from the outside. But Hopson has improved his outside shot, hopefully Maze and Tatum will shoot it better. McBee can help with that. So I think our half court offense will be mucho better, even if they are the same players.

But half-court defense - and given that these are the same players as last year? I agree that's an unknown that makes me nervous - we'll have to wait and see.

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to HtownVol:

This is the best chance for the Vols to go to the final four. We are even better than our #10 ranking. I have never seen a complete team from the Vols, I am 26. Been watching the Vols for about 14 years. I am proud to be a Vol fan.

Tyler is being very unselfish. He could take more shots, but he is in it for a championship. We will lose some players, but if Hopson comes back we will be a very good team for a few years. Bruce Pearl is getting the players that fit his style.

It is no doubt that UT (should) be a final four team this year!

Also, how is UK ranked #5 ? They have not done a thing yet. Their best players are freshmen (except Patterson). The Vols will show everyone that UT will be the regular season SEC champs. Go on UK fans, tell me why you are better. Give me facts, though.

I agree this team is our best chance for the forseeable future, but I fear that right now we don't have all the ingredients to actually get to the FF. I think we must have steady improvement from our point guards, I don't think right now they are FF-good. I also worry about post depth with the loss of Negedu and the non-emgergence so far of Williams.

But if Williams/Hall start to emerge in the post (Woolridge contributing at PF would help, too), and if Maze and Goins can improve steadily throughout the season, then look out, because we appear to have all the other pieces.

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

UT would much rather play Memphis and Ky early in the year rather than late. Ky will improve drastically as the freshmen learn more defense, and Memphis will get even better once the players get accustomed to Pastner and his schemes. This should be UT's year, as this is the best team we've had since Ernie/Bernie.

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