Vols to play for Paradise Jam title, 57-53

ST. THOMAS, Virgin Islands — Tennessee beat DePaul on Sunday night in the type of game it likely would have lost last year.

Vols senior Tyler Smith hit both ends of a one-and-one free-throw situation with 13.7 seconds left as UT held off the Blue Demons 57-53 at the U.S. Virgin Islands Sports and Fitness Center.

“I just knew I had to take my time at the line,’’ Smith said. “I loved being in that situation.’’

The 10th-ranked Vols (4-0) play the winner of Purdue (2-0)-St. Joseph’s (3-0) in the title game of the 10th annual U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam at 8:30 tonight.

Smith had 14 points and nine rebounds, and senior post Wayne Chism added 13 points and eight rebounds to lead the Vols.

Tennessee, coming off its highest scoring output in back-to-back games in school history, ran into a defensive force in Big East member DePaul.

“I was concerned this game would be played in the 50s,’’ UT coach Bruce Pearl said, “and we saw more ball pressure than we had seen.’’

The Vols made 22 of 59 (.373) shots from the floor and collectively hit only 3 of 12 (.250) attempts beyond the 3-point arc. Scotty Hopson, who had connected on 14 of his first 18 attempts from 3-point range this season, was held to four points and was 0-for-4 shooting beyond the arc.

“That was the first time the guys weren’t really knocking down the outside shots, so we had to grind it out,’’ Smith said. “It was very big for us to get this win, because last year we had about eight of these kind of games and we only won a couple of them.’’

Chism was clutch down the stretch, scoring nine of his points over the final 10 ½ minutes with the game in the balance.

The Vols held a 50-49 lead when Chism knocked down a 3-pointer with 3:40 left, and the next trip down the floor, Chism scored over DePaul’s 6-foot-10 center Mac Koshwal (14 points, eight rebounds).

“In the last two minutes, Tyler Smith and Wayne Chism showed their experience and acted and played like seniors,’’ DePaul coach Jerry Wainwright said. “But if I was to name a most valuable player for them, it would be Melvin Goins. He did an unbelievable job guarding . . . he showed some great leadership in the last four or five minutes.

“I think he becomes a key player for them this season, because he is a pure point guard.’’

Goins scored only six points, but he had six rebounds and played lock-down defense on DePaul’s Will Walker (14 points) down the stretch.

Walker caught fire in the midst of a Blue Demons’ second-half run, hitting a jumper to cap a 7-0 run that cut the Vols’ lead to 36-31 with 14:41 remaining.

Walker scored on his next three shots, too, a pair of them coming from 3-point range to pull DePaul to 43-41 with 12:22 left.

Pearl responded by entering Goins into the game to guard him.

“Putting Melvin in at the point really helped us defensively, and that’s what we needed to do to slow down Walker,’’ Pearl said. “I knew in a close game they’d spread the floor and try to take our guards off the bounce.’’

Walker was 0-for-3 shooting over the final 3½ minutes with Goins in his jersey.

“At the start of the season I was still getting over (knee) surgery and getting used to our system,’’ Goins said. “I’m getting a feel for the speed of the game and my teammates. It was fun being in the mix under pressure.’’

Pearl said this was the type of game the Vols needed to win after opening with three blowout victories.

“We won this game with three or four players not playing well, and that’s a good sign,’’ he said. “We held them to 33 percent shooting and out-rebounded them 44-30. What we learned tonight is we can also win games on the defensive end.’’

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Comments » 78

ATLVOL55 writes:

Not pretty...but a win is a win...these type teams who slow it down really give us problems. Also, Depaul has two pretty good transfers playing this year..they will be better in the Big East

Go Vols!

AceVentura writes:

Tough game. Scotty had a tough game the whole team had a tough game. Hopefully we'll get it together and win the championship. A win is a win is a win. I'll take it.

justbware#205283 writes:

Purdue will slap this team around next game. See, it's easy to beat UNCA, but when a real team comes calling and the vols press gets beat, these hotdogs will once again fail to win anything of significance. If these guys would ever grow up and stop looking in the mirror, they might have a real team.

jmorri30 writes:

Justbware- get lost.

memphis_vol_fan writes:

in response to justbware#205283:

Purdue will slap this team around next game. See, it's easy to beat UNCA, but when a real team comes calling and the vols press gets beat, these hotdogs will once again fail to win anything of significance. If these guys would ever grow up and stop looking in the mirror, they might have a real team.

Get real it was the 3rd game of the season. Yea Purdue may knock us around; but when it's all said and done this may be one of Pearl's best teams.

dwa7#337691 writes:

is the finals a tv game?

CoachFulmer writes:

This game shows we can slow our tempo down and play half-court offense and defense and still win.

vol_chaz writes:

Depaul made us play their game, and we still won. This team went to Tyler in the clutch, and he came through. Hopson will have bad games, but teams from here on out are going to cue in on him. We'll need others to step up.

Souther writes:

Good that Chism stepped up again late in the game. And, duct tape evidently DOES fix anything.

newportvol writes:

a win is a win..by 1 or 50! GO Vols..

vol_4_fan writes:

You can have a bad game like Hopson had, you just need to understand when you are having that game let the others make the plays at the end of the game. The shot by Scotty with 44 seconds left was a awful choice! Even with that we win a game that we would have lost last year.. Wayne Chism is a beast!!

DT4Vols writes:

is the championship game on monday night going to be televised? if so what channel?

TopTenn writes:

Purdue will lose this game with St. Joseph.

Fryinpansvols writes:

in response to justbware#205283:

Purdue will slap this team around next game. See, it's easy to beat UNCA, but when a real team comes calling and the vols press gets beat, these hotdogs will once again fail to win anything of significance. If these guys would ever grow up and stop looking in the mirror, they might have a real team.

And I guess you know everything about UT Basketball! Man why don't you go to Mike Hamilton and ask for Coach Pearl's job since you can do better than four straight tourney appearances including two Sweet Sixteens and one regular season SEC Championship. You might do a better coaching job, but probably not. Or better yet how about you not post anything else negative about UT when it was only the fourth game of the season. GBO!

vol_4_fan writes:

Either Purdue or St. Joseph will be a tough half court game, and by the way both will be dancing in March.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

My understanding is DePaul had to very good guards who didn't get rattled with our press. I didn't see the game online but heard it and it sounded like an intentionally slowed down game. We handled it and we handled it early in the season. I think it was a great win.

wayoutwill writes:

in response to justbware#205283:

Purdue will slap this team around next game. See, it's easy to beat UNCA, but when a real team comes calling and the vols press gets beat, these hotdogs will once again fail to win anything of significance. If these guys would ever grow up and stop looking in the mirror, they might have a real team.

You are a total jerk-wad,this Vol team is just fine,better than fine,we just played our third game of the year,we couldn't buy a three point shot and we shot 60% from the line,the Depaul team slowed the tempo down sucessfully,WE STILL WON THE GAME!You are brainless and stupid!

jayrokey writes:

I just want to give kudos to the radio commentators. John Wilkerson did a superb job, and i was actually able to listen and know what was going on as it happened.

Orangeblood13 writes:

in response to jmorri30:

Justbware- get lost.

couldn't have said it better

cincivol writes:

in response to justbware#205283:

Purdue will slap this team around next game. See, it's easy to beat UNCA, but when a real team comes calling and the vols press gets beat, these hotdogs will once again fail to win anything of significance. If these guys would ever grow up and stop looking in the mirror, they might have a real team.

Hey everyone just calm down. With this girls understanding of early season bball then we may as well call it quits. I wonder if he will comment now that Purdue is only up by 1 point on unranked St Johns........Im sure she wont.

V_O_L_S_GO_VOLS_GO writes:

gotta play tougher with a bigger and better purdue team on the way

eduardo writes:

Man I sure hope that title game is on TV. I thought that was pretty ridiculous showing some fake bball game on the west coast in that time slot on the FCS channel. Nothing worse than fake bball on the tube!! Weeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!

bill#1374014 writes:

Wilkerson is much better than No-Neck Kesling as a broadcaster. Fire Kesling!

bmcreynolds#558786 writes:

Depaul was rated #2 in the RPI. That says something about the competition.

V_O_L_S_GO_VOLS_GO writes:

DePaul was an excellent opponent. Chism said it well in the post-game interviews that they'd played sub-par opponents until now, and this game kinda gave them the "wakeup call" they'd been lookin for.

Ironcity writes:

Great job guys! We needed that. Sooner or later Scotty was going to miss a few and its good to see we can win when he does. I predict Scotty has a big finish and is named tourney MVP!

walt23tn writes:

Good luck Vols in the championship, no matter who it is. I love Haters...that means we are on the map. Take us to Paradise, and take this program to the next level!!! Didn't look sharp tonight, but showed grit. You have to have that in a long season. We developed a little more character and identity tonight. We have to struggle some or we won't know what that situation is like.

Hoops43 writes:

Skylar McBee came up huge tonight. All those people trashing him earlier better realize he made a huge contribution against pretty athletic guards.

SmokeyDayAfternoon writes:

he said the game is tonight at 8:30, does he mean tommarrow?

bobbytodd writes:

I caught the last half of the game online. The Vols didn't look that good tonight. They didn't hit enough shots to work the press and honestly when they tried DePaul did an excellent job with it. Shots are going to fall some nights and others they just won't go. With that being said it did seem like the team may have spent an hour or two too much checking out scenery than they should have. They will have to bring a little more energy next game to win. I'm glad they came through in the clutch and hope they come out fast in the championship.

V_O_L_S_GO_VOLS_GO writes:

in response to Hoops43:

Skylar McBee came up huge tonight. All those people trashing him earlier better realize he made a huge contribution against pretty athletic guards.

He reminds me of Dane Bradshaw with a MUCH better ability to score, especially from way outside. I see big things for this kid.

alfrizzle097 writes:

in response to bmcreynolds#558786:

Depaul was rated #2 in the RPI. That says something about the competition.

If you are referring to this year's RPI, it means nothing at his point. The RPI is only a decent indicator after many teams have played many games.

Not being able to watch the game, I can't comment on how good Depaul was defensively. I find it worrying that we weren't able to get more mid range jumpers out of the offense.

I jumped out of my chair when the commentary got to Mcbee head faking and then taking an 18 footer. He made a fan of me with that.

tdvol1989 writes:

Wow, I am a fan, but sometimes negative comments are the truth. We can be positive, but we have to address the shortcomings.

I have seen 2 games this year, admittedly only Austin Peay and Depaul, but this team seems to have most of the same weaknesses as last year. We get beat off the dribble badly and get caught in double teams leaving wide open shots. And, it looks like 5 guys playing 1 on 1. We have no offensive continuity and continue the habit of dribbling into the teeth of the defense only to leap into the air. We miss WAY TOO MANY layups. Scotty Hopson has obviously taken a step forward even though tonight was off, but he gets really frustrated and quits after a bad play. Physically and mentally, he is not ready for the NBA. So, Scotty PLAY COLLEGE Basketball and forget the next level for now. Just get better.

But, we have improved our outside shooting. Once again, forget tonight. And, our Sr leaders showed up at the end. And, when the game was on the line, Melvin Goins was face to face with their best player. So, the comment earlier that we would have lost this game last year, might be true.

But, we HAVE to find a half court offense. We have to quit showboating without losing the aggressiveness. And, for Pete's sake, we got to learn to hit shots close to the basket. We get too cute in the lane.

We are better than last year, but the excuse that this was a half-court slow down team is moot. You may play a team like that in the NCAA's so you have to learn to get efficient near the rim so you can put those teams away.

richvol writes:

Glad we won a close one where we didn't play well. We certainly don't look pretty in this type of game but our athleticism won out. Chism took over at the end or we lose that game.

The threes that Hopson and Swiperboy threw up at the end during the critical juncture were immature and selfish. If we had kept working the ball inside to Chism and Smith we would have gotten them in serious foul trouble although we missed so many shots at the rim we would have won by 15 or 20 if we make.

Someone has got to teach Williams to use his body to shield the defender from his move and shot. Every time he gets it down low he gets it blocked. Especially when he puts it on the floor. Just go up strong with it and cram it.

Goins was great.

jimr07 writes:

Basketball. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz wake me up in March,

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to dwa7#337691:

is the finals a tv game?

This article said the game would be on Sport South tonight at 8:30.

hcjournals#206623 writes:

If everybody buys in, understands their role and busts it, we will be able to play with anybody. But that's every practice, every game and going to class. We have the talent leadership and experience..........Go Big Orange..............!!!!!!

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to bamacheats:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yes,John is much better than Bob.I also would rather have John.But come on man,calling someone you don't even know names, is down right wrong.Heck,calling someone you do know names is wrong.Simply state that you prefere John over Bob and leave it at that.We will never be satisified with anyone .John Ward spoiled us.He is long gone.Get over it.By the way,your handle reveals a lot about you also.

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to SmokeyDayAfternoon:

he said the game is tonight at 8:30, does he mean tommarrow?

This article was written for the Monday a.m.edition of the paper.The game is now tonight at 8:30. to be broadcast on Fox sport south.By the way,it's spelled tomorrow.

69grad writes:

in response to justbware#205283:

Purdue will slap this team around next game. See, it's easy to beat UNCA, but when a real team comes calling and the vols press gets beat, these hotdogs will once again fail to win anything of significance. If these guys would ever grow up and stop looking in the mirror, they might have a real team.

You are of no significance.

we3vols#281863 writes:

in response to Plasticman:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Game is ONLY televised on Fox College Sports (FCSP). In Chattanooga the only way to get this channel (Comcast Cable Channel 725) is to purchase the sports Package ($5) per month. Go Vols!

FeelVol writes:

in response to richvol:

Glad we won a close one where we didn't play well. We certainly don't look pretty in this type of game but our athleticism won out. Chism took over at the end or we lose that game.

The threes that Hopson and Swiperboy threw up at the end during the critical juncture were immature and selfish. If we had kept working the ball inside to Chism and Smith we would have gotten them in serious foul trouble although we missed so many shots at the rim we would have won by 15 or 20 if we make.

Someone has got to teach Williams to use his body to shield the defender from his move and shot. Every time he gets it down low he gets it blocked. Especially when he puts it on the floor. Just go up strong with it and cram it.

Goins was great.

I definitely agree with you richvol,also nice to see Tatum playing better ball this year and Mcbee seems to a real heady player and great perimeter shooter.I like Goins as a real lock down defensive player as well.We have some negatives with this team but I'll leave it alone.

VolJunkie writes:

Good sign when you can win scoring in the 100's and in the 50's. Nice to see Tyler and Wayne step-up at the end of the game. And ... here's something you never saw in print last year, " ...played lock-down defense ...". This is a good sign four games in. Championship game tonight ... nice!

Go Vols!

Carlitovol writes:

in response to we3vols#281863:

Game is ONLY televised on Fox College Sports (FCSP). In Chattanooga the only way to get this channel (Comcast Cable Channel 725) is to purchase the sports Package ($5) per month. Go Vols!

According to Comcast's channel guide, this game will be on SportSouth (channel 58) in the Knoxville area. So you won't have to purchase an additional sports package...

Bigger_Al writes:

Good to hear the opposing coach's comments on Goins.

orangeoptimist writes:

I was stunned at how much of a better job Wilkerson did than Kesling. Not that it is hard to do, but I can't believe UT hasn't figured out the need for improvement in this area and close proximity of the easy fix.

chargervol writes:

You think this game was slowed down, wait til the Vols play USC, remember Kevin O'neal? GO VOLS!!!

GreeneVol_TN writes:

in response to justbware#205283:

Purdue will slap this team around next game. See, it's easy to beat UNCA, but when a real team comes calling and the vols press gets beat, these hotdogs will once again fail to win anything of significance. If these guys would ever grow up and stop looking in the mirror, they might have a real team.

I watched the first half and a few minutes of the 2nd half of St. Joe vs Purdue. I didn't see either team being capable of slapping us around. In fact I saw two teams trying to run it up and down the floor. Big mistake against the Vols!
Should be a good game!

Go Vols!

msghoops writes:

I heard CBP say post game hes got to get
Wayne and Tyler on floor at the same time.If it was me I would play Tyler,Wayne,JP,Cam, and Scotty in the crunch. Tyler can play the point and if CBP believes as I that he will play that at the next level then let's start it right now. We look the best when Tyler cleans the glass and starts the break. Let's face it, Maze and Goins neither can break someone down or shoot consistently. They both however, play out of of control and will cost us a game or two. Let McBee play the point granted not great foot speed on D but makes up for it with decision making and better shooting and CBP says full confidence in him.

vol88 writes:

in response to Souther:

Good that Chism stepped up again late in the game. And, duct tape evidently DOES fix anything.

Funny about the duct tape. Looks to me like they could've started working on that during halftime. John and Bert were running out of things to say, and the Big Orange Scoreboard guy probably got tired of giving the Mississippi Valley State score update.

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