Hopson back to work on 3-pointers

Pearl has long talk with sophomore

Tennessee sophomore Scotty Hopson was the last player to leave Pratt Pavilion Wednesday night.

Shot after shot went up as the Vols' budding star worked to get back into his groove.

"I hate to lose, and it really hurt watching Purdue get that trophy,'' Hopson said. "I put a lot of that loss on me.

"When I was playing good and aggressively, things went well for us and we were winning big.''

And when Hopson went cold in St. Thomas, going 0-for-6 beyond the 3-point arc in the final two games, the No. 9 Vols struggled to beat DePaul (57-53) and lost to Purdue (73-72).

Tennessee (4-1) looks to redeem itself Friday (TV: CSS, 7 p.m.) against the College of Charleston (1-2) at Thompson-Boling Arena.

UT coach Bruce Pearl said he had a 30-minute talk with Hopson, who's still a very respectable 14 of 24 (.583) beyond the 3-point arc, when the team returned to Knoxville.

"I talked to Scotty about the things he did well and did not do well,'' Pearl said. "People don't know Scotty; this is a wonderful young man with a tremendous disposition and work ethic, but like me he wears his emotions on his sleeve. You can never let them see you sweat.''

Hopson and his teammates did plenty of sweating Wednesday afternoon in Pratt Pavilion after returning to Knoxville after midnight Tuesday after a four-hour bus ride back from the Atlanta airport.

"It was an exhausting trip back, and the kids did have class this morning and had a lot of school work to catch up on,'' said Pearl. "We still had a hard practice with shooting, running and sliding (drills).''

The Vols will practice this morning before the players and team managers will head to the homes of various UT coaches for Thanksgiving.

Pearl said the Vols are better at the point than a year ago after they lost in the title game of the Old Spice Classic in Orlando to Gonzaga.

"The attitude is better coming off the Purdue loss than the Gonzaga loss last year, because we feel we can guard better and handle the ball better,'' he said. "I thought we kept our poise in the closing moments of the DePaul game and the Purdue game.

"When Purdue started to pull away our guys didn't panic, and they got good looks.''

The Vols also held the No. 6 Boilermakers (4-0) without a field goal over the final 3 minutes, 26 seconds.

But Pearl said UT didn't value its possessions enough in the loss to Purdue, and there were too many unforced turnovers, "like five or six of them.''

Hopson, who was guarded by Big Ten defensive player of the year Chris Kramer, had four of the turnovers.

"Every game is a learning experience, and I'll keep watching the game tapes to see what I'm doing wrong,'' Hopson said. "Teams are throwing different things at me, trying to get up into me and press me.

"But I'm not a one-dimensional player; I don't just shoot the '3'.''

Hopson said his hot start beyond the arc this season, making 14 of 18, actually threw him off stride a bit.

"I'm really more of a drive-first guy, but I was making them so I think I started settling for those shots too much,'' Hopson said. "I need to keep working on being an overall playmaker; rebounding getting steals and staying aggressive.''

Pearl said Hopson still has the mindset that no one can stop him, and that now he needs the sophomore to get the mindset that no one can score on him.

"It still hurts,'' Hopson said, "but better to take this kind of loss now than in March.''

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Comments » 16

sandiegovolunteer writes:

Hopson is a great player and is just learning the game. I wish he would adopt a 3 or 4 year plan in college and his learning curve would not be so rushed. There is plenty of time to play in the NBA- enjoy college and grow at your own speed.

razin55 writes:

Keep your head up Scotty, your team mates got your back.
I still like the chances of this group.

V_O_L_S_GO_VOLS_GO writes:

in response to Witch_Doctor:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Agreed. I'm still not sold on Tyler being top-flight NBA talent.

ChattTownVol writes:

Hopson does rely on the three too much. When he got to the basket in the Purdue game he finished easily. I think Tyler should still bring the ball up because that is what our offense is based on...that's why we got Tobias Harris. Chism has the potential to be a dominant force in the post this year. I also think Cam Tatum needs way more minutes.

Brillovol writes:

in response to Witch_Doctor:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Brillovol agree with Doctor. No second guess the Bruce! Brillovol love Scotty's work ethic. Brillovol reminded of Lofton...

Disclaimer: Sorry Doc, but when replying to the Doc, speak like the Doc.

kti5783 writes:

in response to Witch_Doctor:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I've been saying this since last year.
Tyler's a very good player, but has a tendency to do too much. (shooting into triple teams etc) His best year was his first year with Chris and JaJuan being the main options.

I actually think that Tyler is going to be very productice in the NBA, because he isn't projected to high. This will mean that he goes to a good team that probably has a star player. He seems like he's a good team mate and should stick around on a roster for awhile.

In the Pilot Rocky Top League, Scotty Hopson was unstopable, until he played against Boo Jackson. (Eastern Michigan? and NBDL) Boo played very physical defense on him and Hopson was taken out of the game. Boo's team won the League and Boo got the MVP.

govols26 writes:

We've all seen what a great work ethic can do for you (Chris and JaJuan). Hopefully Hopson's hard work pays off for him in the same way. He's already looking alot better than last year IMO.

BillVol writes:

Could we not afford plane tickets for the team from ATL to TYS? But we can put billboards advertising UT football in south Florida. Don't understand.

fpcoach writes:

in response to scknowsit:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

more of the same from scdontknow"sh"it and mtownsmallmind. u guys are pathetic. GBO

pupvol writes:

I think Pearl needs to quit grooming players for the NBA and put a TEAM together! letting guys do things prepairing for the next level has always hurt UT team wise. IMHO!

richvol writes:

Three point shooting doesn't seem to be Hopson's problem. He makes them more often than not. What appears to be a problem is his ability to dribble when defended and his grip strength. When he puts the ball on the floor and is well defended by an opposing guard he loses it or has it stolen. Not everytime but often. When he has time to square up and shoot he is deadly but that's not the reason he is disappearing in a game like the other night.

UT seems infatuated with the one on one type play that Hopson and Tyler Smith play. If they would learn to screen effectively and have some cutters going in motion then we would get better looks at the basket. Look at the difference in Perdue and us in a half court...there's no comparison as to who is more effective. We struggle to get open looks while they got and made the open shots. They could also run with us. I'm not suggesting that we completely change out offense to become a half court team but how do you think other teams are going to play us? We have got to be able to effectively run a half court offense and stop this standing around waiting for someone to make a play off the dribble.

Down_The_Field writes:

in response to Witch_Doctor:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

never mind. i won't post what i was thinking after you just said it.

nice job, doc.

dlns#209394 writes:

Maybe this was brought up on posts from other stories, but why didn't the ball get into either Scotty or Tyler's hands at the end of the Purdue game? Down 1, one of those two should be going to the basket, if they don't make it there's always a good chance of getting fouled....and they're both solid free throw shooters. I actually think Wayne may be the best player on the team right now, and I have no problem with him taking the last shot, but not a three down 1...GO TO THE HOLE and good things will happen.

Fryinpansvols writes:

I agree with CBP comments about the team further along at this point in the season than last season. This team will get better with each game. I agree with Witch Doctor that Hopson needs to take over and let Tyler play his game inside. Losing to Purdue by one point still stings but hey lets move forward and get better. GBO!

golfingrn#560020 writes:

always amazed by the comments, pearl needs to work on 15 to 18 ft jumpers with this team chisem needs to forget trying to win games from 3 point range, if he went low they had a better chance to win, and tyler smith needs to work on most everything, he is no where ready for nba, he can not finish a drive

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Pete_Bell and pupvol? What?!!! Who's team have you two been watching? We have a great team and the future is looking great!
Wait till things go bad and then whine...if it does I'll whine with you.

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