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.''