"This team is very hungry, and there's unfinished business left on the court,'' Hopson said after the first day of team-individual workouts on Thursday. "This is when the team starts to gel.''
UT coach Bruce Pearl, who has been part of the well-documented NCAA probe, conducted the one-hour workout in the Pratt Pavilion in routine fashion.
The sanctions from UT against Pearl and his assistants include a reduction in salaries and lengthy suspensions of off-campus recruiting privileges beginning Sept. 24.
For Pearl, who's entering his sixth year as coach of the Vols, that meant directing enthusiasm, challenges and energy at his players.
"There's certain things we're going to choose to do better than anyone in the country!'' Pearl commanded at one point.
The Vols worked quickly through offensive and defensive drills, with Pearl putting an emphasis on his team getting up and down the court quickly.
"One of the things we emphasized today was the advance pass,'' Pearl said. "One of the most difficult things for teams to do defensively is to get back in transition.
"So we put our guys on the baseline faster and quicker than anyone in the country.''
This version of the Vols is deeper, longer and faster than any of Pearl's previous teams.
UT senior Steven Pearl said he wasn't surprised it was business as usual.
"He's not going to change how he is with us in that he's the same coach he was before last week, the same motivator,'' Steven Pearl said.
"He's ready to get back to coaching, and he's excited, and we're excited.''
Hopson and Steven Pearl said the team has talked amongst themselves as the events unfolded over the past week.
"We all talked off court, and we can't let things effect what we're trying to do,'' Hopson said. "This team is behind our coaching staff 100 percent.''
Steven Pearl said the best way for the team to support their coaches - and his father - is with their actions and efforts.
"It's been tough, but we want to rally around our coaches,'' Steven Pearl said. "We want to keep making progress on the court and in the class room.''
Hubert Returns: UT senior walk-on point guard Michael Hubert is doing well in his return from the season ending knee injury he suffered last December.
Hubert, who suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament and mensicus in his right knee, said he's feeling 100 percent.
Golf Outing: Pearl will host the Bruce Pearl Fore The Kids Golf Outing at Gettysvue Country Club today.
"Money raised will go toward early detection of cancer in children, as well as for Camp Koinonia,'' Pearl said.
Pearl takes part in Camp Koinonia in April each year, which benefits East Tennessee children with disabilities.