Back to SEC for defiant Vols

Pearl hints rotation could be altered

UT's Melvin Goins talks about UConn's Kemba Walker

UT coach Bruce Pearl discusses loss to UConn

Tennessee men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl ran a gamut of emotions Saturday afternoon at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn.

Pearl was happy to be back on the bench coaching, excited to see his Vols take a lead, disappointed to see them squander it, and angry about how No. 8 Connecticut ultimately pulled away with the 72-61 win.

But by the time the UT post-game radio show aired on the Vol Network, Pearl had settled down and was calm and analytical.

"You've got to keep losing at UConn to UConn in perspective,'' Pearl said after leaving the news conference and heading to the radio program. "We're still in position to do everything we want to do.''

That starts with winning the SEC East Division.

Tennessee (12-7, 2-2 SEC) returns to action at 8 p.m. on Wednesday in Thompson-Boling Arena against LSU (10-9, 2-2).

Pearl hinted there might be more changes in the rotation for the Vols, though the starting lineup is expected to remain status quo.

"There are some things I'll take a look at,'' Pearl said.

UT freshman forward Tobias Harris, the most consistent performer on the team this season, said the team could use some self-introspection.

"As a team we have to look at ourselves and ask why we're struggling,'' Harris said. "We've got to start coming out and taking care of our business.''

Harris and senior point guard Melvin Goins were the only two UT players made available after Saturday's game.

Both were asked about Pearl's return to the bench after missing the past four games while serving an eight-game SEC suspension, and if Pearl's suspension and return is having any effect.

"It's been a little tough (without Pearl); you do get used to a certain way of doing things,'' Goins said. "But we were glad to have him back today.''

Harris said different or not, it shouldn't matter.

"I don't think it's a distraction,'' he said. "Coach Pearl and Coach (Tony) Jones aren't out there playing the game.

"Saying it's a distraction is using that as an excuse.''

Pearl has four SEC games left in his suspension. Jones will coach against LSU.

More On McRae: UT freshman Jordan McRae was suspended indefinitely Saturday for what Pearl called a violation of team conduct.

Team sources, speaking on a condition of anonymity because UT will not release the reason, said McRae got into a verbal altercation with a teammate.

McRae used language that was not acceptable on the team bus when it was returning from a trip to the ESPN studios following Friday's practice.

RPI: The Vols' loss to UConn did little to damage the team's RPI ranking, which is now No. 17 in the nation according to RealTimeRpi.com. UT's schedule strength is No. 1.

The RPI takes into consideration wins and losses, the opponents, and the opponents of opponents.

The Vols' RPI ranking will likely drop in the next two weeks even if Tennessee wins.

LSU, UT's next opponent, has an RPI of 185, and next weekend's opponent, Ole Miss, has an RPI of 72.

The following week, the Vols play Auburn (RPI 306 of 345 teams) and Alabama (RPI 134).

Kentucky has the highest RPI in the SEC (13), followed by UT (17), Vanderbilt (18) and Florida (19).

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Comments » 54

iowavol writes:

Same story, different verse. This team needs leadership on the floor - Pearl not being there no the sideline is not the only issue.

Orangeblood13 writes:

Keep playin hard guys
Good things will come

BigVolinCarolina writes:

Our team needs to take one game at a time. Based upon our performance so far, I wouldn't take any game for granted. We are certainly beatable and vulnerable to being beaten by just about anyone.

Get focused, hit the boards and play defense. If we'll do that, then we can win most games even with an "off night" offensively. Go Vols!

196SVol writes:

There aren't enough players to play more than one game at a time.....

dlobh writes:

This team may gel. Getting better play out of Goins, though having him take it to the hole with 8 seconds left on every other possession is a little suspect. Tatum and Fields must play better. Brian Williams is doing what he does - rebound and play good post d. Harris is extremely consistent and obviously has a very bright future. Hopson is the difference - the team goes as he goes. Team should finish somewhere between 8-8 and 10-6 in conference play. That'll determine their seed in the dance.

They're in every game they play against the best teams. Should be fun to watch. Hopefully we'll get another run like next year.

Chris4Vols22 writes:

I hope there are rotation changes. Anyone with half a brain knows that Scotty should be playing more than 30 mins every game, and Skylar and Steven Pearl should be playing less than 5.

dead_vol_foul (Inactive) writes:

gotta like T. Harris...doesn't always get the job done, but makes no excuses.

CCLC writes:

in response to dlobh:

This team may gel. Getting better play out of Goins, though having him take it to the hole with 8 seconds left on every other possession is a little suspect. Tatum and Fields must play better. Brian Williams is doing what he does - rebound and play good post d. Harris is extremely consistent and obviously has a very bright future. Hopson is the difference - the team goes as he goes. Team should finish somewhere between 8-8 and 10-6 in conference play. That'll determine their seed in the dance.

They're in every game they play against the best teams. Should be fun to watch. Hopefully we'll get another run like next year.

TODAY'S SEC POWER POLL:
1. Florida - Honestly, I could have ranked them fourth just as easily as first.
2. Kentucky - Calipari could probably coach Auburn's defense with that kind of language.
3. Tennessee- The refs from Athens did not make it to Hartford.
4. Georgia -Nice bounce back win after tough loss to a good Tennessee team. We will find out how serious Georgia is about making the NCAA tourney with a home game against Florida and a road trip to Lexington.
5. Vandy - The SEC and NCAA tournaments will not be played at the Opera House, will they?
6. South Carolina - The Gamecocks are getting pretty good at this fall-behind-furious-comeback-to-force-overtime-and-win thing.
7. Alabama - Nice home win over Kentucky, although I don't know how you score exactly the same number of points against Kentucky and Auburn in the same week.
8. Arkansas - The West's version of Vandy, but with a triple digit RPI and only one win over a team with a pulse.
9. Mississippi - The only double digit RPI in the West makes up for only one win in conference. For now.
10. Mississippi State - Sidney almost pulled off his first double-double against Georgia. Alas, the refs are not as forgiving as his coach; make him sit after five fouls.
11. LSU -Number 11, with a bullet.
12. Auburn - At least that damx Jeff Lebo isn't around to drag them up to mediocrity.
just sayin'

callforlogic2 writes:

Coach Pearl should take a hard look at the tape of the UConn game, focusing on Hopson. His lack of effort is a disgrace. It has an effect on other players and team chemistry when one player is not focusing on defense, commits unforced turnovers, and stand around instead of moving to get open. Obviously, Hopson is loaded with talent, but he had become the cancer on this team. We could be better with him on the bench.

ScubaTurks (Inactive) writes:

in response to Chris4Vols22:

I hope there are rotation changes. Anyone with half a brain knows that Scotty should be playing more than 30 mins every game, and Skylar and Steven Pearl should be playing less than 5.

You are kidding, right ? I have stayed away from this, as all these guys are kids, albeit with perks. I often am bothered by the way comments tend to be too personal regarding these boys. That said - Scotty Hopson does this team ZERO GOOD. Were he to go down tomorrow, we would lose little, other than to give a 'Weezy' type a chace to step up to lead. I was in Hartford Saturday. Much seen in person while TV is away. If the players and coaches had been able to marshal their energy toward a collective team, we could have won. Instead, you see Hopson make bonehead moves (the worst of which was driving to score with more than ten seconds on the clock at the end of the first half, helping to make what should have been a 4 point lead to a 1 point deficit - despite the entire bench screaming instructions to the contrary of what he was doing) So, we start the second half, and things were the same. Without reciting specific instances that caused the counsel, I saw Brian (twice) Skylar, Steven, CTJ, and SwiperBoy all try to 'comfort' Scotty either by hugging, arm around the shoulder, chest bump, and in the case of Steve, physically restraining #32 from entering a huddle when CBP was FORCED to call TO because Scotty was out of position AFTER a TV timeout. As General Neyland once said, "half way thru the season. you pretty much know what you got". Lets stop the excuses. I am neither qualified, nor wish to say "what we gotta do it ..this". What I will tell you is that whether it is the excuse making ("well, he didn't play well in the SEC Nashville tourney because he was 'too close to home', the fact is that his teammates and coaches spend more energy keeping him upright, than pushing themselves. It is no secret - noone watching this team over the past few years could possibly think differently. I wish him no ill will, but Scotty is at BEST and OVC first team all conference. This league, and our team are tougher, more intense, and have more to play for than making sure this petulant little kid doesn't take his toys and 'show his movie theater frown', and take it, and this team, back to Hopkinsville.

BigBadVol writes:

I'm sorry but why is Steven Pearl in the rotation? Am I missing something? I cringe every time he touches the ball. Coach your son is a fine young man, but he does not deserve to be the the TN rotation. JMHO

CCLC writes:

Meantime the SEC East Division is officially a jumble:

Florida .... 4-1
Georgia .... 3-2
Kentucky ... 3-2
S. Carolina. 3-2
Tennessee .. 2-2
Vanderbilt . 2-2

BigVolinCarolina writes:

in response to BigBadVol:

I'm sorry but why is Steven Pearl in the rotation? Am I missing something? I cringe every time he touches the ball. Coach your son is a fine young man, but he does not deserve to be the the TN rotation. JMHO

I tend to agree with you, BigBad, except that atleast Steven Pearl busts his tail on defense and dives for loose balls. Granted, on offense he doesn't really bring much, but if every player gave his effort on defense it probably would have resulted in us winning an extra 3-4 games this season.

lguy (Inactive) writes:

in response to ScubaTurks:

You are kidding, right ? I have stayed away from this, as all these guys are kids, albeit with perks. I often am bothered by the way comments tend to be too personal regarding these boys. That said - Scotty Hopson does this team ZERO GOOD. Were he to go down tomorrow, we would lose little, other than to give a 'Weezy' type a chace to step up to lead. I was in Hartford Saturday. Much seen in person while TV is away. If the players and coaches had been able to marshal their energy toward a collective team, we could have won. Instead, you see Hopson make bonehead moves (the worst of which was driving to score with more than ten seconds on the clock at the end of the first half, helping to make what should have been a 4 point lead to a 1 point deficit - despite the entire bench screaming instructions to the contrary of what he was doing) So, we start the second half, and things were the same. Without reciting specific instances that caused the counsel, I saw Brian (twice) Skylar, Steven, CTJ, and SwiperBoy all try to 'comfort' Scotty either by hugging, arm around the shoulder, chest bump, and in the case of Steve, physically restraining #32 from entering a huddle when CBP was FORCED to call TO because Scotty was out of position AFTER a TV timeout. As General Neyland once said, "half way thru the season. you pretty much know what you got". Lets stop the excuses. I am neither qualified, nor wish to say "what we gotta do it ..this". What I will tell you is that whether it is the excuse making ("well, he didn't play well in the SEC Nashville tourney because he was 'too close to home', the fact is that his teammates and coaches spend more energy keeping him upright, than pushing themselves. It is no secret - noone watching this team over the past few years could possibly think differently. I wish him no ill will, but Scotty is at BEST and OVC first team all conference. This league, and our team are tougher, more intense, and have more to play for than making sure this petulant little kid doesn't take his toys and 'show his movie theater frown', and take it, and this team, back to Hopkinsville.

Seriously? You say you are bothered by the comments on this board, then you rip into Hopson as if you've been personally affronted by him. He's trying to play basketball. He makes mistakes. Give him a break. Geez.

steph3474 writes:

This team has no leadership on or off the floor. CBP is too worried (rightly so) about whether or not he will have a job next basketball season. Scotty Hopson is the biggest waste of God given talent I've ever seen. He has plenty of talent, but very little heart and apparently even less basketball intelligence.

This is a .500 SEC team at best. Their early wins against Pitt and Villanova may get them into the NCAA's, but they won't last long in the tournament with a point guard who is almost nonexistent and a bunch of other guys playing to stroke their own egos, not to mention a very distracted coach.

One bright spot is Tobias Harris. He does his job and will be a good leader, but to ask a freshman to be a leader on the floor is a bit much.

Chris4Vols22 writes:

in response to ScubaTurks:

You are kidding, right ? I have stayed away from this, as all these guys are kids, albeit with perks. I often am bothered by the way comments tend to be too personal regarding these boys. That said - Scotty Hopson does this team ZERO GOOD. Were he to go down tomorrow, we would lose little, other than to give a 'Weezy' type a chace to step up to lead. I was in Hartford Saturday. Much seen in person while TV is away. If the players and coaches had been able to marshal their energy toward a collective team, we could have won. Instead, you see Hopson make bonehead moves (the worst of which was driving to score with more than ten seconds on the clock at the end of the first half, helping to make what should have been a 4 point lead to a 1 point deficit - despite the entire bench screaming instructions to the contrary of what he was doing) So, we start the second half, and things were the same. Without reciting specific instances that caused the counsel, I saw Brian (twice) Skylar, Steven, CTJ, and SwiperBoy all try to 'comfort' Scotty either by hugging, arm around the shoulder, chest bump, and in the case of Steve, physically restraining #32 from entering a huddle when CBP was FORCED to call TO because Scotty was out of position AFTER a TV timeout. As General Neyland once said, "half way thru the season. you pretty much know what you got". Lets stop the excuses. I am neither qualified, nor wish to say "what we gotta do it ..this". What I will tell you is that whether it is the excuse making ("well, he didn't play well in the SEC Nashville tourney because he was 'too close to home', the fact is that his teammates and coaches spend more energy keeping him upright, than pushing themselves. It is no secret - noone watching this team over the past few years could possibly think differently. I wish him no ill will, but Scotty is at BEST and OVC first team all conference. This league, and our team are tougher, more intense, and have more to play for than making sure this petulant little kid doesn't take his toys and 'show his movie theater frown', and take it, and this team, back to Hopkinsville.

This team can attribute most of their wins to Hopson. We wouldn't have the record (albeit mediocre) that we have if it weren't for Scotty. We suffer when he's off the floor.

BTW, after reading the first two sentences of your post, I didn't bother to read the rest of it (for obvious reasons), so don't be offended if I didn't address anything you may have brought up.

Chris4Vols22 writes:

in response to BigVolinCarolina:

I tend to agree with you, BigBad, except that atleast Steven Pearl busts his tail on defense and dives for loose balls. Granted, on offense he doesn't really bring much, but if every player gave his effort on defense it probably would have resulted in us winning an extra 3-4 games this season.

I agree. I'm more bothered by Skylar getting the minutes than Steven. However, I think Steven has an attitude problem. He displays no respect for opponents or officials when he's on the court. In my opinion, it's kind of ironic that he has this issue, being a coach's son.

rclarkvols#224537 writes:

in response to steph3474:

This team has no leadership on or off the floor. CBP is too worried (rightly so) about whether or not he will have a job next basketball season. Scotty Hopson is the biggest waste of God given talent I've ever seen. He has plenty of talent, but very little heart and apparently even less basketball intelligence.

This is a .500 SEC team at best. Their early wins against Pitt and Villanova may get them into the NCAA's, but they won't last long in the tournament with a point guard who is almost nonexistent and a bunch of other guys playing to stroke their own egos, not to mention a very distracted coach.

One bright spot is Tobias Harris. He does his job and will be a good leader, but to ask a freshman to be a leader on the floor is a bit much.

He does his job on offense. He doesn't guard or rebound well at all. Watch him on defense the next game.
We will still have a 20 win season and make the NCAA tournament where I will like our chances based on the schedule we've played.

rockytopatl writes:

in response to callforlogic2:

Coach Pearl should take a hard look at the tape of the UConn game, focusing on Hopson. His lack of effort is a disgrace. It has an effect on other players and team chemistry when one player is not focusing on defense, commits unforced turnovers, and stand around instead of moving to get open. Obviously, Hopson is loaded with talent, but he had become the cancer on this team. We could be better with him on the bench.

Agreed. At least after a stupid, unforced error. Sit him down and maybe he'll quit f'ing up. He can't dribble and he plays indifferent defense. And he shows up about every third game.

rockytopatl writes:

in response to ScubaTurks:

You are kidding, right ? I have stayed away from this, as all these guys are kids, albeit with perks. I often am bothered by the way comments tend to be too personal regarding these boys. That said - Scotty Hopson does this team ZERO GOOD. Were he to go down tomorrow, we would lose little, other than to give a 'Weezy' type a chace to step up to lead. I was in Hartford Saturday. Much seen in person while TV is away. If the players and coaches had been able to marshal their energy toward a collective team, we could have won. Instead, you see Hopson make bonehead moves (the worst of which was driving to score with more than ten seconds on the clock at the end of the first half, helping to make what should have been a 4 point lead to a 1 point deficit - despite the entire bench screaming instructions to the contrary of what he was doing) So, we start the second half, and things were the same. Without reciting specific instances that caused the counsel, I saw Brian (twice) Skylar, Steven, CTJ, and SwiperBoy all try to 'comfort' Scotty either by hugging, arm around the shoulder, chest bump, and in the case of Steve, physically restraining #32 from entering a huddle when CBP was FORCED to call TO because Scotty was out of position AFTER a TV timeout. As General Neyland once said, "half way thru the season. you pretty much know what you got". Lets stop the excuses. I am neither qualified, nor wish to say "what we gotta do it ..this". What I will tell you is that whether it is the excuse making ("well, he didn't play well in the SEC Nashville tourney because he was 'too close to home', the fact is that his teammates and coaches spend more energy keeping him upright, than pushing themselves. It is no secret - noone watching this team over the past few years could possibly think differently. I wish him no ill will, but Scotty is at BEST and OVC first team all conference. This league, and our team are tougher, more intense, and have more to play for than making sure this petulant little kid doesn't take his toys and 'show his movie theater frown', and take it, and this team, back to Hopkinsville.

Unlike some with limited attention spans, I read your entire post, which was excellent by the way, and I agree.

If Pearl wants to regain control over this team, he has to get Scotty's attention. If it is by sitting his posterior on the pines, so be it.

eduardo writes:

Best thing for this team is to get this yr over with and look forward to next!!! Just dont like the makeup of this bunch, just not tough minded enough to win at a consistent level. Just not!

Ironcity writes:

in response to Chris4Vols22:

I agree. I'm more bothered by Skylar getting the minutes than Steven. However, I think Steven has an attitude problem. He displays no respect for opponents or officials when he's on the court. In my opinion, it's kind of ironic that he has this issue, being a coach's son.

What?

Ironcity writes:

in response to steph3474:

This team has no leadership on or off the floor. CBP is too worried (rightly so) about whether or not he will have a job next basketball season. Scotty Hopson is the biggest waste of God given talent I've ever seen. He has plenty of talent, but very little heart and apparently even less basketball intelligence.

This is a .500 SEC team at best. Their early wins against Pitt and Villanova may get them into the NCAA's, but they won't last long in the tournament with a point guard who is almost nonexistent and a bunch of other guys playing to stroke their own egos, not to mention a very distracted coach.

One bright spot is Tobias Harris. He does his job and will be a good leader, but to ask a freshman to be a leader on the floor is a bit much.

You are partially right. The point position is a huge problem. The passing on this team as a whole is the worst its been in the Pearl era. We never get easy baskets and it makes our offense look dosjointed all the time. Players stop moving because no matter what you do or how open you get, your not going to get the ball from our guards unless you are standing 25ft from the basket or they are are trapped.

I think coach has asked to much of Hopson to play him at the two. He is a small forward. He doesn't handle the ball well enough nor is he quick enough to play the two. I would like to see the team get an extra guard on the floor and let Scotty play his natural position. If he must play the two then lets post him up where he will have a decided height advantage.

BleedsOrangeinMO writes:

in response to Chris4Vols22:

This team can attribute most of their wins to Hopson. We wouldn't have the record (albeit mediocre) that we have if it weren't for Scotty. We suffer when he's off the floor.

BTW, after reading the first two sentences of your post, I didn't bother to read the rest of it (for obvious reasons), so don't be offended if I didn't address anything you may have brought up.

You are right this team would not have the record it has without Hopson. I say we would be better. Here's why. Most everyone on the team is waiting on Hopson to "step up" and many plays are called for Hopson. However the first time he misses he gets a funny look on his face and that pretty it. If he misses two out of three then his energy is gone and so is his game. Watch his body language. I think its past time he sits and that way everyone knows they cannot "wait on Hopson" he just is not a leader at this time. While everyone is waiting we fall behind. Some of you will say that without him we don't beat Pitt and Nova; perhaps but I believe we would have a better team and not a bunch of guys waiting for something to happen. As for Steven Pearl, in the last game he made back to back steals and scored!!!! Whether you want to admit it or not he does a lot of the dirty work - - defending against bigger players than himself most of the time. I don't see where some of you say that he has no respect for other players, etc would you knowing that you get to go in and do the dirty work while one of the "stars" gets a rest? Apparently in practice he plays better defense than some of the other players who sit otherwise they would be out there. Where's Swipper Boy? He can't guard a one legged man. Trae Golden why hasn't he been on the floor? Currently, he's out for having a potty mouth which tells me he may also have an attitude problem. And please don't call me names some of you. This board is a place for each of us to state our opinions, you may disagree but your opinion is no better or worse than mine. Bottom line . . . I believe this team has some skeletons in the closet and I'm NOT talking about CBP. Something just isn't right. Perhaps if we had another "event" like last January; the remaining members of the team would have to step up. Like the walk-ons did last year.

Orangeblood13 writes:

in response to ScubaTurks:

You are kidding, right ? I have stayed away from this, as all these guys are kids, albeit with perks. I often am bothered by the way comments tend to be too personal regarding these boys. That said - Scotty Hopson does this team ZERO GOOD. Were he to go down tomorrow, we would lose little, other than to give a 'Weezy' type a chace to step up to lead. I was in Hartford Saturday. Much seen in person while TV is away. If the players and coaches had been able to marshal their energy toward a collective team, we could have won. Instead, you see Hopson make bonehead moves (the worst of which was driving to score with more than ten seconds on the clock at the end of the first half, helping to make what should have been a 4 point lead to a 1 point deficit - despite the entire bench screaming instructions to the contrary of what he was doing) So, we start the second half, and things were the same. Without reciting specific instances that caused the counsel, I saw Brian (twice) Skylar, Steven, CTJ, and SwiperBoy all try to 'comfort' Scotty either by hugging, arm around the shoulder, chest bump, and in the case of Steve, physically restraining #32 from entering a huddle when CBP was FORCED to call TO because Scotty was out of position AFTER a TV timeout. As General Neyland once said, "half way thru the season. you pretty much know what you got". Lets stop the excuses. I am neither qualified, nor wish to say "what we gotta do it ..this". What I will tell you is that whether it is the excuse making ("well, he didn't play well in the SEC Nashville tourney because he was 'too close to home', the fact is that his teammates and coaches spend more energy keeping him upright, than pushing themselves. It is no secret - noone watching this team over the past few years could possibly think differently. I wish him no ill will, but Scotty is at BEST and OVC first team all conference. This league, and our team are tougher, more intense, and have more to play for than making sure this petulant little kid doesn't take his toys and 'show his movie theater frown', and take it, and this team, back to Hopkinsville.

I think I saw you in the crowd, the guy next to you had a shirt on that said "I'm with stupid"

The wins and losses of this team aren't pinned on 1 Scotty Hopson, they are a plenty of excuses and reasons.

Get over yourself, please

kb7398#233189 writes:

in response to Chris4Vols22:

I hope there are rotation changes. Anyone with half a brain knows that Scotty should be playing more than 30 mins every game, and Skylar and Steven Pearl should be playing less than 5.

You say that...then when Skylar does well you applaud. Typical. Hopson is so inconsistent and yes he should play most of the game, but when he's stinkin' up the joint sit him until he figures it out.

shipperman#280095 writes:

in response to andforhisnexttune:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Vickie, your husband is not being rehired, anywhere. So get over it. Phil was fired for just cause, and Bruce should be fired as well. UT will regret not firing him when the NCAA gets done with us

richvol writes:

This dribbling and passing around the top of the key for 25 seconds is ruining any chance of developing an effective flow to your offense. Players are standing around waiting for Goins to start something instead of moving and working to get open. I don't get it...why waste two thirds of your allotted time to score? Then we end up scrambling to find a shot with 10 or so seconds left. This is stupid and very poor coaching to allow this and it takes place a lot...a lot.

We don't have adequate leadership on the floor because we don't have enough smart players with high basketball IQ's. Tobias is capable of it but he is only a freshman and some of our upperclassmen won't listen to him or the coach. There is an attitude problem and backtalk I have noticed during games.

Josh Bone should be playing...Tatum has been nonproductive and mistake prone.

tenecvol4 writes:

I know we got beat at Uconn- but we were competitive and with some breaks and a little more effort down the line we win-- the ESPN UT hater announcers were in true form and after the game reporting about the details at the end they say - and I quote -"Uconn was far and away the best team " I have to doubt that they were far and away better !

JohnnyD writes:

in response to ScubaTurks:

You are kidding, right ? I have stayed away from this, as all these guys are kids, albeit with perks. I often am bothered by the way comments tend to be too personal regarding these boys. That said - Scotty Hopson does this team ZERO GOOD. Were he to go down tomorrow, we would lose little, other than to give a 'Weezy' type a chace to step up to lead. I was in Hartford Saturday. Much seen in person while TV is away. If the players and coaches had been able to marshal their energy toward a collective team, we could have won. Instead, you see Hopson make bonehead moves (the worst of which was driving to score with more than ten seconds on the clock at the end of the first half, helping to make what should have been a 4 point lead to a 1 point deficit - despite the entire bench screaming instructions to the contrary of what he was doing) So, we start the second half, and things were the same. Without reciting specific instances that caused the counsel, I saw Brian (twice) Skylar, Steven, CTJ, and SwiperBoy all try to 'comfort' Scotty either by hugging, arm around the shoulder, chest bump, and in the case of Steve, physically restraining #32 from entering a huddle when CBP was FORCED to call TO because Scotty was out of position AFTER a TV timeout. As General Neyland once said, "half way thru the season. you pretty much know what you got". Lets stop the excuses. I am neither qualified, nor wish to say "what we gotta do it ..this". What I will tell you is that whether it is the excuse making ("well, he didn't play well in the SEC Nashville tourney because he was 'too close to home', the fact is that his teammates and coaches spend more energy keeping him upright, than pushing themselves. It is no secret - noone watching this team over the past few years could possibly think differently. I wish him no ill will, but Scotty is at BEST and OVC first team all conference. This league, and our team are tougher, more intense, and have more to play for than making sure this petulant little kid doesn't take his toys and 'show his movie theater frown', and take it, and this team, back to Hopkinsville.

Scuba- I agree with you 100%. Lack of effort on his part has killed this team 2 years in a row.

volfan2002 writes:

Playing on the road in the Big east is not the way to cure problems. We played ok, but fumble eitis of several good passes cost of several baskets. Then there was a career day for a 29 percent three point shooter. Best thing the team can do is forget this game and come out and win these next four SEC games all games they should have the talent to win.

thevoice writes:

in response to steph3474:

This team has no leadership on or off the floor. CBP is too worried (rightly so) about whether or not he will have a job next basketball season. Scotty Hopson is the biggest waste of God given talent I've ever seen. He has plenty of talent, but very little heart and apparently even less basketball intelligence.

This is a .500 SEC team at best. Their early wins against Pitt and Villanova may get them into the NCAA's, but they won't last long in the tournament with a point guard who is almost nonexistent and a bunch of other guys playing to stroke their own egos, not to mention a very distracted coach.

One bright spot is Tobias Harris. He does his job and will be a good leader, but to ask a freshman to be a leader on the floor is a bit much.

+1, sadly. Floor leadership and point guard play are the two biggest ingredients missing from this team. Save Harris, S Pearl, and McBee, we have a bunch of non-inteligent quasi thug players... always have under Pearl. Talent alone doesn't win games (see Scotty Hopson, JMac). Pearl's recruiting has been suspect at best, failing to get players who have smarts, leadership, and skill.

sheep writes:

in response to Chris4Vols22:

I hope there are rotation changes. Anyone with half a brain knows that Scotty should be playing more than 30 mins every game, and Skylar and Steven Pearl should be playing less than 5.

If Mcbee plays 5 minutes a game at vanderbilt and Georgia, we lose. It seems to me everyone wants to blame these two players for everything. Pearl scored 4 points in the UCONN game, not to mention that two of Skylar's shots were blocked, and when he could have forced a shot he didnt unlike the rest of these individuals. The fact is that Scottie cant dribble, and does not play D. Melvin Goins tried to do everything by himself, and only throws the ball to his friends(1 Assist in the last 2 games)and especially not to Mcbee and Tatum has been invisible in the last 3 games. Pearl is a distraction, and it looks that the players are playing better for Tony Jones, Mcrae has been a liability and lockeroom cancer since he has been at UT. Get your facts straight, and assign blame where it belongs.
BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA Quit whining says the Sheep.

pj_ladyvolnMI writes:

I'm just glad we're half-way through the suspension. Hopefully the broadcasters will calm down after that. (Though we'll probably hear, "Pearl's first game back...second game back from...let me tell you what happened...")

DroopyDrawers writes:

in response to Chris4Vols22:

I hope there are rotation changes. Anyone with half a brain knows that Scotty should be playing more than 30 mins every game, and Skylar and Steven Pearl should be playing less than 5.

You have a half of a brain. Scotty turned it over 5 times Saturday. Steven Pearl is the best defensive player and plays hard, hard, hard.

As for Sylar, you are right, if he hot, let him play, if not yank him.

usnavyvolfaninva_still_getting_paid writes:

in response to tenecvol4:

I know we got beat at Uconn- but we were competitive and with some breaks and a little more effort down the line we win-- the ESPN UT hater announcers were in true form and after the game reporting about the details at the end they say - and I quote -"Uconn was far and away the best team " I have to doubt that they were far and away better !

Um... the game was on CBS.

UT just made to many mistakes, and Hopson's ball-handling (or lack thereof) didn't help. That being said, no loss can ever be put on the back of just one guy.

usnavyvolfaninva_still_getting_paid writes:

in response to WEAREBETTERTHANVANDY:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Much like the implosion against UGA and Vandy, right?

Really, you need to find something better to do at 4:45 in the morning.

usnavyvolfaninva_still_getting_paid writes:

in response to pj_ladyvolnMI:

I'm just glad we're half-way through the suspension. Hopefully the broadcasters will calm down after that. (Though we'll probably hear, "Pearl's first game back...second game back from...let me tell you what happened...")

LOL...and even if he resigns/is fired, we'll here about it for another 6 months.

tenecvol4 writes:

in response to usnavyvolfaninva_still_getting_paid:

Um... the game was on CBS.

UT just made to many mistakes, and Hopson's ball-handling (or lack thereof) didn't help. That being said, no loss can ever be put on the back of just one guy.

Yes the game was on CBS but the analysis of the game I was watching was on ESPN after the game - Im here in the wasteland of ACC country and we didnt get the game - thats not unusual -- 4 times this year on FSS I looked up the menu - saw UT girls playing so and so -- changed my schedule to sit down and watch Lady Vols only to see Charlotte Bobcats instead - grrrrrr

orangecountyvols writes:

Orangeblood,

I tend to agree with you here. Scuby doo implies that these are just kids, and we rip into them a lot.
Then, next line of thought leads into ripping Hopson forever himself.

But yes, the momentum change jumped out at us with the 8 point swing before the half. U Conn was draining uncontested 3's.........yet we had the lead with the ball. At the worst, we had a 2 point halftime lead. However, the 2 theatrics at the end of the half were sort of predictable. Mishandling the last few seconds gave U Conn and Walker the chance for his highlight buzzer beating 3 and the 5 point play.

This in a way reminds me of the UNC game.........we are never safe when the ball's in the other guy's hands, regardless of how little time is left in a game ( or a half. )

Chris4Vols22 writes:

in response to kb7398#233189:

You say that...then when Skylar does well you applaud. Typical. Hopson is so inconsistent and yes he should play most of the game, but when he's stinkin' up the joint sit him until he figures it out.

I hate Skylar with a passion. I don't applaud when he goes 1-4 and 3 personal fouls in 7 minutes, like he usually does.

Chris4Vols22 writes:

in response to sheep:

If Mcbee plays 5 minutes a game at vanderbilt and Georgia, we lose. It seems to me everyone wants to blame these two players for everything. Pearl scored 4 points in the UCONN game, not to mention that two of Skylar's shots were blocked, and when he could have forced a shot he didnt unlike the rest of these individuals. The fact is that Scottie cant dribble, and does not play D. Melvin Goins tried to do everything by himself, and only throws the ball to his friends(1 Assist in the last 2 games)and especially not to Mcbee and Tatum has been invisible in the last 3 games. Pearl is a distraction, and it looks that the players are playing better for Tony Jones, Mcrae has been a liability and lockeroom cancer since he has been at UT. Get your facts straight, and assign blame where it belongs.
BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA Quit whining says the Sheep.

What facts? I expressed my opinion. Take a look at any successful bball team and see how many minutes their best player is averaging. It's probably going to be more than 28.

I doubt we would have struggled at the UGA and Vandy games if we had more competent players getting McBee's and Pearl's minutes.

usnavyvolfaninva_still_getting_paid writes:

in response to tenecvol4:

Yes the game was on CBS but the analysis of the game I was watching was on ESPN after the game - Im here in the wasteland of ACC country and we didnt get the game - thats not unusual -- 4 times this year on FSS I looked up the menu - saw UT girls playing so and so -- changed my schedule to sit down and watch Lady Vols only to see Charlotte Bobcats instead - grrrrrr

HA! Ironic, since the ladies probably could beat the bobcats!

I live in Chesapeake, VA, so it's kind of weird that you aren't able to get the games, but I somehow can. This place bleeds ACC as well (VA Tech); anyway, sorry about the confusion. Someday ESPN will find someone else to devote countless hours of their broadcasting time to.

Ironcity writes:

in response to tenecvol4:

Yes the game was on CBS but the analysis of the game I was watching was on ESPN after the game - Im here in the wasteland of ACC country and we didnt get the game - thats not unusual -- 4 times this year on FSS I looked up the menu - saw UT girls playing so and so -- changed my schedule to sit down and watch Lady Vols only to see Charlotte Bobcats instead - grrrrrr

Some on here have touched on it but this is the dumbest bunch we have had that I can remember. When we our behind late in the game our point guard dribbles for ever and a day or if we have a 3 on two break he pulls it back out but with 20 seconds left before half he suddenly pushes the action in an effort to get an easy basket and give UConn the ball back. When your point guard doesn't understand how to run an offense it makes everyone look dumb, slow and lazy.

tovolny writes:

Williams needs to be more physical. He should be going up and power flushing and acting like he is 6'10" and not (kitty catty) footing around.

Hopson has vision problems. My friend once, all of a sudden, could not catch the ball, shoot the ball, dribble, or make good passes. After an eye exam, he was fitted with contacts and scored 32 points his first time out. He averaged 12 points the three games prior. Now, anytime I notice a player contending resolutely, I'm thinking eye sight. However, they probably do check their eyes often...I just don't know.

sheep writes:

in response to Chris4Vols22:

What facts? I expressed my opinion. Take a look at any successful bball team and see how many minutes their best player is averaging. It's probably going to be more than 28.

I doubt we would have struggled at the UGA and Vandy games if we had more competent players getting McBee's and Pearl's minutes.

Once again you failed to see the truth, Mcbee had 10 Against vandy with 3 assists, and 6 against Georgia with 2for 3 shooting. Pearl gave qualtiy minutes at Georgia and Uconn but you refuse to see that a White player can compete with the rest of these so called Athletes. Mcbee is forth on the team in three percentage and has many fewer attempts than the majority of the starters. As usual you have a bias and have not stated any facts. Even the comentators on the LOCKER ROOM show last night stated that we dont win with out Mcbee's minutes verses Georgia. You live in your own little world, must be a lonely place. Also Scottie dosent deserve more minutes if he is going to play like that.
BAAAAAAAAAAAA Once again the Sheep dropin knowledge on the ignorant.

TNVol71 writes:

The way UT got the lead against UConn was passing the ball until we got an open shot--either an open lane to the basket or an open jump shot. After we got the big(?) lead, they all started going one-on-one, stopped playing defense as a team, and dropped in their effort to go after rebounds and handle the basketball. This has been a theme for this team in almost every game this year. When we lose our defensive intensity, our whole game goes in the s#%@ can. This team has a lot of great potential, but it seems to dissipate into "watch what I can do" every game, and that is when we start losing points and sometimes the game. GBO!!

geraldodell#1377039 writes:

Just a little advice to Coach Pearl. Have Hopson and Fields have to catch a 14 lb medicine ball for one hour each day and 30 minutes before tip off on game day. I guarantee you they will have much better hands if they follow this procedure. Those two have the worst set of hands I have ever seen on a basketball court. The medicine ball will improve their ability to catch and hang onto the ball.

usnavyvolfaninva_still_getting_paid writes:

in response to Claudettevol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Easy, Claudette... I made the same mistake, he was talking about the postgame commentary.

usnavyvolfaninva_still_getting_paid writes:

in response to tovolny:

Williams needs to be more physical. He should be going up and power flushing and acting like he is 6'10" and not (kitty catty) footing around.

Hopson has vision problems. My friend once, all of a sudden, could not catch the ball, shoot the ball, dribble, or make good passes. After an eye exam, he was fitted with contacts and scored 32 points his first time out. He averaged 12 points the three games prior. Now, anytime I notice a player contending resolutely, I'm thinking eye sight. However, they probably do check their eyes often...I just don't know.

I think part of the problem w/ Williams is that he's afraid of picking up fouls. I've seen some pretty bogus fouls being called on him, and I know that has to be in the back of his mind.

As far as Hopson, that's an interesting theory. Although, if that's the case, why hasn't he brought it up before now? It'd be great if his problems handling the ball could be fixed that easily... just too much talent for him to be having the games he's had.

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