Scotty Hopson aggression: Vols cruise past LSU, 75-53

Tennessee guard Cameron Tatum is fouled by LSU guard Aaron Dotson as he goes up for a basket at Thompson-Boling Arena Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011.  Tatum scored 13 points for the Vols during their 75-53 defeat of the Tigers.

Photo by Adam Brimer

Tennessee guard Cameron Tatum is fouled by LSU guard Aaron Dotson as he goes up for a basket at Thompson-Boling Arena Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011. Tatum scored 13 points for the Vols during their 75-53 defeat of the Tigers.

Scotty Hopson let his play do the talking after not meeting with the media in the days leading up to Wednesday’s game against LSU.

The message was loud and clear.

“I had to come out with aggression,’’ Hopson said, “and do the things I know I can do.’’

Hopson scored 17 of his SEC career-high 22 points in the first half as Tennessee ran away from LSU for a 75-53 men’s basketball victory before a crowd of 18,991 at Thompson-Boling Arena.

UT associate head coach Tony Jones was at the helm as coach Bruce Pearl served the fifth game of his eight-game SEC suspension.

The Vols didn’t miss a beat, improving to 13-7 and 3-2 in the SEC with their third consecutive league win.

“We know Scotty is a very capable player; we don’t win some of the big games we’ve won without him having this type of performance,’’ Jones said. “In some instances he hasn’t played like this. The key thing is to keep his focus and keep his aggressiveness, and tonight he got us off to a great start.’’

Tennessee raced out to a 43-27 lead at the half and LSU (10-10, 2-3) didn’t draw closer than 13 the rest of the game.

Tobias Harris recorded a double-double, his sixth of the season, with 11 points and 11 rebounds for Tennessee. Cameron Tatum (13 points) and Melvin Goins (11) also scored in double figures. Center John Fields only scored two points, but he set his UT career high with five blocked shots.

But as Pearl has said throughout the season, as Hopson goes, so go the Vols.

That pressure led Hopson to change things up and decline interview requests for the first time in his career.

After his five-turnover performance in the Vols’ 72-61 loss at No. 5 Connecticut last Saturday, the junior felt he needed to regroup and didn’t want any distractions.

“I had to get my focus back,’’ said Hopson, who was 9-of-14 shooting with six rebounds and no turnovers. “There really wasn’t a lot I could say.

“That loss at Connecticut was on me; it was a lack of focus, a lack of effort, and I’m accountable for it.’’

Pearl saw to it that Hopson got plenty of work in the days leading up to the game with LSU.

In Tuesday’s scrimmage, Hopson made 16 of 18 shots and was 8-of-10 shooting beyond the arc.

Tony Jones on the Vols' win over LSU

“When Coach Pearl comes at the team, and comes at me, it gets us all fired up,’’ Hopson said. “He said if we don’t play hard and get the win, we were going to have to run. We didn’t want to do that.’’

And Hopson didn’t want to let his mother down, either.

Janette Hopson was back in attendance at a UT game for the first time since the Vols’ opening exhibition game. A back issue had prevented her from making it to any of the other games.

“That was big for me,’’ Hopson said. “You know I wanted to show out for Mom.’’

The whole team put on a worthy performance, crisply moving the ball around the perimeter against LSU’s 2-3 zone, recording 20 assists with a season-low seven turnovers.

“We were just focused on our game plan, and we knew we’d see that zone,’’ said Goins, who matched his career high with six assists. “Our shooters were knocking down shots on the perimeter, and we were able to get it into the high post and good things happened.’’

The Vols return to action at 4 p.m. Saturday (TV: WVLT) at Ole Miss. UT is 0-2 in Oxford, Miss., in Pearl’s five-plus seasons as coach.

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Comments » 106

TopTenn writes:

Good job. Beat Ole Miss, GBO!

troubleinc writes:

in response to AlvinToles:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I agree Alvin (... and your screen name is a blast from the past, hadn't thought about that great linebacker in a long time.)

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

Good job by the Vols but not by Mike Griffith.
I thought his reporting 12-8 for our record was wrong, so went to UTSports.Com to recheck..........and yes, we are 13-7. Not a huge thing but you'd think a reporter would know the record.

VOLUNTEER_FEAR writes:

Best game I have seen TN lay against a 2-3 zone and also only seven turn overs . Best all around game this year and played as a team and executed well.

skyhawk836 writes:

Do we have to pay to get UT's correct record in an article?

PUL4VOLS writes:

YES, a great win and we need all the wins we can get against SEC west teams. I hope this is the start of something good ongoing. Not excited to see we have not beaten Ole Miss in Oxford during Pearl days but we can do it. Go Big Orange!

thevoice writes:

Way to go Vols. Keep it going!!!

skyhawk836 writes:

That was "tongue in cheek" as I do like Mike Griffith and think he does a good job and is overall positive.

lomas98 writes:

LSU not very good, but they played zone the whole game and we actually executed against it. Great ball movement to get open shots and not a lot of standing around. The good Scotty Hopson showed up again tonight. He has played really well in 3 straight conference games. Hopefully he will make it a 4th on Saturday.

BigVolinCarolina writes:

Good job, Tennessee!

Now, if we can just get some momentum from this win to carry-over to the next game, and the next game, and....you get the idea.

Go Vols!

dmore writes:

Bruce pearl did a good job preparing the team, and Tony Jones and staff did a outstanding job executing the game plan.

Go VOLS!!

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to Claudettevol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

"Sweetie"

Nothing matters to you except carrying the banner of a pest proudly.

vols1990 writes:

in response to Claudettevol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

if you don't care about the team or university why don't you stop wasting space on here.

abnerPeabody writes:

in response to Claudettevol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Just wandering Claudette,do you even like yourself. You don't have to like the Vols.You can always watch another team.There is something you do have to do,and that is live with yourself. I bet you have a hard time doing that.I actually feel for your husband for having to live with you and your attitude.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to Claudettevol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

lol...lol...lol!!? I hope we continue to win with whoever coaches! Plus I hope we win when we actually play against a defense! You trolls!! So funny!

skyhawk836 writes:

in response to Claudettevol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That would be you.

The type of person that provokes others and then makes a victim of himself when they hammer him could really use some counseling.

VOLtage writes:

Nice win but come on any 5 folks from Hillcrest Nursing Home could beat that LSU team.

eduardo writes:

Will take it!!!

DebKY writes:

Great game Scotty and the rest of the Vols!
Baby Pearl 16 minutes, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 1 foul, and 0-3 scoring!
GO VOLS!!!!!!!!!!!!

OrangePride writes:

in response to Claudettevol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Oh my goodness!! Now didn't you hear President Obama ask for a more "civil discourse" in this country? And then here you come right off the bat with a naughty, nasty, inflamatory comment about someone?!! OK.....now you get a time-out and go sit in the corner and count to 10. And you don't come off punishment til you are ready to apologize to the adults in the room!!! Shame on you!!!

Halls3 writes:

The Vols did what they were supposed to do. Beat a bad SEC West team. It still doesn't matter though because Florida & Kentucky are still the teams to beat.

OrangePride writes:

in response to Halls3:

The Vols did what they were supposed to do. Beat a bad SEC West team. It still doesn't matter though because Florida & Kentucky are still the teams to beat.

Wouldn't count out Georgia, either. Florida only beat them on the hail Mary, luckiest duck trey of the year.

thetrollhunter writes:

in response to Claudettevol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

When your kids (god forbid you ever have any) ask you what you used to do for fun, I hope you say "I used to spend my time trolling a sports website, it was hilarious!"

Maybe the incredible amount of shame and embarrassment they will have will make you realize how much of a waste your life is.

Probably not though.

Oh, and Go Vols.

everydayisorange writes:

Good overall game-plan and game! There is still some work to do but I am happy with the effort and win! Glad to see the trolls are out, that means they are worried especially with CBP only 3 games away from his return! I know that will make sissy-boy claudette a happy little girl!

thetrollhunter writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

what does that make Vandy? ha ha ha

everydayisorange writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Another troll to support my theory! GBO!!!

VolunteerLifer writes:

We've seen this before from Scotty, only to have the other Scotty show up for the next game. But I'll take this one and be glad the good Scotty showed up. At Ole Miss, if the other Scotty shows up, the rest of the guys will have to take over and cover it. They have to learn that they can do the things necessary to win even if good Scotty doesn't show up.

KNSsports (staff) writes:

Story - and record - has been updated.

osbymartin#581730 writes:

in response to DebKY:

Great game Scotty and the rest of the Vols!
Baby Pearl 16 minutes, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 1 foul, and 0-3 scoring!
GO VOLS!!!!!!!!!!!!

The biggest most important stat for "Baby Pearl" is that UT is 9-0 when he plays at least 15 mins as stated during the game.

VOLKING writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Ha! A Vandy fan heckling a UT team...that's a good one. That's like the French Foreign Legion heckling the United States Marines. Oh, Vandygrad, you kill me! LOL

Halls3 writes:

in response to OrangePride:

Wouldn't count out Georgia, either. Florida only beat them on the hail Mary, luckiest duck trey of the year.

I don't believe UGA is gonna be a factor. They have dropped to home SEC games already. They still have to go to UT & to UF & will probably lose both.

Volfan1 writes:

in response to KNSsports:

Story - and record - has been updated.

How about updating and upchucking the GVX247 pay fiasco? It's ridiculous.

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

This I know is a bit off topic, but I just wanted to point out something the KNS used to do. Would you believe they used to print our comments in the paper?
I came across a 1996 sports section I saved after a big Vols game and the Fri night game with D-B and Oak Ridge. Anyway, Vol fans were letting everyone know about Finebaum and the News Sentinel printed their comments and said "more were to follow." Just wanted to say once upon a time the KNS did in fact voice our concerns openly, and to give them a little credit here.
Back to topic, LSU threw the zone at us basically holding the score down. Just take them one at a time and we'll see what happens.

born2ride writes:

LSU isn't very good. They got best by Memphis.

vol_4_fan writes:

in response to DebKY:

Great game Scotty and the rest of the Vols!
Baby Pearl 16 minutes, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 1 foul, and 0-3 scoring!
GO VOLS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Stat on the TV tonight: SPearl played 15 min the first 8 games, we were 8-0. He has averaged 5 min in last 11 before tonight, we were 5-7. Winning is what matters & the proof is we win with SP in the rotation with good min. Go Vols!

DebKY writes:

in response to osbymartin#581730:

The biggest most important stat for "Baby Pearl" is that UT is 9-0 when he plays at least 15 mins as stated during the game.

Baby Pearl is the most nontalented player I have ever watched playing for a division 1 school. I don't know of any university that would allow him to even warm their bench.
Tennessee has a rough road ahead and if they want to stand a chance of winning, the continuous rotation has to stop!
As ESPN stated earlier today, along with numerous other sources stating the same fact, Pearl plays toooooooo many players!!

everydayisorange writes:

in response to DebKY:

Baby Pearl is the most nontalented player I have ever watched playing for a division 1 school. I don't know of any university that would allow him to even warm their bench.
Tennessee has a rough road ahead and if they want to stand a chance of winning, the continuous rotation has to stop!
As ESPN stated earlier today, along with numerous other sources stating the same fact, Pearl plays toooooooo many players!!

Apparently, you can't read! UT 9 and 0 when little Pearl plays 15 minutes or more. Enuf already! GBO!!!

DoolanderVol (Inactive) writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You are still talking after that embarrassing meltdown by Vandy a couple of weeks ago? What's your excuse for that loss? I would love to hear it.

acworthdave writes:

It is funny how you "experts" love to slam Steve Pearl but the guys on the telecast who watch more basketball live in one season than everyone on here combined in thier lifetimes think he is a pretty intregal part of the team. I don't always agree with those guys but I think they are spot on in this case. His presence on the floor increases the intensity on D. He hustles every play and busts his butt for loose balls. You don't see the guy he guards score very often. He knows his limitations on offense so you don't have to worry about him throwing up 3's ten seconds into the shot clock. I truly believe that he would be a crowd favorite if he had a different name on his jersey. There are many issues on this team to nitpick...the play of SP is not one of them.

BTW...the stat tonight says it all. More SP = More wins. I know that hurts for you haters to see that but the truth is like that sometimes.

senatorgip#470888 writes:

in response to Claudettevol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

What a smart a you are ! You have nothing to offer but to try and stir Vols fans up. I also feel sorry for whoever you live with. Get a life ! This is a sports blog, not a classroom.
By your attitude it sounds to me like you need the anger management class.

senatorgip#470888 writes:

in response to everydayisorange:

Apparently, you can't read! UT 9 and 0 when little Pearl plays 15 minutes or more. Enuf already! GBO!!!

Thank You ! Great Comment ! Come on fans, whenever you make fun of Steven Pearl it makes it look as if you don't understand the game of basketball. Steven Pearl has been a real asset to UT during the last 2 years. The other night he make 2 big baskets, couple of steals and assists. He is a team player and a good one. I really wish you guys would give this young man a break. It really makes you look bad, not him.

UTbassdrummer writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Seriously, Vandy. Die in a fire.

TennVol01 writes:

"Scotty Hopson let his play do the talking"

Scotty, why did you not do this against UConn? Can you only play if someone insults you? Does the coach have to kick your behind to get you to play? Come on Man...the pro scouts are watching those big games, not LSU. Give it all from now on and your fans will return. Keep playing yo-yo ball and you may not qualify for Europe.

TennVol01 writes:

in response to AlvinToles:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Alvin, calm down. It is just business. You can choose to participate or you can use Google and get the info for free elsewhere. Buck up. There is enough stress in our world.

usnavyvolfaninva_still_getting_paid writes:

in response to Halls3:

The Vols did what they were supposed to do. Beat a bad SEC West team. It still doesn't matter though because Florida & Kentucky are still the teams to beat.

Yes, they did what they were supposed to do...so what's the problem? Seems like they're on the mend, so I for one am quite anxious to see them against FL and UK. This team CAN beat anybody on its schedule.. it's just a matter of whether they choose to play as a team or not. i hope we see more of this side of Hopson for the rest of the season.

usnavyvolfaninva_still_getting_paid writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEAR:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Vols are now 11-1 when Scotty scores at least 10 points. As he goes, so go the Vols. Hopefully he realizes this and we'll see more of last night's performance from here on out.

usnavyvolfaninva_still_getting_paid writes:

in response to UTbassdrummer:

Seriously, Vandy. Die in a fire.

Couldn't have said it better myself.

gillblog writes:

in response to DebKY:

Baby Pearl is the most nontalented player I have ever watched playing for a division 1 school. I don't know of any university that would allow him to even warm their bench.
Tennessee has a rough road ahead and if they want to stand a chance of winning, the continuous rotation has to stop!
As ESPN stated earlier today, along with numerous other sources stating the same fact, Pearl plays toooooooo many players!!

"Talent" comes in many forms. Effort, drive, and dedication are expressions of psychological "talent". Hopkins has all kinds of physical talent, but he lacks the psych talent.

You will probably never see a more 'talented' player in college bb than Steven Pearl.

NO_DIGGITY writes:

in response to gillblog:

"Talent" comes in many forms. Effort, drive, and dedication are expressions of psychological "talent". Hopkins has all kinds of physical talent, but he lacks the psych talent.

You will probably never see a more 'talented' player in college bb than Steven Pearl.

Who is this Hopkins dude you speak of? I think in a veiled way you just called him emotionally ignorant.

TennVol01 writes:

I wish BP would pick his best top seven players and let them play the full game ... or until we have a 20 point lead. That is what all the top ten teams do.

UT is on TV during every game. With all the TV timeouts and the regular timeouts ... halftime ... plus standing around during foul shots ... there is plenty of time for these top seven to rest. Playing our top seven should give us a 20 point lead in any game by mid second half.

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