Tag:Scotty Hopson
Posted on: December 11, 2010 7:13 pm
Edited on: December 11, 2010 7:20 pm

UT's Hopson (finally) looking like a future pro

Brandon Jennings was the No. 1 prospect in Scout.com's Class of 2008 rankings.

Samardo Samuels was No. 2.

B.J. Mullens was No. 3.

The rest of the top 10 consisted of Jrue Holiday, Tyreke Evans, DeMar DeRozan, Greg Monroe, Devin Ebanks, Ed Davis and Scotty Hopson. What you might notice from that list is that every one of those guys except Hopson -- who was ranked sixth, right between DeRozan and Monroe -- has already played for an NBA franchise, which is evidence that Hopson didn't spend his first two years at Tennessee living up to expectations.

He spent Saturday doing it, though.

The 6-foot-7 guard took 13 shots, made 10 and finished with a career-high 27 points to help the 11th-ranked Vols to an 83-76 upset of No. 3 Pittsburgh. No, the game wasn't played on campus at the Peterson Events Center. But it was still in the city (at the new downtown home of the Penguins), and that means it was the Panthers' first non-league loss in Pittsburgh since January 2005 -- otherwise known as back when Bruce Pearl was coaching Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and long before every conversation about UT revolved around the NCAA investigation into its men's basketball program.

Honestly, that was the only bad thing about the win for Tennessee.

The Vols were so dominant from start to finish -- they led by 10 points eight minutes in, by 12 points at halftime and by 21 points midway through the second half -- that ESPN's Sean McDonough and Jay Bilas had plenty of time to drift away from the action on the court and discuss Pearl's acknowledged violations, which is never a good thing for Pearl. But it was a small price to pay for an overwhelming and resume-building win that will launch the Vols into the top five of the Top 25 (and one) when the rankings are updated late Sunday, and Hopson is a big reason why all this is happening.

He's been consistently good in Tennessee's past three games -- wins over Villanova, Middle Tennessee and Pittsburgh -- and made 21 of 33 field goal attempts while averaging 21.3 points. More impressively, he's just looked dominant. No blending in. No disappearing. Hopson is finally playing like the guy who belonged in the top 10 of the Class of 2008. And if he keeps this up, he'll join all those classmates in the NBA soon enough.
Posted on: April 13, 2010 11:51 am
Edited on: April 13, 2010 11:54 am

Source: Hopson returning to Tennessee

Tennessee sophomore Scotty Hopson will pass on the NBA Draft and return to school for his junior season, a source close to the program confirmed to CBSSports.com.

An official announcement could come later today.

Hopson averaged 12.2 points per game this season while leading UT to the Elite Eight. His return means the Vols will crack the preseason Top 25 (and one). They were left out of the rankings posted last week under the assumption Hopson would be gone.
Posted on: April 2, 2008 11:38 am

Lost in the Crean/Sutton developments ...

Tuesday was a crazy day.

First Sean Sutton was canned.

Then Tom Crean bolted for Indiana.

All the attention paid to those developments made me lose track of a few things I wanted to address here. But now I'm going to address them here because I'm in between radio interviews and have a few minutes to type.

Anyway ...

-- Hopson commits to Vols --

It was no surprise when Bruce Pearl expressed his desire to remain at Tennessee on Tuesday.

You would too if Scotty Hopson just committed to your school.

Hopson pledged his allegiance to the Vols on a Tuesday visit, meaning Pearl will now coach -- unless I'm forgetting somebody -- his first McDonald's All-American next season. The 6-foot-7 wing is a dynamic scorer, somebody who should be a starter from the outset and help offset the losses of Chris Lofton and JaJuan Smith. So this is a huge deal by any measuring stick -- a credit to the work of UT assistant Steve Forbes, who has been relentless in his approach to Hopson since the Kentucky native opted not to go ahead with his commitment to Mississippi State in the early signing period.

-- Western Kentucky is looking for a coach --

Hiring an assistant at a major program worked last time for Western Kentucky.

That's why it's likely the school will move similarly to replace Darrin Horn.

And the obvious choice is Texas assistant Ken McDonald.

McDonald worked at WKU from 1998-2003 and helped Dennis Felton lead the Hilltoppers to three NCAA tournament appearances before leaving with Felton to take over at Georgia. McDonald spent one year there and then joined Rick Barnes' staff at Texas, where he has assisted his boss in further establishing the Longhorns as one of the elite programs in the country.

Far as coaching searches go, this should be simple.

McDonald makes sense at WKU on a lot of levels.

He'd be good there.

-- There will be no Florida-Ohio State NIT final --

Ohio State beat Ole Miss in the NIT semifinals.

But Florida lost to UMass.

Consequently,  we will not have a Florida-Ohio State NIT title game this season, which will deny us a repeat of last year's NCAA tournament title game. And that's too bad. But Ohio State still has a chance to snag another runners-up trophy if it can manage a loss to UMass. So that's a reason to watch the championship, if you were looking for one.
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