KNOXVILLE — The Tennessee basketball program got news it had long expected Friday evening.
It was more of the same for the Volunteers on Saturday.
Guard Scotty Hopson elected to remain in the NBA draft and forgo his senior year with the Volunteers, according to a report by SportsNet New York.
“I’m staying,” the 6-foot-7, 200-pound Hopson said in an interview with SNY.tv, a cable television station based in New York City. “I’m a scorer; that’s what I do best. I’m a facilitator as well. I can make a lot of things on the basketball court happen.”
Freshman forward Tobias Harris announced his intention to stay in the draft on Friday, and both players’ decisions not to return to UT had been expected. Underclassmen have until midnight tonight to make a final choice on the June draft.
Hopson, who led the Vols in scoring with 17 points last season, worked out at an NBA combine held by a group of teams in New Jersey on Saturday. Unlike Harris, Hopson did not participate in individual workout sessions with the Vols under new coach Cuonzo Martin and his staff, and the former high school McDonald’s All-American said the firing of former UT coach Bruce Pearl was a factor in his choice.
“Obviously, me and Coach Pearl had a good relationship,” he said. “Me being there three years, we had a great bond. He was like a father figure to each and every one of us on that basketball team, so it did have some things playing within my decision.”
Chad Ford, ESPN’s draft expert, rates Hopson as his No. 43 player on his board. In its mock draft, Draft Express has Hopson going No. 55 of the 60 picks to Boston. NBADraft.net does not have Hopson on its mock draft.
Patrick Brown has been the University of Tennessee beat writer since January 2011. A native of Memphis, Brown graduated from UT in May of 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Electronic Media and worked at the Knoxville News Sentinel for two years on the sports editorial staff and as a freelance contributor. If it’s the NBA, the NFL or SEC football and basketball, he’s probably reading about it or watching it on TV. Contact him ...