Hopson's gone, too

Hopson's gone, too

Tennessee's basketball program will be without a McDonald's All-American on its roster in 2011-12.

One day after 2010 McDonald's A-A Tobias Harris announced he will remain in the 2011 NBA Draft, 2008 McDonald's A-A Scotty Hopson confirmed that he also will take his chances with the June 23 pro draft.

A member of the UT coaching staff confirmed Hopson's decision.

Hopson, a 6-7 guard from University Heights High in Hopkinsville, Ky., averaged a team-high 17.0 points per game for the Vols last season. He shot 45.2 percent from the field and 37.6 percent from 3. He started 32 games, missing two with a sprained ankle.

Hopson is an above-average 3-point shooter who has an exceptional first step on drives to the basket. His problems always have been consistency and ball-handling. He tends to disappear in some games. Moreover, he committed 89 turnovers in 2010-11, compared to 41 assists.

Hopson and Harris can change their minds between now and midnight on Sunday but that appears highly unlikely.

The departure of Harris and Hopson, along with six 2010-11 seniors, leaves Tennessee with a seriously inexperienced roster for 2011-12.

The Vols return just three players who averaged double-digit minutes last season - Cameron Tatum at 25.2, Trae Golden at 13.3 and Skylar McBee at 12.6. Jeronne Maymon averaged 9.1 but played in just 14 of 34 games. Renaldo Woolridge averaged 9.0 but played in just eight games. Kenny Hall averaged 7.0 but played in just 25 games. Jordan McRae averaged 5.3 but played in just 10 games.

Based on the players already signed and the assumption that Chris Jones is headed for junior college, the Vols' Game 1 lineup projects to look something like this:

- Hall (6-9, 215) at center, backed by Maymon (6-7, 258)

- Maymon (6-7, 258) or Woolridge (6-9, 212) at power forward

- Tatum (6-6, 192) at small forward, backed by freshman Quinton Chievous (6-5, 195)

- McBee (6-3, 184) or McRae (6-6, 173) at shooting guard, backed by freshman Josh Richardson (6-5, 180)

- Golden (6-1, 207) at point guard, backed by freshman Wes Washpun (6-1, 165)

Another player who could figure in the 2011-12 playing rotation is Rob Murphy, a 6-7, 232-pound transfer from Lipscomb. He practiced with the Vols last season but was not eligible to play.

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