A Tale Of Two Vols

A Tale Of Two Vols

Wayne Chism continues to burn up Nashville's Bridgestone Arena, while Tennessee teammate Scotty Hopson would like to burn it to the ground.

Chism muscled in 16 points and grabbed 15 rebounds Friday as the Vols beat Ole Miss 76-65 to make the SEC Tournament semifinals. It was his second double-double in as many days, coming on the heels of a 17-point, 11-rebound effort in Thursday's 59-49 defeat of LSU.

Whereas Chism has been brutal, Hopson has been futile. After going 0 of 8 from the field (0 of 4 from 3) en route to a 1-point outing on Thursday, he followed by going 2 of 11 (0 of 5 from 3) en route to a 6-point effort on Friday.

Hopson's futility shouldn't be surprising, given his history in the building. He was 1 of 7 (0 of 4 from 3) in a 2-point showing against Marquette at the arena - then known as The Sommet Center - as a freshman in December of 2008 and 0 of 3 (0 of 2 from 3) in a 1-point performance against Middle Tennessee at the venue in December of 2009.

His four-game stats at the facility show him 3 of 29 from the field and 0 of 15 from 3 with an average of 2.5 points per contest.

"It's tough for him because he's very close to home here," head coach Bruce Pearl said of Hopson, who grew up 65 miles north of Nashville in Hopkinsville, Ky. "Once you get to where you're not playing as well, then it becomes a mindset.

"I'm going to try to get him to focus on other aspects of the game - his defense, his rebounding - trying to take the pressure off of him from scoring. He clearly doesn't have confidence shooting the ball in this building, and that's something he's going to have another opportunity tomorrow to overcome."

Hopson played so poorly against Ole Miss that reserve Cameron Tatum got a lot of minutes at the shooting-guard spot. Tatum had no trouble finding the range at Bridgestone Arena, nailing his first four 3-point tries en route to 12 first-half points. He finished 4 of 6 from 3 and 5 of 8 overall, outscoring Hopson 15 points to 6.

"I think Cam did a terrific job," Pearl said. "Obviously, Ole Miss plays some zone and saw how much the zone bothered us against LSU; it really slowed us down. So Cameron coming in and making those shots - most of them, I believe, were against the zone - really opened things up for us on the inside."

Once Tatum opened up the inside, Chism took over the game. Tennessee's 6-9, 245-pound senior dominated Ole Miss' big men from start to finish. Although Tennessee was playing its second game in 24 hours, Chism didn't feel any fatigue, even after 36 minutes of jostling underneath the basket.

"No, I didn't," he said. "Down the stretch in these type of games you've really got to have a lot of energy. You've got to really make plays down the stretch (since) a lot of teams don't give up at the end because they know what's at stake.

"If you take a team lightly down the stretch it's going to be a bad thing. I really did some good things down the stretch to help us come out with a good win today."

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