"I would say we have known each other three or four years. I met him my sophomore or junior year of high school playing in the summer," said Hopson, a University Heights graduate. "We have known each other. He is a good friend of mine." Obviously the two now compete against each other and could again Saturday if both teams win Southeastern Conference Tournament games here today.
Hopson is averaging 13.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 28 minutes per game for Tennessee while Miller averages 6.5 points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 22 minutes per game. However, Hopson says there's a reason Miller's numbers don't match his.
"From what I have seen, that team is so talented. He is playing his part and doing the best he can. He's knocking down shots and scoring good numbers at times. He is very productive and I think doing well. It's just that they have so many great players, he doesn't get a chance to have huge numbers," Hopson said. The Tennessee sophomore said next year Miller could emerge as a big-time scorer when UK likely loses John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Patrick Patterson and maybe Eric Bledsoe.
"From what I have seen, his game has grown so much. I know from high school that he will be a great player. When I played against him he was really good and I knew he would be good in college," Hopson said. "I think that if the guys projected to leave do leave, he will step up and have a lead role and be big part in their success next year. That would not surprise me at all."