What to look for

The Pilot Rocky Top summer basketball league opens tonight at Knoxville's Bearden High School Gym, with games scheduled at 6, 7:30 and 9.

Here are my predictions for opening night:


Cameron Tatum, the forgotten man of Tennessee hoops after redshirting as a freshman last winter, will make a splash, scoring 35 points for First Tennessee. It won't be enough, however, to offset a 30-point, 15-rebound effort from 6-9 Vol junior Wayne Chism as Toyota of Knoxville beats First Tennessee 87-81.

Jordan Howell, who ended the 2007-08 Vol season in the mother of all shooting slumps, will redeem himself by going 4 of 6 from 3-point range for First Tennessee. Former Vol Dane Bradshaw will produce 12 points, 8 rebounds, 10 assists and 6 steals for Toyota.


Scotty Hopson, the celebrated High School All-American who has UT fans drooling with anticipation, will make his Knoxville debut a memorable one – scoring 33 points in helping Ray's ESG dump Richardson Construction 81-71. Junior college transfer Bobby Maze, who projects to be the Vols' No. 1 point guard this season, will contribute 24 points and 11 assists.

Brian Williams, UT's 6-10, 270-pound sophomore center, will chip in 14 points and 14 rebounds for the winners. Tennessee's Josh Tabb will score 22 points to pace Richardson.


The one-on-one battle between current Vol Tyler Smith and former Vol Ron Slay – a pair of gifted 6-7 forwards – will steal the show in the opener between HT Group and The News-Sentinel. Smith will score 36 points and grab 17 rebounds. Slay will produce 31 points and 15 boards.

Incoming Vol freshman Daniel West will chip in 13 points and 11 assists for HT Group. Fellow rookies Philip Jurick (11 points, 9 rebounds) and Renaldo Woolridge (14 points) will play well for The News-Sentinel, as will former Vol Damon Johnson (18 points, 11 rebounds).

Moments after HT Group posts a 90-84 upset win, KNS sports editor John Adams will call for the resignation of the News-Sentinel team's coach.

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