Big night for Vols

Shed no tears for the Tennessee basketball program, despite the departure of 2007-08 scoring leaders Chris Lofton and JaJuan Smith.

Based on Monday night's action in the Pilot Rocky Top summer league, it appears the Vols may be able to generate some points without them.

Cameron Tatum, a 6-6 freshman wing who redshirted last season, scored 37 points for First Tennessee Bank in a 109-101 loss to Toyota of Knoxville.

Tyler Smith, a 6-7 junior forward, posted 32 points, 12 rebounds and 6 assists in leading HT Group past The News-Sentinel 123-76.

Josh Tabb, a 6-4 junior, scored 26 points for Richardson Construction in a 140-115 loss to Ray's ESG. The winners got 25 points from Vol freshman Scotty Hopson and 21 from 6-10 UT sophomore Brian Williams.

Like AAU basketball, summer league basketball is much more offensive than defensive. Still, the high-scoring performances by Tatum, Smith, Tabb, Hopson and Williams were noteworthy and encouraging for Big Orange fans.

Tatum, coming off minor knee surgery, sank 13 of 30 shots en route to his 37-point effort. Smith, scoring mostly on dunks and finger rolls, was considerably more efficient en route to his 32-point showing. Hopson hit 11 of 20 shots in his debut before the Knoxville fans.

In addition to the Vols listed above, junior college transfer Bobby Maze showed some offensive skills, flashing great speed en route to 14 points and 9 assists for Ray's ESG.

Meanwhile, two UT freshman signees struggled offensively. Point guard Daniel West consistently worked himself open for 3-pointers and 10-footers from the lane but routinely failed to finish. He wound up with just 6 points. Meanwhile, 6-11 freshman post Philip Jurick scored just 2 points on 1 of 2 shooting. He picked up three first-half fouls and never seemed to get in the flow of the game, although he grabbed 5 rebounds and blocked 6 shots.

The final member of Tennessee's incoming freshman class, 6-8 wing Renaldo Woolridge, did not participate in the Rocky Top League's opening night. He has not yet arrived in Knoxville.


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