Chest-bumped to the front from the FanPosts, bobo_the_vol-style. I don't know Nash Armstrong, and normally I wouldn't want to call him out, but from all indications that is exactly what he wanted. Shoot, he even got GVX to mention the thing in this article and to ask Scotty Hopson himself what he thought about it. So, Mr. Armstrong, is this what you asked for?
And this I mean with the utmost honesty, if you'll forgive me for only taking one article into account: this one. The article is one published by a certain "Nash Armstrong" who I can only assume is a "journalist" at the University of Tennessee, working for the Daily Beacon. His second most recent article? One explaining why Ohio never should have played Georgetown: because Georgetown is better. Apparently getting rid of automatic bids would fix the NCAA Tournament. Who knew it'd be that easy?!
Anyways, let's take a look at some of the "highlights" of this article, shall we?
Sophomore guard Scotty Hopson, despite having 17 points in the victory versus Ohio, is playing mediocre at best. While his final stat sheets may tell a different tale, the high school McDonald’s All-American is hardly living up to that title.
It is the things that do not show up on the bottom lines that Hopson is lacking. If he is not shooting well, Hopson’s attitude becomes one of laziness, not hustling after loose balls, not defending the way he can and only looking to end a (usually large) streak of field-goal misses.
According to statsheet.com, Scotty played 24 minutes in the win against Ohio -- the same number as JP and B-Will and behind only Bobby and Wayne. Now then, we know plenty well how good a job Scotty and Company did on the guards for Ohio: Basset and Cooper combined to score 23 points, 4-14 from beyond the arc and 11 turnovers. They were both -15 in plus/minus -- obvious, given the minutes they played (Here's a hint: 40).
On the other side, guess which Vol had the best plus/minus rating out there on the floor? (Here's another hint: 32). Yes, Scotty Hopson had the best plus/minus rating out there for the Vols at +20, and a +25 RR. Bobby Maze was second with +17 / +19 RR, to give comparison.
When watching Hopson during first- and second-round action, he lacked intensity, hustle and what seemed to be an overall lack of desire to play until the final minutes of Saturday’s victory.
Food for thought: Scotty scored 10 points before the "final minutes" of Saturday's victory, extending Tennessee's lead to 59-49 at 9:28 left with a dunk. If one really wants to be picky, the game was statistically over with 2:06 left to go in the game; Scotty Hopson had 15 points before that mark. Really, I thought the guy who didn't play with a lot of intensity in that game was Melvin Goins, and I have the stats to prove it: he had a -2 plus/minus (which was tied for second worst on the team, actually!). Now, I don't think Melvin didn't play with intensity: I know that at this point our guys always bring it; Melvin just had a tough game which is completely forgivable after his explosion against SDSU.
To those playing the home version, this is not meant to belittle Hopson, not even to trash him, but to ask him, not as a journalist, but as a diehard Volunteer fan, to bring his A-game to St. Louis. Tennessee is ready to move from not simply a perennial top 25 team but a national powerhouse.
So, I don't mean to belittle him but he's playing like a
woman kid. He's not showing that he wants to win, but I'm not trying to talk bad about him. One can't trash a player and then think they are off the hook just by adding "Oh but I'm not trashing him" at the end; perhaps, though, this was some stupid attempt to stave off the comments that would come back to him. "Hey, don't get mad at me!! I wasn't criticizing him!" I imagine Nash Armstrong might say.
Look, if you want to be a "fan" post in a [FULMERIZED] blog. Chat with your crew. But don't publish something in the school's newspaper about how a fellow student is sucking and then try to say you're just another fan. You are not another fan, another fan would have been thrilled that Hopson shot 2-3 from beyond the arc and is looking amazingly confident and is beginning to back up his play with that swagger once again. A fan would post an article praising Hopson and the 5 other scholarship players who fought to get Tennessee here after the New Years Day incidents as well as acknowledging the perfect attitude the three lost sheep have shown in returning to the flock.
The Vols will, however, need all hands on deck for 40 minutes, and this includes Hopson. He has the talent to be not just a high school superstar but an elite NCAA player.
To Hopson, I simply ask one thing:
Scotty Hopson is the leading scorer on a top 15 team inside the Sweet Sixteen and is only a Sophomore. He was final reason that we beat Florida on our home court, sinking a great shot right at the end. He delivered the dagger and momentum-changer to Kentucky, effectively sealing that game away and giving you -- yes you Nash Anderson -- a reason to celebrate as a fan. So if you'd like to criticize a man who was a key reason in us getting so far, do us all a favor and play with lead-based paint. Heaven knows you've done it enough. (Look, I can engage in senseless attacks as well, Nash Anderson!)
In all seriousness: Scotty, I love having a guy like you around the Program that I love so much. It's awesome and certainly at times awe-inspiring. This is one guy who's going to continue cheering you on no matter how tough the points are -- which, hopefully, they won't be -- because you made a decision to make your fame in Knoxville.
~ Bobo the Vol.