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The 2008-09 Vols: Championship squad?

Does this face scream championship contender?

I was killing some time on the ole lunch break when I came across this article about freshman Samardo Samuels, a forward heading to play for the Filthy Cards of Louisville next year. Now, if an article hyping up Louisville’s Final Four buzz isn’t enough to make the freshly eaten chinese food start shooting back up the pipes, how about a quick mention of Scotty Hopson and Tennessee? Brendan Murphy, the author of this piece, includes notes down the side of the page about players who could be contributors on “teams with championship aspirations”. Who’s name do I find just below Georgetown’s Greg Monroe, UCLA’s Jrue Holiday and Arizona’s Brandon Jennings? Scotty Hopson. Now, I won’t take issue with Scotty Hopson being a good player or even that he will contribute heavily this year. I just question Murphy including Tennessee as a team who can actually consider winning a national championship as a feasible end to their season.  I’d pick an argument over Arizona too, but they aren’t in the SEC, so I’ll have to stick to the Vols.

Am I missing something? Tennessee is certainly a good team, but they weren’t a championship team last year, no matter what their fans might tell you. Then they lost the heart of the program (at least from my outsider perspective) in Chris Lofton and dismissed Ramar Smith and Duke Crews, which would lead me to believe that they didn’t get any closer to that championship. Maybe I’m reading too much into it and I should have had about 3 less egg rolls at lunch, but I just don’t see Tennessee being anything close to a team that can contend for a championship that doesn’t start with “SEC” – and that likely will be more difficult than it was this year.  It’s going to be a weak conference again overall, but you have to think the Cats and the Gators are going to bounce back in a big way, making things difficult for the Vols in their own conference. Oh well, I probably got worked up about this for no reason, but I should note that I am willing to retract this entire post if Scotty Hopson ends up playing for the women’s team.  Then, they could be  a threat.

Yeah, it’s a slow day…

Article written by Thomas Beisner