We study effects of the mean field in hot compressed nuclear matter in the context of the Vlasov Uehling-Uhlenbeck theory. The expansion of a spherical distribution at different temperatures is studied along with collisions of Nb+Nb and Au+Au at lab energies from 50 to 1050 MeV/nucleon. In both the expansion and the actual heavy ion collision simulation, a transition behavior is seen only at the lowest temperature (T<10 MeV) or bombarding energy (E=50 MeV/nucleon), where the attractive part of the mean field is able to bind the expanding matter. At the lowest energy one thus sees the formation of a central residue, whereas at higher bombarding energies there is complete disintegration of the centrally colliding nuclei. The spectrum of emitted nucleons is found to be much hotter than the kinetic energy spectrum of the central emitting region. The extracted temperature slope parameters are in agreement with recent data.