Going into the start of the 2019 basketball season, a big question surrounding this Tennessee basketball team was; outside of Jordan Bowden and Lamonte Turner, who was going to provide scoring to make up for the departure of the likes of Grant Williams, Admiral Schofield, and Jordan Bone.
Well, that question was answered the moment the season tipped off: Yves Pons.
The Frenchman has started the season off on a tear, scoring double digits in six of the team’s first eight games, including a career-high 19 points against Murray State, where he shot 8-10 from the field, and 3-4 from three. He also recorded his first career double-double against Florida State.
After seeing playing time in his first two seasons mostly for his athleticism and defense, Pons has completely reinvented his game, which has provided a huge boost for this team as it finds its identity early in the season.
Pons is putting up career highs across the board, averaging 12.6 points, which is a 10-point increase from last year, and 5.5 rebounds, on shooting splits of 53.7% percent from the field, 36% from three, and 80% from the free throw line. He has also been a force on defense as well, averaging a team high 2.4 blocks per game.
The development of Pons’ game has been huge for this Vols hoops team as it has jumped into the Top 25, and is currently ranked 19th with a record of 7-1, after beginning the season unranked.
Pons, and the rest of the team look to keep it going as they face their biggest challenge yet, when the Vols welcome the no. 13 Memphis Tigers to Knoxville on Saturday.
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