Tennessee Basketball has high expectations, and if Yves Pons returns for his senior season, Tennessee could be a top-ten team.
Tennessee Basketball is returning a handful of key players and adding a couple of freshmen into the mix. Of the players returning, John Fulkerson, Santiago Vescovi, and Josiah-Jordan James headline the returners. Five-stars Keon Johnson, Jaden Springer, and top-50 prospect Corey Walker are key players joining the Vols.
When it comes to who the Vols lost, Jordan Bowden and Jalen Johnson are the only two Vols that are currently gone, and Yves Pons‘ decision could add his name to that list.
If Pons returns, the Vols could be a top-ten team, according to ESPN. Looking at the players I listed above without Pons gets me pretty excited for the season. I think the Vols could be a top-ten team without Pons, but he would definitely add to the Vols’ on-court talent.
While Pons isn’t a first-round pick, ESPN’s Jeff Borzello ranked Pons the No. 14 most important player in college basketball, and his decision is an impactful one that could have huge implications on Tennessee’s season.
"“While not ranked in ESPN’s top 100 draft rankings, Yves Pons does intrigue some NBA teams. He is a terrific defender, and he made about one 3-pointer per game last season,” Borzello said. “That said, he should return to Knoxville next season. And if he does, I think Tennessee is a legitimate preseason top-10 team. Rick Barnes has guards and playmakers, he has scorers on the wing and he has depth and options up front. But Pons is the type of X factor every Final Four-caliber team needs: Someone who can make plays at both ends of the floor. I might be higher on the Volunteers than most, but Pons returning to Tennessee would make them the preseason favorite to win the SEC.”"
Tennessee basketball’s defense will favor the most from Pons returning and will likely be impacted the most if he goes to the NBA.
I think that Tennessee could have a lot of good things going for them this season. There is a lot of talent, and there are leaders established in the locker room.