Tennessee Basketball continues to receive hype from outside the program, and now two seniors are named to CBS Sports’ top-100 players list.
Rick Barnes and his Tennessee basketball team have some high expectations to live up to this season, and John Fulkerson and Yves Pons continue to receive high praise as well. Expectations will be high for Fulkerson and Pons as well, with both players making CBS Sports’ top-100 players list.
Fulkerson and Pons have gone through quite the transformation over the past year, and each of them has put themselves in a position to be a leader in Tennessee’s basketball program as well as give them a chance to earn a spot on an NBA roster.
Rick Barnes knows how to develop athletes, and the development of Pons and Fulkerson into top-level players in college basketball is proof of that. Just two years ago, Fulkerson looked like he might never play any meaningful minutes, but has proven people wrong and turned into a solid forward for the Vols.
Both players not only made CBS Sports’ top-100 players list, but they made it in the top-30, with Fulkerson coming in at No. 28 and Pons at No. 29. Kyle Boone, Matt Norlander, Gary Parrish, and David Cobb put together the list. Cobb and Parrish wrote about Fulkerson and Pons in the ranking.
"28. John Fulkerson, Tennessee: “After playing a reserve role for a pair of NCAA Tournament teams as a redshirt freshman and sophomore, Fulkerson emerged as one of the best big men in the SEC last season,” David Cobb wrote. “Now back for his fifth season on campus, the lanky left-hander will be the heart and soul of a team with great potential.”29. Yves Pons, Tennessee: “The SEC Defensive Player of the Year in 2019-20, Pons has gone from being a seldom-used freshman to a key returner for a team ranked 12th in the preseason Top 25 And 1,” Gary Parrish wrote. “He averaged 10.8 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.4 blocks last season.”"
Barnes has also done a good job of building players around his stars. With it looking more like Fulky and Pons being the Vols’ stars this season, Barnes is pairing them with Keon Johnson and Jaden Springer, two players that can be great for the Vols in the future as well.
The Vols are now ten days away from starting their season on November 25th against the Charlotte 49ers.