Staff Report: SPORTS

Tennessee's front court of John Fulkerson and Yves Pons each earned SEC honors from the league’s coaches.

John Fulkerson earned All SEC Second Team honors after averaging 13.7 points and 5.9 rebounds a game. The Kingsport, Tennessee, native is one of the most improved players in the league going from averaging 3.1 points last season to 15.1 points this year in conference play.

Fulkerson really started to come along over the second half of conference play. The redshirt junior averaged 18.3 points over his last 10 games, including a career high 27 points in the Vols’ win at Kentucky.

Yves Pons earned SEC Defensive Player of the year and made the All-Defensive team.

Pons led the league with conference in blocked shots with 73 blocks — seven blocks ahead of Kentucky’s Nick Richards who has the second most blocks and 15 blocks ahead of third place.

The France native averages 2.4 blocks a game and has blocked a shot in all 31 of Tennessee’s games this year. Pons is currently tied with C.J. Black for the most blocked shots by a Tennessee player in one season and is looking to pull ahead of Black in this weekend's SEC Tournament.

Pons also stars on the defensive end with his versatility. The 6-foot-6-inch forward can guard two through five, helping the Vols flexibility on the defensive end of the court.

Pons became the first ever Vol to win Defensive Player of the Year and the first Vol to make the All-Defensive team since Josh Richardson did in 2014 and 2015.

Tennessee looks to extend its season this week in Nashville. The Vols SEC Tournament run begins at 1 p.m. ET on Thursday.

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