Coming off a year where he was named SEC defensive player of the year, Yves Pons has reportedly decided that he will test the waters for the NBA draft.
While today’s news opens the door for Pons to play in the NBA next year, he can still return to Tennessee if he decides to hold off on a pro career.
The Fuveau, France native had made incredible leap in his game between his sophomore and junior seasons. Pons was a steady rock for the Vols in a season that saw great instability elsewhere.
Pons did not see much action in his first semester on campus, playing in six of the team’s first 17 game, but played in the 18 final games of the season as a role player.
During his sophomore season, Pons moved into a much larger role as he played in 35 game and made 13 starts in what was one of the program’s best seasons. However, a lot of Pons’ contributions did not show in the box score as he finished with only 32 points and 15 blocks, with both stats being frontloaded to non-conference play.
The most notable part of his junior season was Pons’ blocking ability, as he tied C.J. Black for the Tennessee single season record with 73 blocks. Pons blocked at least one shot each game and he likely would have clinched the record had the Vols been able the play the first game in the now-cancelled SEC Tournament.
Pons has until June 15 on whether to return to college and retain his eligibility or stay in the draft.