No NBA draft yet as forward Yves Pons returns to Tennessee

Published 3:45 pm Tuesday, August 4, 2020


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Forward Yves Pons has informed Tennessee he is returning for his senior season with the Volunteers rather than try his luck with the NBA draft.

“I’m back,” Pons announced Monday on Twitter.

Pons was the Southeastern Conference defensive player of the year after tying the Tennessee record with 73 blocked shots. The Vols’ season was cut short before their first game of the conference tournament because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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The forward from Fuveau, France, averaged 10.8 points and 5.4 rebounds per game last season. He announced in April he would test his draft stock, with a final decision also delayed by the pandemic.

Monday was the deadline for players to either return to college or remain in the NBA draft now scheduled for Oct. 16.

Pons’ decision to return makes the Vols a favorite in the SEC.

Tennessee coach Rick Barnes also added a pair of five-star recruits in guard Jaden Springer and Keon Johnson to a team that went 17-14 last season.