There are a lot of unknowns on Tennessee’s basketball roster next season. In fact, Yves Pons might have to play some minutes at the four position.
After losing four starters from last year’s 31-win team, the Tennessee basketball squad is going to look a lot different. Simply put, Rick Barnes needs guys that have been on the roster a few years like Jalen Johnson and Yves Pons to step up and have productive seasons.
The Vols will be short on guard play. At the current moment, there are only three players (Lamonte Turner, Jordan Bowden, and Josiah-Jordan James) set to make an impact. We wrote a post on Saturday about how Jalen Johnson could be in for a big year at guard.
If so, that gives Tennessee four players to sub in and out at the 1-3 positions. You’d have to think Pons will find some minutes at the No.3 position, but he could help more playing the No.4 to help the Vols run a smaller yet faster lineup.
Basketball is leaving the traditional No.1-5 positions with a big center staying down in the post. Which I believe will help Tennessee next season.
Do you remember Dane Bradshaw? Of course, you do, he next had the most talent but always gave 110 percent on the court. That type of attitude helped him play bigger than he was.
More recently, we saw Barnes play Armani Moore a little out of position. Moore is listed at 6-foot-4 on utsports.com and he played the four and five at Tennessee.
I think Pons could be the next Moore.
Now he needs an attitude change. Pons is more passive but he has all the tools to help the Vols down low. Especially after Kerry Blackshear decided to commit to Florida and we still aren’t sure about Uros Plavsic.
What makes Pons so valuable and give Barnes the option of playing him at the four position is his defensive ability. He’s quick enough to switch on the guards and make it hard for them to start the offense.
Truthfully, no one knows that the lineups are going to look like next season. However, I bet they change quite a bit with all the depth the Vols are going to have.