Yves Pons reflects on his decision to return to UT

Rising Vol senior says bout with Covid and uncertainty in the NBA brought him back to Rocky Top
Published: Sep. 2, 2020 at 5:23 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The uncertain part of the last few months for Yves Pons delt with his testing of the NBA waters. Pons was seriously considering a jump to the next level, but he was receiving little feedback and the lack of actual physical tryouts for coaches and scouts tipped his decision towards a return to Tennessee. Pons says, ”Yeah, the process was really hard on top of making a decision. There were some days where I wanted to come back and some days where felt like it was time for me to go. There was a lot of ups and downs in terms of deciding. As far as the feedback from the NBA, they didn’t even know which draft pick they were going to get or if there was going to be a combine. They told me they could not guarantee that they were going to draft me. They couldn’t give us a clear answer.”

As for the scary part of this off-season, even the reigning defensive player of the year in the SEC couldn’t fend off the virus. Pons contracted Covid-19, another contributing factor he says in his decision making process, ”It was really hard. COVID-19 has made it really hard because I had to make a decision that I wasn’t expecting to make. Then I expected to go workout with the teams and I felt like that was another part of the job I had to get done. Without the workouts it makes it extremely hard for me and guys like me in my position for the second round. It was really hard because it brought a lot of uncertainty.”

What’s been interesting for Yves is to see the pieces which have been added to this Tennessee team, one he believes can rank as the best in the country in at least one important category, ”I think we have a young talented team. I think, from my standpoint, we can have one of the best defensive teams in the country that ever played. That is all the confidence I have in those guys. I think we have a confident team; we have depth. I think we can be really good this year.”

A lot went in to Yves decision making process, including he told WVLt Sports, the abrupt end to last year and the unfinished business which remains for coach Barnes and his Vols.

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