On a busy news day for Tennessee, Rick Barnes may have picked up the most impressive commitment of his tenure in Knoxville.
French wing/small forward Yves Pons (6-6, 215 pounds) committed to the Vols, according to a report from 247Sports, giving the Vols their third commitment in the 2017 signing class and the highest-ranked player Barnes has landed at Tennessee.
— @GrantRamey (@GrantRamey) February 28, 2017
Pons is a highly-regarded recruit, checking in as a four-star, the No. 75 overall player and the 18th best small forward in the nation, according to 247Sports’ rankings.
“Pons caught the eyes of NBA scouts early and often in Kaunas thanks to his elite physical profile, high-flying dunks, above the rim blocks, defensive versatility and occasional spot shooting,” DraftExpress.com wrote in a scouting report. “Although he’s not short on deficiencies, Pons is exactly what many NBA teams are looking for – a long and athletic combo forward who can defend one through four and make enough spot threes to keep the defense honest.
“Honing his 3-point stroke and at least becoming a passable ball handler and playmaker will be key for Pons’ NBA potential moving forward. Born and adopted from Haiti, Pons moved to France at age four. He may have a chance to develop those skills in the States, as he’s reportedly considering playing college basketball next season – as he’s being recruited by the likes of Texas Tech, Tennessee and Florida at the moment, but also is getting looks around Europe. Pons proved to be one of the top NBA prospects in attendance thanks to his tools and fit in today’s NBA as a combo forward.”
Pons appears to be set to start his career with the Vols before pursuing any of those other opportunities.
He’ll be part of a three-man signing class (as of now) that includes himself, center Zach Kent and power forward Derrick Walker, giving Barnes and the Vols some much needed size and strength in the front court.