Advertise with usContact UsRTI Team

Jordan Bowden’s New Year’s Resolution Reason for New Mindset

(Photo via Tennessee athletics)

Jordan Bowden didn’t start the season off the way he wanted to.

The Knoxville native started the first five games of the season but found himself coming off the bench when Tennessee returned home from its trip to New Jersey over Thanksgiving break. In two games – a win over Louisville and a loss to Kansas in overtime – Bowden had combined for only eight points in 58 minutes. Despite having one of the better three-point strokes on the team, Bowden failed to drain one from distance.

Yves Pons started in Bowden’s place against Eastern Kentucky on Nov. 28 and promptly when 4-of-5 from the field for 10 points, grabbed five rebounds, and blocked two shots. Having added an extra spark in the lineup, Pons’ starting spot was cemented.

Since Rick Barnes inserted Pons into the lineup, Bowden has been one of the first players off the bench in the last 11 games. While the move instantly impacted Pons’ production, it took several games for Bowden to become comfortable in his new role.

In the seven games following his move to the bench, Bowden scored double-figures just three times. Against Wake Forest, he took a single shot – a missed three-pointer. He followed that up with an 0-for-6 shooting performance against Tennessee Tech. During the seven-game stretch, he was shooting just 28 percent from three.

So what was Bowden’s approach?

“Just keep shooting the ball,” Bowden said following a win over Arkansas on Tuesday night – denying that he thought he was ever in a shooting slump when asked. “I just kept telling myself, ‘you’re a shooter, you can shoot the ball.’”

And he’s done just that.

The junior guard has been money the last four games. It’s a four-game stretch that Bowden believes is the most consistent he’s been on both ends of the floor during his time as a Volunteer.

“I just gotta keep it up,” Bowden said. “Keep shooting after practice and keep putting reps in and keep executing on both ends of the floor.”

In the four games since he didn’t make a field goal against Tennessee Tech, Bowden is averaging 19.0 points per games in wins over Georgia, Missouri, Florida, and Arkansas.

He scored 20 points in back-to-back games against the Bulldogs and Tigers – one-point shy of his career-high. Bowden then scored 12 straight points midway through the second half, totaling 17 points, to help Tennessee pick up its first win in Gainesville since 2012. Against Arkansas, he was nearly perfect – shooting 6-of-7 from the field, including 5-of-6 from three. He was second on the team with 19 points.

“It’s just a mindset,” Bowden said of his improved play. “Wanting to be aggressive, wanting to be a dog on both ends of the floor.

“I just have a different approach coming into the game. Locked in on defense and our game plan. Just doing what we do.”

It’s almost as if the flip of the calendar cleared Bowden’s mind. He’s been a completely different player in 2019, adding yet another dynamic dimension to an already elite basketball team.

Bowden’s newfound mindset stems from a New Year’s resolution he made at the start of this year.

“One of my New Year’s resolutions is reading the Bible every day and doing that,” stated Bowden – who was recently baptized along with teammate Kyle Alexander. “I wouldn’t say it’s anything with my mindset. Just being aggressive.

“If I come off the bench, I come off the bench. I’ve embraced it and I’m starting to like it.”

Following the goose egg against Tennessee Tech, Bowden was averaging just 7.9 points per game. With his recent play, he’s now averaging 10.7 points and shooting 45 percent from the field. His recent success has generated rumblings of a possible run for SEC Sixth Man of the Year – an award that teammate Lamonte Turner won a season ago.

“I was serious about it,” Bowden said in reference to saying that he wanted to win the award following the win over then-ranked No. 1 Gonzaga. “But Tae (Lamonte Turner), he’s back and he’s giving me a run for it.”

Bowden said he hasn’t mentioned it to Turner but noted that Turner has taken notice to his improved play.

“He (Turner) said, ‘it looks like you’re trying to take my Sixth Man of the Year,’” Bowden said. “But I’m not really worried about the sixth man of the year.”

Similar Articles


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tweet Us