Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes maintained this week that he believed redshirt junior guard Jordan Bowden would be able to play against Texas A&M on Saturday after missing the Vols’ contest against South Carolina on Tuesday. And as of this morning, Barnes’ mind hasn’t been changed.
According to Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports, Barnes said this morning that he expects Bowden to play for the No. 1 Vols tonight when they take on Texas A&M in College Station.
Tennessee’s Jordan Bowden (knee) is expected to play today against Texas A&M, per Rick Barnes.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) February 2, 2019
On Tuesday, Bowden was a very late scratch for the Vols’ road contest against South Carolina. Bowden was practicing during shootaround with his teammates, but just minutes before tip-off, he instructed trainers that he didn’t feel right.
“We didn’t know until pregame warmups that Jordan Bowden wasn’t going to play,” Barnes told reporters after Tuesday’s game. “We went through shootaround, and he didn’t mention anything. He came out and (team trainer) Chad (Newman) said everybody is good to go. Then he came back two minutes later and said ‘I’m wrong, Bowden told us he didn’t think he could play.’
“I’m serious, they told me 10 minutes before the game. And they kept working on him. When they came back in the last time, with 12 minutes on the clock, he just didn’t think he could go.”
Bowden tweaked his knee sometime during warm-ups, and he sat out the entire South Carolina game on Tuesday night. No. 1 Tennessee didn’t need his services in that game, as they dispatched the Gamecocks by a score of 92-70.
This season, the redshirt junior is averaging 10.9 points per game, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.6 assists in 19 games played. In six SEC games this season, Bowden has been a scoring machine, averaging 16.2 points while shooting 57.4 percent from the floor, including 43.5 percent from three. He’s also making 89.5 percent of his free throws in conference play.
No. 1 Tennessee (19-1, 7-0 SEC) takes on Texas A&M (8-11, 1-6 SEC) at 8:00 Eastern tonight. Here’s all the information you need to watch or listen to tonight’s game if you can’t make it over to College Station.