Tennessee’s Yves Pons, Keon Johnson, and Jaden Springer Earn All SEC Honors
(utsports.com) One Tennessee basketball senior and a pair of freshmen earned SEC postseason honors from the league’s head coaches, it was announced Tuesday.
For the second straight year, Yves Pons was named to the SEC All-Defensive Team. The senior from Fuveau, France, led the Vols and ranked fourth in the SEC with 1.8 blocks per game during league play this season. His 126 career blocks rank 10th all-time in program history.
Pons also logged a career-high 16 steals on the year while ranking second on the team with nine charges drawn.
Pons joins current Dallas Mavericks starter Josh Richardson as the only Vols ever to earn multiple selections to the SEC All-Defensive Team. Richardson earned the honor in 2014 and 2015.
Two Vols landed on the coaches’ eight-man SEC All-Freshman Team, as first-year standouts Keon Johnson and Jaden Springer distinguished themselves during conference play. Tennessee was the only team to place multiple players on this year’s All-Freshman Team. Springer (12.7 ppg) and Johnson (12.1 ppg) were Tennessee’s top-two scorers in SEC action this season.
Over UT’s 17-game SEC slate, Springer also led the Vols in assists (3.3 apg). A remarkably efficient scorer, he shot .463 from the field, .400 from 3-point range and .800 at the free-throw line. He had five 20-point games against SEC opposition, highlighted by a 30-point performance in the win over Georgia.
Johnson’s 2.6 assists per game ranked second on the squad during SEC play. He added 15 steals and shot an impressive .453 from the field. Overall this season, Johnson’s fearless play saw him lead the Vols in charges drawn (11) and diving efforts (13). The Shelbyville, Tennessee, native logged a pair of 20-point efforts during SEC play. Vol fans will remember his 27-point explosion at Kentucky, as he led a second-half rally that lifted Tennessee to victory at Rupp Arena.
The Volunteers enter this week’s SEC Tournament as the No. 4 seed. The Big Orange travel to Nashville on Wednesday afternoon and tip off in the quarterfinals against a to-be-determined opponent (Florida, Vanderbilt or Texas A&M) Friday at 2:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.