COLUMBUS, Ohio — Rick Barnes has pulled Jordan Bone apart for lots a communique in Bone’s 3 seasons with Tennessee basketball. But now not long in the past, Bone pulled Barnes aside for a conversation. The Tennessee factor defend had started receiving a few foremost national interests for his play this season — and deservedly so. With it got here NBA interest, so the Vols junior talked to Barnes, the UT assistant coaches, and his teammates. He had a simple but critical query: “How do I deal with this?”
Tennessee faces Iowa for a niche within the Sweet 16 on Sunday Mike Wilson, USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee “I’ve in no way had this interest, guy,” Bone said. “I’ve never been a guy that has been looked at as an NBA prospect. They’ve helped me with that, they’ve helped me take care of it.” Bone positioned himself at the NBA map with a standout junior season, which has helped lead the No. 2 seed Vols (30-5) to play No. 10 seed Iowa (23-eleven) for a Sweet sixteen bid on Sunday (12:10 p.M. ET, CBS). He is averaging 13. Five points and 5.9 assists for the Vols, who have been ranked within the Top 10 all season and reached No. 1 for a month. He netted second-team All-SEC honors for his play and cemented himself as one of the high-quality point guards in us of a. All of it added approximately foreign emotions. The Nashville local wasn’t enormously touted as a recruit. He didn’t come to Tennessee with pomp or condition. The positive attention has been a blessing, he started Saturday.
“I sense like a pair months again while it first dawned on me, that I become getting that type of interest, I was just like, ‘Wow,’” Bone stated. That “wow” issue turned into both exact and horrific. It becomes a part of why Bone talked to Barnes to middle himself.
“I experience like the key is surely focusing in on what the team is doing proper now in preference to searching beforehand,” Bone stated. “You can’t appearance ahead due to the fact that’s while matters start to move terribly. Maybe like or three months ago, that’s whilst things began to go horrific. I began playing differently due to the fact I was accessible thinking about the wrong matters. “I’m past that. It’s all approximately the crew, man. The crew is the motive that positive guys have had the quantity of fulfillment and the notoriety that they’re receiving right now. It’s expertise that we need to place the team first. Everything else is going to attend to itself. I think that’s the largest factor.” After the season, Bone can have the identical decision facing him that Admiral Schofield had a final year — and one Grant Williams will have. He can claim for the NBA Draft and both hire an agent or now not hire an agent.
If he hires an agent, his profession at Tennessee is over. If he does now not, he can go through the NBA Draft procedure and get comments earlier than electing to both remain within the draft or return to school. But the reality that may be a communique for Bone has him grateful for the journey he’s had to date at Tennessee. “I’ve got here an extended way,” Bone stated. “From a guy that becomes counted out to a guy who has NBA attention. A guy that right now’s in the NCAA Tournament. I simply came such a far direction, guy. It’s without a doubt implausible to peer the development and the manner I’ve grown over the years. “How the human beings that have been at the back of me, that have supported me, have been there. It simply method a lot to be on this role.”