KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee guard Jordan Bone came out in Wednesday night’s Pilot Rocky Top League looking more determined and locked in after getting beat on the game-winning layup by Lincoln Memorial guard Deshawn Patterson on Monday.
Bone showed his increased intensity early, jumping the passing lane for a steal and using his quickness to beat everyone down the court for a dunk.
Bone followed up the slam with pressure on the inbounds play, face-guarding his man on defense.
The Rocky Top League can be a positive for Tennessee players to work on different parts of their game. Bone wants to implement sequences like this into games with the Volunteers this season.
“Word to my dad. He told me to be effective on defense, you’ve got to start early,” Bone said. “I’m going to try to pick up full court and just kind of mess with my man so he’s not comfortable. Last year, I’m pretty sure some of the guards I played were pretty comfortable dribbling the ball up the court and that’s not good.”
Bone believes more focus and effort on his part will translate to better team defense success. Tennessee allowed 73 points per game last season, which ranked No. 200 in the nation.
“I’m the front line of the defense so my teammates are looking at me,” Bone said. “If they see me with lackadaisical effort they are going to be the same way. I’m going to try and get in someone’s grill this year.”
Bone knows he controls a lot of his defensive potential.
“I really think defense is just competing, and I have to be a better competitor,” Bone said. “Just locking in and saying, ‘My man is not scoring.’ That’s all it takes, just effort, full-out effort.”
As a freshman, Bone averaged 7.2 points while playing a little less than 20 minutes per game in his 23 appearances.