KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Rick Barnes is not afraid to call his players out. It feels like he’s been on Grant Williams’ case for rebounding since the season began.
He’s now added Jordan Bowden to the list.
The Tennessee junior guard, who started all 35 games last season, started Wednesday’s 95-67 win over Eastern Kentucky on the bench for the first time in two years.
“We just feel like he’s been very tentative and that’s the one thing we don’t want any of our guys to be tentative,” Barnes said. We don’t want that. We need him to be aggressive and we need him to want more out of himself and the more he’ll demand for himself the better it’s going to help our team.
There’s two sides to Barnes’ decision to sit the perimeter shooter. While he wants more from Bowden, he’s liked what he’s seen from Yves Pons. The rising sophomore forward scored a career-high 10 points in his first career start.
Despite starting on the bench, Bowden still played 20 minutes, finishing with 7 points. But just like Barnes, Bowden’s teammates are begging the former Knoxville Carter standout to shoot the ball.
“I can’t tell you how many times we’ve been like, ‘Bowden, shoot it’,” Vols junior guard Jordan Bone said. “There’s games where he walks off the court and he shot the ball twice throughout an entire game and he’s played about 28 minutes. We’re all like, ‘Yo, you’re like the best shooter on our team. You have to be an offensive threat.”
Bowden and the Vols host Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Sunday at noon.