published Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Bone gives UT a boost

KNOXVILLE -- Zero points doesn't always equal zero impact in a basketball game.

Josh Bone's performance on Tuesday night proves exactly that.

The Tennessee reserve guard locked down Vanderbilt's star John Jenkins while not scoring in the Volunteers' 60-51 comeback road win.

"You guys are probably going to ask as far as what we did on Jenkins," UT coach Bruce Pearl said, "but I thought Josh Bone did a tremendous job and I don't know how many times John scored on Josh. It just wasn't often."

Jenkins entered the game as the Southeastern Conference's scoring leader at 19.9 points per game. The sophomore from Hendersonville, Tenn., who hadn't scored less than 18 points in his last 13 games, made just four of his 13 shots and finished with 11 points and five turnovers.

Bone, a Nashville native who won four state titles at nearby Brentwood Academy, was a big reason why, making Jenkins' time of try to get open off perimeter screens difficult.

"Man, it's a great, great attribute to have a guy like Josh Bone," said UT point guard Melvin Goins, a stalwart defender in his own right. "A guy like that is the heart of your team. He does those little things."

Said UT guard Scotty Hopson: "We're better when everybody contributes, regardless if it's defense or offense. Josh did a tremendous job on the defensive end of holding Jenkins to a low-scoring night."

Bone's 26 minutes were the third-most the sturdy 6-foot-3 senior has played this year. He missed all three of his shot attempts and had five rebounds to go along with one steal. regarded as one of the Vols' top perimeter defenders, Bone turned in a gem of a defensive performance in front of roughly two dozen family members and friends in his hometown.

"Josh Bone is a terrific story," Pearl said. "He's a local kid that I probably overlooked coming out of high school. He goes to Southern Illinois [for two years] and he comes back and he's willing to pay his own way at Tennessee because he wants to be a Vol, wants to play at that higher level. He earns his scholarship last year.

"He's a Nashville kid, and this series matter to Josh, it means a lot. We got swept last year by Vanderbilt. That sticks with you in the offseason a little bit."

"[Jenkins] barely got good looks off on Josh," Goins said. "It was a great win for him just to come to his hometown and be able to get this win."

Follow our Vols beat writer Patrick Brown on Twitter by following this link.

about Patrick Brown...

Patrick Brown has been the University of Tennessee beat writer since January 2011. A native of Memphis, Brown graduated from UT in May of 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Electronic Media and worked at the Knoxville News Sentinel for two years on the sports editorial staff and as a freelance contributor. If it’s the NBA, the NFL or SEC football and basketball, he’s probably reading about it or watching it on TV. Contact him ...

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