The tradition and Pat.

Those were the two reasons why sophomore forward Jasmine Jones said she came to Tennessee, despite being the daughter of a former basketball player at the University of Alabama.

Jones came to Tennessee after an illustrious high school career at Bob Jones (Ala.) High School where she was named first team all-state in the top division in her last three years and was named the division's player of the year in each of her last two years.

In her senior year, Jones accumulated numerous honors including Alabama Miss Basketball, Gatorade State Player of the Year and WBCA All-America.

Jones was briefly a standout athlete in two sports in high school. She said she finished first in her first few track events before she gave it up because of the heat.

However, she is still known among her coaches and teammates for her superior athleticism.

The first thing redshirt freshman guard Andraya Carter mentioned when describing Jones as a player was her athleticism.

"I would say, first and foremost, [she] is athletic," Carter said. "You can't deny her athleticism ... She plays really hard. She goes after rebounds. Her rebounding is incredible. She's so quick. I think her athleticism is incredible, and it shows when she plays."

At 6-foot-2, her size and athleticism combine to make Jones one of the most formidable defenders in the country.

Head coach Holly Warlick praised Jones for her outstanding defense and highlighted her importance to the team at the team's annual media day.

"I think she's going to be be huge," Warlick said. "She is the most athletic player we have ... If we needed a defensive stopper, then Jasmine Jones would be on somebody who was killing us on the offensive end."

Jones attributes her exceptional defense to her desire and how hard she works on the court.

"I feel like defense, you've just got to want to do it," Jones said. "You can always work on footwork and everything, but I think when it comes to defense, you've just got to want to stop somebody."

In her first season at Tennessee, Jones played in all 35 games, averaging 16 minutes, 4.7 points and nearly four rebounds per game.

She felt her role became more important as the year went on as she adjusted and focused more on what the coaches wanted her to do.

Jones' most memorable game came when Tennessee played Notre Dame in January, and the coaches trusted her to guard Skylar Diggins, who became the third pick in the WNBA Draft in June.

This season, Jones is hoping to build on her success from last year by improving on offense, specifically her long range shooting and ball handling.

Warlick commended her work on the offensive end of the floor this summer.

"She's refined her game a little bit offensively," Warlick said. "I think she's got a better understanding of the game. She's worked on her offense this summer, not that it was bad. She understands right now a lot better what a good shot is and what isn't."

Carter also noticed several improvements in Jones' game this summer, including maturity. But most of all, Carter said, "she's just ready."