Vols' Jarnell Stokes Decides To Enter NBA Draft -- As Expected

Burly Junior From Memphis Became A Prolific Rebounder

Friday, April 11, 2014 - by Special to Chattanoogan.com
Tennessee junior Jarnell Stokes will forego his senior year and enter the NBA draft. Stokes averaged 18 points and 12.8 rebounds while leading the Vols to the Sweet 16 in this year's NCAA tournament.
Tennessee junior Jarnell Stokes will forego his senior year and enter the NBA draft. Stokes averaged 18 points and 12.8 rebounds while leading the Vols to the Sweet 16 in this year's NCAA tournament.
- photo by Tennessee Athletics

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee basketball player Jarnell Stokes announced Friday that he will forego his senior season and enter the 2014 NBA Draft. The power forward from Memphis, Tenn., was a first-team All-SEC selection as a junior this year. He owns or shares 10 Tennessee statistical records.  

The NBA Draft takes places Thursday, June 26, and will be televised nationally on ESPN.

Despite playing less than three full collegiate seasons – he graduated high school early, enrolled in January of 2011 and played in just 17 games as a freshman – the 6-8, 260-pound Stokes leaves Tennessee as one of the most prolific rebounders in school history.

He’ll also be remembered as one of the sparkplugs of UT’s 2013-14 Sweet Sixteen team, which overcame adversity to win 24 games and fight its way to three NCAA Tournament victories for only the second time in school history.

In four NCAA Tournament games, Stokes averaged 18.0 points, 12.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.0 steal. His NCAA Tournament rebounding average of 12.8 rpg ranks No. 1 among Vols who have played at least two career tournament games. He scored a career-high 26 points and ripped down 18 rebounds in UT’s third-round win over Mercer March 23, which clinched the eighth Sweet Sixteen berth in Tennessee history.

“First of all, I think Jarnell is going to go down as one of the best big men to ever play at Tennessee – certainly one of the most dominant rebounders ever to wear the orange,” UT head coach Cuonzo Martin said. “I hope our fans will celebrate his career, because the growth and development he’s shown over the past three years has really been impressive, and I’m proud of the player and man he’s become.

“I know this wasn’t an easy decision for him, but his goal has always been to be a pro, and he’s worked incredibly hard to put that goal within reach. We all support him and know he’ll be a great representative of Tennessee basketball at the next level. It’s my hope that he’ll eventually return to Tennessee and graduate, and he knows we’ll do everything we can to support him when that time comes.”

Stokes appeared in 87 career games, making 84 starts (he made 79 straight starts to end his UT career). He ranks among Tennessee’s all-time leaders in offensive rebounding (337, first), double-doubles (40, fourth), total rebounding (836, eighth), blocks (94, 14th) and scoring (1,129, 41st). The Vols averaged 21 wins per season during Stokes’ three-year career.

Stokes’ 22 double-doubles this past season ranked second among all Division I players and tied the Tennessee single-season record set by Hall of Famer Bernard King in 1976-77. Stokes nearly averaged a double-double for his career, posting three-year marks of 13.0 points and 9.6 rebounds per game.

His 155 offensive rebounds and 4.19 offensive rebounding average as a junior both stand as the best by a Vol in a single season since offensive rebounding statistics have been tracked (1996-97). His 4.19 offensive rebounds per game also ranked third among all players in Division I last season.

For his career, Stokes averaged a school-record 3.87 offensive rebounds per game.

Stokes was a first-team All-SEC selection last season, and he also earned All-District honors from the NABC, USBWA and Basketball Times.

Tennessee has produced 43 all-time NBA Draft picks, dating to 1948. The most recent Vol to have his name called in the draft was Tobias Harris, who was selected 19th overall by the Charlotte Bobcats in 2011.

Harris, who now plays for the Orlando Magic, is one of three former Vols who suited up for NBA teams this season, along with C.J. Watson (Indiana Pacers) and Scotty Hopson (Cleveland Cavaliers).

(E-mail Larry Fleming at larryfleming44@gmail.com)


Cleveland's Jimmy Elliott Wins As Winchester Starts New Era Of Racing

Saturday  afternoon a new era of racing began in Winchester, Tn., at the newly renamed Winchester Raceway Park with the 13th edition of the " Winterfest" event. Under the direction of new owner Bob Harris, who purchased the speedway last fall, over 150 race teams converged on the small downtown 1/3 mile dirt track for racing action.    ... (click for more)

UTC Hoops Notebook: ETSU Throttles UTC, 65-51 at Home

Saturday at McKenzie Arena was a night to remember and one to forget. The university staff and Mocs fans welcomed home with open arms players and staff from the 1977 NCA D-II national championship team with standings ovations, handshakes and commemorate basketballs and a collective “thanks you” for all they did for Mocs basketball. On the other hand, the current Moc players ... (click for more)

Man, Child Killed In Crash On Highway 136 In Walker County; 2nd Child Seriously Injured

  A man and an unrestrained five-year-old child were killed when a vehicle went out of control on Highway 136 in Walker County on Saturday. A 10-year-old in the car was seriously injured. The driver was thrown from the van and was dead at the scene. The four-year-old was trapped in the vehicle and also died at the wreck site at Ponder Creek Road. The Georgia State ... (click for more)

2 People Shot After Domestic Dispute In Brainerd; Corey Moon Taken Into Custody On Saturday Night

Two people were shot during a domestic dispute in Brainerd late Friday night.   Chattanooga Police responded at 11:17 p.m. to the 4700 block of Rogers Road on a shooting. The following are the preliminary facts of that investigation.   Officers were able to locate two victims, Cortez Moon, 23, and Terri Dossett, 45, suffering from non-life threatening gunshot ... (click for more)

Rhonda Thurman: Speaking The Truth About CSLA - And Response

One parent called me a “Liar” during Thursday’s Facilities meeting. Others from CSLA have been a bit more creative saying that I spread “misinformation”, “falsehoods” and “spread inaccurate statements”. Then there were more descriptive terms- “arrogant”, “uninformed”, “unprofessional”- if these CSLA parents don’t stop, they are going to hurt my feelings. In this letter, I will attempt ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: It Ain’t Gonna Work

In the last seven days, there have been seven different people who have been shot in separate incidents in Chattanooga. On Tuesday, the City Council approved a total $223,656 in street cameras and accessories to take pictures of our gangstas when the cops already know them by first names. Late last month it was announced the Chattanooga Police Department would double our gang violence ... (click for more)