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)


Lookouts Drop First Game Of Series to Biscuits, 9-2.

The home crowd was in for a treat as Dodgers' top prospect Corey Seager made his Chattanooga debut for the Lookouts (10-19) against the Montgomery Biscuits (17-14) in a 9-2 loss at AT&T Field. Recap When asked in a pre-game conference what he would consider to be a nice home debut, Seager replied, "Hopefully, we can go out and win, have a good game ... (click for more)

Covenant's Burns, Frierson Named To 2013-14 NABC Honors Court

The National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) today announced the 2013-14 NABC Honors Court, recognizing those men's collegiate basketball student-athletes who excelled in academics during the past season. Covenant rising seniors Ryan Burns and Nate Frierson were both honored. The NABC Honors Court recognizes the talents and gifts of men's basketball players across ... (click for more)

Erlanger Health System Projecting $10.8 Million Profit - With Help From $19 Million In Federal Funds

Erlanger Health System is projecting a $10.8 million profit for the upcoming fiscal year - with the help of $19 million in federal funds from a pool for public hospitals. The $19 million received in time for the current budget helped avoid a sizable deficit. The hospital is hoping the federal funds will be coming on an annual basis. At the start of the last fiscal year, ... (click for more)

Election Officials Hit 2 Snafus; Early Voting Brisk

Election officials have encountered two snafus in the early voting process, but administrator Kerry Steelman said they won't happen again. Due to a heavier turnout than was expected, Republican ballots briefly ran out on Friday at the Northgate precinct. And it was discovered after 10 people had voted, that the Domestic Partnership Ordinance was not included on the Kings Point ... (click for more)

Vote To Retain Supreme Court Justices

On Aug. 7 or by voting early by Aug. 2, voters will choose to "retain" or "replace" Tennessee Supreme Court Justices Connie Clark, Sharon Lee and Gary Wade. If retained, they will serve for another eight years.  The retention election is a way to retain judges who make decisions based on the law and facts -or remove judges who are incompetent. Tennessee's Judicial Performance ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Judge Philyaw Is The Best

Tomorrow morning there will be a special gathering at the Hamilton County Juvenile Court that will prove to our community that we have perhaps the most innovative juvenile judge in America. Shortly after Rob Philyaw was hand-picked by our Hamilton County Commissioners to fill the remainder of Suzanne Bailey’s term 15 months ago, he found that truancy was a big problem in our schools. ... (click for more)