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)


CFC Men Tie, Women Fall 2-0 In Memphis

The Chattanooga FC men clinched their fifth NPSL conference title Saturday night with a 1-1 win at Memphis.  The men are now 7-0-1 in league play.   The game was tied 0-0 at the half.  CFC David Finlay finished a Luis Trude pass in the 47th minute to take the 1-0 lead.  Memphis scored int he 53rd minute to tie the game at one.  The men will host ... (click for more)

Lookouts Drop First Game Of Second Half In 8-2 Loss To Jackson

The Jackson Generals scored five runs in the third inning on their way to an 8-2 win over the Chattanooga Lookouts. The loss was the Lookouts first of the second half.   Jackson got off to a good start by scoring a quick run in the first inning. Chattanooga annswered in the bottom of the frame with a Mitch Garver single.   The floodgates opened in the third inning ... (click for more)

Fire Destroys Highway 58 BBQ

A fire destroyed a barbeque restaurant on Highway 58 on Friday afternoon.   Chattanooga firefighters were dispatched to the Highway 58 BBQ around 6 p.m. The business is located at 4921 Highway 58. Though the business was housed in a small building, the flames and smoke could be seen from a long distance away.  Captain Teri Rose with Quint 6 said the ... (click for more)

2nd Independent Candidate May Be On Walker County Ballot

A second Independent candidate may be on the ballot for sole commissioner of Walker County in the election on Nov. 8. Perry D. Lamb, Jr. has been working toward collecting the necessary 1,640 signatures of registered voters on a petition. His campaign said he is close to the goal. Incumbent Bebe Heiskell is running an an Independent. Election officials said since she was ... (click for more)

Save Coolidge Park - And Response (2)

Last Monday morning while at work a good friend messaged me concerning a matter that I had not heard anything about dealing with Coolidge Park and its future. Apparently that night the City Council was to read an ordinance that would allow the mayor to start negotiations with the relocation of the Medal of Honor Museum. This ordinance would enable the city to lease approximately ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Looking For A Wife

Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, is a really cool place. I tried to buy a huge mounted buffalo head in an antique store there one time until I found out the shipping charges were four times what the head was worth. But suddenly my rapt attention is riveted on Coeur d'Alene again because a dazzling social experiment is taking place this very moment at a plush resort in north Idaho. Several ... (click for more)