Tennessee's Stokes, McRae Are Second Round NBA Draft Picks

Former Vols Then Immediately Traded To Grizzlies, 76ers

Friday, June 27, 2014 - by Special to Chattanoogan.com
- photo by Tennessee Athletics

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- There were 46 NCAA players selected in Thursday’s NBA Draft, and two of them were Tennessee Volunteers. Jarnell Stokes was picked 35th overall, and Jordan McRae was taken with the 58th pick.

Stokes and McRae are Tennessee’s 44th and 45th all-time NBA Draft picks, respectively. Stokes was drafted by the Utah Jazz then traded to the Memphis Grizzlies. McRae was selected by the San Antonio Spurs and then traded to the Philadelphia 76ers.

Both Vols were second-round picks Thursday, marking the fourth time Tennessee has had multiple players selected in the first two rounds of the NBA Draft (1977, 1989, 2002). It was the 10th time multiple Vols were drafted in the same year.

Tennessee joined Stanford and UConn as the only schools in the nation to have multiple upperclassmen selected Thursday.

Stokes is a Memphis native and grew up attending Grizzlies home games. He worked out for the team June 9 in Memphis.

Tennessee has never previously had a player suit up for the Grizzlies. The organization was founded as an expansion team in Vancouver in 1995 and relocated to Memphis prior to the 2001-02 season.

Though he will not suit up for Utah, Stokes is the second Vol ever to be drafted by that franchise. The Jazz selected Tennessee All-American center Howard Wood in the second round in 1981.

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 left 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.

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 last 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 andBasketball Times.

McRae is the second Vol ever to be drafted by San Antonio. The Spurs drafted UT All-American power forward Reggie Johnson 15th overall in 1980. Interestingly, Johnson later joined the 76ers and won an NBA Championship with Philadelphia in 1983.

The 76ers brought McRae to Philadelphia for a pre-draft workout June 1.

A native of Midway, Ga., McRae was a two-time, first-team All-SEC performer who averaged 17.3 points during the last two seasons at Tennessee. He received his degree in Sociology/Criminal Justice from UT on May 9.

He increased both his scoring average and his field-goal percentage every year throughout his career as a Volunteer. And with 1,521 career points, McRae ranks 16th on Tennessee's all-time scoring list.

McRae also ranks seventh on the school’s all-time list for 3-pointers made (179) and is 13th in blocked shots (97).

His 692 points as a senior last year marked the sixth-highest single-season scoring total in Tennessee history.

(E-mail Larry Fleming at larryfleming44@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @larryfleming44)

 


Prep Volleyball Schedule

Aug. 27  Baylor at Signal Mountain Warren County at Grundy County Aug. 28 Bledsoe County at Notre Dame Boyd-Buchanan at CGLA Bradley Central at East Hamilton Howard at Central CCS at Hixson CSAS at Copper Basin Grace at Silverdale Grundy County at Whitwell Lookout Valley at Sale Creek Central, Ooltewah, Sequoyah at McMinn Central ... (click for more)

Youthful GPS Uses Strong Comeback To Beat Red Bank

It’s been a roller-coaster season so far for the GPS volleyball team and they haven’t even gotten through the first month of competition. Injuries, illness and youthfulness have all taken its toll on the Bruisers.   Their record was 3-7 prior to Wednesday’s match at home against Red Bank. The Bruisers can and will get better.   ... (click for more)

General Motors To Invest $185 Million In Engine Plant, Build New Cadillac SRX In Spring Hill

General Motors will invest $185 million to make small gas engines at its Spring Hill manufacturing complex, officials said Wednesday.  GM also identified the next-generation Cadillac SRX as a future mid-size vehicle to be produced at Spring Hill. “We want to congratulate GM on this important investment in its future in Spring Hill and Middle Tennessee,” Governor Bill Haslam ... (click for more)

Concurrent Grand Jury Says Mental Health Court Is On The Way

Members of the Concurrent Grand Jury said in a final report they have been advised that a Mental Health Court is on the way. The report says: "We were pleased to hear from some of our Judges that a mental health court is in the works. As stated in past reports, the need to have such a court is very clear. "We feel it would serve to break the cycle of arrest to those who are ... (click for more)

Vote No On Health Insurance Changes Affecting County Teachers

Our Hamilton County School Board will vote on insurance changes effecting both active employees and retirees, who are not on Medicare at this time.  HCEA strongly objects to changes being made at this time and urges a “No” vote.  Insurance had been frozen three years by negotiations.  Since the Educators Professional Negotiations Act was nullified by the 2011 Legislature, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Al Sharpton’s Wise Remarks

I’ll admit I paid little more than scant attention to the Monday funeral of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old who was shot and killed by police bullets in Ferguson, Mo., after he allegedly was involved in strong-armed robbery. There are too many tawdry details and, in my way of thinking, there is nothing under God’s sun, absolutely nothing, that gives others the right to riot, burn ... (click for more)