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)

 


Photo Gallery: UTC Women Upset Stanford Wednesday, 54-46

Showing poise down the stretch, the Mocs did not let this game slip away. Instead, they took the challenge from the highly rated Stanford team and beat back the Cardinals with a 54-46 win. (click for more)

Lady Vols Survive Wichita State, 54-51

Cierra Burdick  posted a double-double with 10 points and a career-high 17 rebounds,  Isabelle Harrison  scored 14 points and the No. 11/13 Lady Vols held on for a 54-51 win over Wichita State  on Tuesday  at Thompson-Boling Arena. Tennessee (8-2) survived the night on Burdick's rebounding and Harrison's play in the paint. Wichita State (6-3) put ... (click for more)

Erlanger To Proceed With Manager Bonuses In 2 Steps; Considering Employee Performance Incentive Plan

Erlanger President and CEO Kevin Spiegel said Wednesday night that the hospital plans to proceed with $1.7 million in manager bonuses in two steps. Current participants in the incentive program will receive 50 percent of the approved 2014 performance plan this month. The remaining 50 percent will be paid to the management group in July 2015. At the same time, Mr. Spiegel ... (click for more)

Man Shot In Chattanooga On Wednesday Afternoon

Chattanooga Police said a man was shot Wednesday afternoon. At approximately 3:16 p.m., Chattanooga Police responded to a local hospital for a person shot. P olice were advised that a male victim arrived suffering from a non-life threatening gunshot wound. O fficers are attempting to locate a crime scene at this time. Chattanooga Police ask anyone with ... (click for more)

A Letter To The NAACP

I believe when a "unarmed" man is evil, he will try to beat a police officer on his head in hopes to knock him out, in hopes to kill him. We saw the bruises on the officer's face.  This evil force tried to take his gun away from him , Proof was in the autopsy.  Why did Michael Brown  try to take his gun away from him? Exactly, to kill the officer.  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Advice: Just Be Normal

Matthew Kerlin, by his own admission, claims to be just a normal guy. But I am of the opinion, after reading his speech following Samford University’s Winter Commencement exercises, that the university’s Assistant Dean for Spiritual Life is a bit more than that. Dr. Kerlin knows college kids well and his advice to the most recent flock of America’s graduates resonates with brilliance. ... (click for more)