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)

 


Major League Baseball's New Commissioner Sends Letter To Fans

Dear Fans: On the night of August 14, 2014, I left a Baltimore hotel after being elected Commissioner of Baseball.  As I began to reply to the overwhelming number of congratulatory messages coming in, it hit me that I’d just been entrusted to protect the integrity of our National Pastime and to set a course that allows this great game to continue to flourish – now and ... (click for more)

Georgia Northwestern Falls To Southern Crescent Tech

A very cold spell early in the second half doomed the Georgia Northwestern Bobcats on Friday night as they dropped a 74-49 decision to the Southern Crescent Tech Tigers in Griffin. Georgia Northwestern (6-12) went into halftime trailing by just six points, 32-26, but did not connect on a single shot in the first seven minutes of the second half. The Tigers opened ... (click for more)

Deonta Banks, 23, Shot On Wilcox Boulevard Early Sunday Morning

Deonta Banks, 23, was shot early Sunday morning on Wilcox Boulevard. At approximately  3 a.m.  the Chattanooga Police Department responded to shots fired at 3232 Wilcox Boulevard.  Upon arrival, Chattanooga police located a single victim, Deonta Banks, suffering from a non life-threatening gunshot wound. He  was transported to a local hospital for treatment. ... (click for more)

Man Stabbed In Domestic Dispute On Sunrise Lane Saturday Morning

A man was stabbed Saturday morning on Sunrise Lane.   At approximately  11:41  a.m., the Chattanooga Police Department responded to a reported stabbing at 309 Sunrise Lane.  Officers located a 45-year-old black male suffering from a non life-threatening stab wound. The victim was transported to a local hospital for his injury.   The ... (click for more)

Obama Doesn't Want You To Save For College

Over the past few decades, federal aid for post-secondary education has decreased and transitioned largely from grants to guaranteed student loans.   At the same time, the cost of college has far exceeded the cost of inflation creating a situation in which college has become less affordable and causing students to pile up debt that is at an all-time high.   This debt ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Great Peace Pipe

There is a serious rift between our state legislators and Erlanger Hospital that has me worried. If I worry about something, it doubles the power of the worry. My problem? I am convinced we have the best collection of people at the State Legislature in Nashville we’ve ever had – I adore each of them. I am also blessed to believe Erlanger is back on track and, after a sensational ... (click for more)