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NCAA 2015

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Jarnell Stokes returning to Tennessee for junior season

Jarnell Stokes announced Saturday that he will return to Tennessee for his junior season rather than apply for early entry to the 2013 NBA Draft.

"I am excited that Jarnell is returning for his junior season," said Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin. "This is very exciting news for our team and the entire Tennessee family."

Stokes, a 6-foot-8 forward, was projected as a second-round pick this June, at best, because he's considered an undersized post player at the NBA level. That said, the Memphis native is a high-level college player, one who averaged 12.4 points and 9.6 rebounds this season while shooting 52.8 from the field. His return -- along with the return of Jordan McRae and Trae Golden plus the addition of McDonald's All-American Robert Hubbs -- ensures the Vols will be a part of the preseason Top 25 (and one).

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