Blog Entry

Stokes picks Tennessee

Posted on: December 22, 2011 7:51 pm
Edited on: December 22, 2011 7:52 pm
By Gary Parrish

MEMPHIS -- Jarnell Stokes publicly committed to Tennessee on Thursday.

He plans to enroll in Knoxville in January and play this season.

Stokes' announcement ended a long and intense recruitment that featured other programs such as Kentucky, Connecticut, Florida, Arkansas and Memphis vying for his services. The 6-foot-8 forward spent months interacting with followers on Twitter and greatly increased his profile with fans, and the recruitment took a turn in recent weeks when the TSSAA ruled the Memphis native ineligible to play high school basketball this season because of a transfer from Central High to Southwind High. Once that happened, Stokes decided to graduate early and enroll in college mid-semester. Sources told he settled on Tennessee in recent days and stuck to that choice despite late pushes from various coaching staffs.

This is big for first-year UT coach Cuonzo Martin. ranks Stokes as the 16th-best prospect in the Class of 2012. He represents the first elite-level recruit to leave the city of Memphis for Tennessee since Tony Harris signed with the Vols before the 1997-98 season. Stokes is also the first primary target within the city that Memphis coach Josh Pastner has missed on since he replaced John Calipari in April 2009, though it should be noted that Pastner signed Shaq Goodwin out of Georgia last month. ranks Goodwin as the 21st-best prospect in the Class of 2012.

He plays the same position as Stokes.

Tennessee is 4-6 heading into Friday's game against East Tennessee State.

The Vols play at Memphis on Jan. 4.

Since: Aug 26, 2009
Posted on: December 29, 2011 12:09 pm

Stokes picks Tennessee

A Great pick up for UT. Hopefully the team will transform into more of an all around team with the added post talent and stop the Bruce Pearl style of throwing up 20 - 25 three point attemps a game. I hope Stokes brings some other talent on board with him to Knoxville.

Since: Nov 3, 2007
Posted on: December 27, 2011 11:46 am

Stokes picks Tennessee

Wow Lee3022, great post!  I agree with you and I've noticed no team lacking in junior and senior players has ever won the tournament.  I think we'll see teams that have a mix of good players who stay at least three years with a couple of high profile freshmen and sophs playing for all the marbles.  The older players provide experienced leadership and make the five star players better.  They help them learn the college game faster, I think. 

Since: Dec 27, 2011
Posted on: December 27, 2011 2:01 am

Stokes picks Tennessee

Congrats to tennessee on getting Stokes, he's a great player and will help the vols around the hoop.  He'll also be fun to watch when his NBA days come around.

I was hoping we could have landed him in a Razorback uni, but I wish him nothing but the best and good luck in knoxville.  

Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: December 24, 2011 4:08 pm

Stokes picks Tennessee

It is intriguing to read the posts about a recruit choosing a school to play men's basketball. There are 350 schools in D-1 and each adds an average of 3.7 players each year. So 1,300 decisions each year, yet the media focuses on maybe 25 of those choices. Are the top 25 really so good that none of the others count? What we have seen just last two years with Butler getting to the Final Four each year, with VCU getting to the Final Four last year, with multiple upsets of major programs by mid-major schools tells us that many more players can play exceedingly well.

All that said it does boost a program to gain a high-profile recruit. Stokes is a good get for Tennessee and I am glad to see that program begin to right itself and return to its former prominence. No, I am not a Tennessee fan, but a college basketball fan. I am not a fan of teams composed entirely of one and done players. For those schools that do that the fans must reconcile themselves with conference championships if that. No such program has yet won the national championship so perhaps it is a failed model or maybe not. Time will tell. College basketball remains a very popular sport and we applaud the coaches who vet their players well and play team basketball with maturity and team skill.

Since: Jun 1, 2009
Posted on: December 24, 2011 11:29 am

Stokes picks Tennessee

Memphis didn't have a scholarship either, but Stokes recruitment was growing tiresome by Tiger fans.  A lot of Memphians didn't even care that he signed with UT because all the drama he brings.  In drama, I mean a long line of handlers.  As halo said, it was a "business decision."

To be fair, he was headed to UT under Pearl and his brother goes there.  Playing in Memphis can be overwhelming because of all the attention, but then again he seems to thrive in the attention.  I wonder if he ever talked to Tony Harris? 

Since: Nov 17, 2008
Posted on: December 24, 2011 10:46 am

Stokes picks Tennessee

I can't imagine the NCAA clearinghouse making him eligible in time to play this season.  They seem to take forever clearing other top players with less nomadic high school experiences.  Apparently his grades are not in question, but the numbnuts at the NCAA have never been all that efficient, accurate, or swift in their clearing process.

Since: Jan 13, 2011
Posted on: December 23, 2011 7:00 pm

Stokes picks Tennessee

You hope he doesn't leave early for the money, that's what he just did he left high school early to go to UT for the MONEY !!!!!!!

Since: Jul 30, 2008
Posted on: December 23, 2011 6:23 pm

Stokes picks Tennessee

Well...good for him I just hope he doesn't just come to Tennessee to play this year and try the Pros...He seems a little more intelligent than that however Big Money usually talks for the short term. Hope he Stays He will be a big and Quick Asset to the University of Tennessee!

Since: Nov 3, 2007
Posted on: December 23, 2011 12:51 pm

Stokes picks Tennessee

I have to wonder if Tennessee would not have been better off had they not screwed Jerry Green, who had done a great job and ran a clean program.  His teams won 89 games in his four years there and he took Tennessee to four straight NCAA tournaments.  Pearl won 98 games in his first four years but created the mess they're in now.  In the four years between the two, Tennessee didn't make the NCAA tourney at all.  Green likely would've had them in it all four years.



Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: December 23, 2011 12:00 pm

Stokes picks Tennessee

No, you don't have it right. There was only one insignificant violation that the turds at the ncaa chose to blow all out of proportion.

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