Recruiting Insider: Tigers tough to beat in Memphis, but Vols trying hard to make inroads

Tennessee forward Jarnell Stokes (5) goes up for a basket against MTSU during the first half of the NIT second-round game at Thompson-Boling Arena Monday, March 19, 2012.  (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer, copyright © 2012

Tennessee forward Jarnell Stokes (5) goes up for a basket against MTSU during the first half of the NIT second-round game at Thompson-Boling Arena Monday, March 19, 2012. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Jarnell Stokes on his experience playing U18 in Brazil

The way former Tennessee assistant and current Northwest Florida State coach Steve Forbes sees it, it takes a special kid to spurn University of Memphis basketball in favor of Tennessee.

"The city puts a lot of pressure on those kids to play for Memphis, and rightfully so," said Forbes, who recruited in Memphis often. "You have to be a pretty strong kid to tell your hometown that, 'I love you, but I don't wanna play here.' That's not easy for an 18-year-old young man to do."

So when Southwind alum Jarnell Stokes donned the orange cap last December, even though Memphis didn't have the scholarship room to take him as a midyear enrollee, it forced the age-old question to resurface: With Stokes in the fold, can Tennessee beat Memphis for prospects in the Tigers' backyard?

Continue reading at The Commercial Appeal.

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Comments » 14

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

Memphis needs to get off this anti-social treatment of area athletes that choose to play elsewhere. The college experience is so much more rewarding if a young man/woman goes away to college and has different life experiences opposed to an area they are familiar with.

stevefrommemphis writes:

ANYBODY, and I mean ANYBODY, will benefit from leaving that third-world Mississippi rathole. This comes from the experience of having served 21 years, 11 months, 3 days there. I considered it missionary work.

If I can't convince you, maybe the Bible can:

Jeremiah 46:19 "Pack your bags for exile, you who live in Egypt, for Memphis will be laid waste and lie in ruins without inhabitant."

Ezekiel 30:16 "Memphis will be in constant distress."

HtownVol writes:

I dont see anything on this site but...

CJ Watson has signed a 2 year deal with the Nets to backup Deron Williamn.

I am a Bulls fan and you would think CJ is my favorite player, but he is not. He is very inconsistent. I saw him go through stretched of weeks where he was just scared to take a shot. He has no speed for a PG, he can not create his own shot.

However, this is all based on him being the starting PG for the Bulls, he makes a good backup. I am sure that the kid Calipari paid to come to UK will be a better player though (Marquis Teague) so I wish nothing but the best for CJ.

Maymon... add some elements to your game and you will be in the NBA. UT needs more players in the NBA. Whoda thunk CJ is the only one to make it. WOnder how stupid Scotty Hopson feels. oh, Tobias, lets hope he sticks. I thought Maze, Prince and Tyler Smith would all make a roster. I really dont see Tatum making it out of the summer league.

The one UT VOL I dont want to see in the NBA in a year is Stokes, stay 4 years big guy! and help with recruiting.

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to TIGERDAN:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Stop with the propaganda, man. You got stats, we got stats. Let's cut to the bottom line - the two coaches. Pastner is young and unproven with a lot of questions surrounding him. Same with Martin in many ways, except that Martin will have to be a great recruiter to have success, Pastner has it easy with the talent lined up at his door. So far. But if he can't coach - and the jury is out on that - you will get killed in the new league. If he can, your program will take off.

We know Martin can coach. But the jury is out on his recruiting prowess. If Martin proves be less than a very good recruiter, his program will be stagnant and UT will not become a national basketball force.

So, time will tell. But, in the meantime, remember that UT has plenty of other places that it has traditionally recruited besides Memphis. Memphis doesn't.

murrayvol writes:

in response to HtownVol:

I dont see anything on this site but...

CJ Watson has signed a 2 year deal with the Nets to backup Deron Williamn.

I am a Bulls fan and you would think CJ is my favorite player, but he is not. He is very inconsistent. I saw him go through stretched of weeks where he was just scared to take a shot. He has no speed for a PG, he can not create his own shot.

However, this is all based on him being the starting PG for the Bulls, he makes a good backup. I am sure that the kid Calipari paid to come to UK will be a better player though (Marquis Teague) so I wish nothing but the best for CJ.

Maymon... add some elements to your game and you will be in the NBA. UT needs more players in the NBA. Whoda thunk CJ is the only one to make it. WOnder how stupid Scotty Hopson feels. oh, Tobias, lets hope he sticks. I thought Maze, Prince and Tyler Smith would all make a roster. I really dont see Tatum making it out of the summer league.

The one UT VOL I dont want to see in the NBA in a year is Stokes, stay 4 years big guy! and help with recruiting.

He won't stay 4 years but he's already helped immeasurably.

stevefrommemphis writes:

in response to TIGERDAN:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You sound like Kevin Kane. Yes, $250MM in tax money and bond money. Compare Chattanooga, which built an Aquarium with private funds, including significant donations, and now has a facility that people can actually use and which brings tourists to town.

Here's the only stat I care about: Forbes Magazine ranks Memphis as the third worst city in the United States. Having lived there, I cannot disagree.

Southernboi writes:

in response to stevefrommemphis:

ANYBODY, and I mean ANYBODY, will benefit from leaving that third-world Mississippi rathole. This comes from the experience of having served 21 years, 11 months, 3 days there. I considered it missionary work.

If I can't convince you, maybe the Bible can:

Jeremiah 46:19 "Pack your bags for exile, you who live in Egypt, for Memphis will be laid waste and lie in ruins without inhabitant."

Ezekiel 30:16 "Memphis will be in constant distress."

And you wonder why coaches from UT have a hard time getting talent out of Memphis? The first thing that players are told about UT is that they really don't like anyone from Memphis. Then recruiters proceed to show them some of the comments that are posted on some of these boards that reinforces those notions. Its cool to talk about the schools....that's what talkin smack is about. But when you talk about a kid's home, and then expect them to to want to play for you, you tend to get negative results,

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to TIGERDAN:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Again with the propaganda. I say the jury is out on Pastner and you say, 'no, it isn't.' Apparently, you are convinced that Pastner is going to take you to national prominence? And on what basis? That he beat UT last year? One year is a data point, not a trend upon which conclusions can be made. Need I remind you UT was pre-season picked to finish at the bottom of the SEC, and Memphis was picked in the top ten? So, big whoop. UT went to NIT in a year they had a first-year coach? And Memphis went to ncaa in year they had so much talent? Big whoop. UT went to ncaa six straight seasons in six years prior. Again, one year is a data point, not a trend. With all of its talent and weak schedule, Memphis should make the ncaa's. And your arguments about recruiting out of Memphis are credited mostly to former coaches. Pastner's recruiting ability is irrelevant. All that talent in Memphis will come to him easily as long as he wins. If he doesn't, maybe not.

Now you will be playing night in and night out in the big east. Pastner had better be the coach you say he is. I say the jury is still out, no matter your homerisms.

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to TIGERDAN:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

So, you're saying that if the past is a prelude to the future success agains big east schools, Memphis will be fine in the big east. Fine. By that standard, so would UT. In fact, we've had very good success against them recently. How bout you?

Colliervol writes:

As you can see about the plethora of comments, UT fans don't care about Memphis or this series. I am dancing in the streets that this series is gone after this year. And it will be even better when we buy out the remaining football games. Then there will be no reason for me to ever pay attention to them again. Oh Happy Day!!!!

Why Ole Miss is renewing the football series is anybody's guess. Guess they had to use that as blackmail to get Memphis to play them in basketball at some point. Desperation will do odd things to people.

Its_Goooood writes:

According to NCAA website Vols ranked Number six in attendance and Tigers were number eleven. This with the vols picked last! Averaging sixteen thousand in a down year ,new coach and not knowing if ncaa was going to deal harshly is pretty good. Vols stock is rising.

Colliervol writes:

Over a week later and there are exactly 16 comments on this article. And almost half of those are from a Memphis fan. That will tell you the level of interest in this subject. Very few UT fans care about Memphis. The series, the school or the town.

chuckfromwoodberry writes:

I only thing I like about memphis is Interstate BBQ and Uncle Lou's. Oh and The Commissary but that's in Germantown.

tennrich1 writes:

in response to TIGERDAN:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

UUHHHH...that isnt your daddy's Big East anymore....really watered down version of the real thing...and trying to compare Memphis to Knoxville???? come on even you dont believe that for a minute...but hey come ride one 8 hour shift with me...visit the Med...see the shootouts...EVERY DAY...and then lets talk...this is funny!!!

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