UT's Jarnell Stokes discusses the Vols' 68-61 win over Vanderbilt
Tennessee's Jarnell Stokes took another big step in his size 20s on Monday, being named the SEC Player of the Week in men's basketball.
The 6-foot-8, 270-pound freshman from Memphis helped lead UT to men's basketball wins at LSU (74-69, overtime) and Vanderbilt (68-61) last week, helping the Vols (18-13, 10-6) secure the No. 2 seed for the SEC tournament which runs Thursday through Sunday in New Orleans.
Tennessee opens play at 7:30 p.m. on Friday (TV: WVLT) against the winner of Thursday's first-round game between No. 7-seed Ole Miss (18-12, 8-8) and No. 10 Auburn (15-15, 5-11).
The Vols beat the Rebels 73-60 on Feb. 22 in Thompson-Boling Arena and scored a 64-49 home win over Auburn on Jan. 28.
UT coach Cuonzo Martin said Monday that Stokes' 11-point, 14-rebound, five-block effort in the Vols' 68-61 win over Vanderbilt on Saturday was the powerful freshman's best game of the season.
"I think it was a case of him getting a feel for everything,'' Martin said.
Stokes averaged 14.5 points on 76-percent shooting over the past week, while averaging 10.5 rebounds, three blocks and 1.5 steals.
"I think he's a double-double guy,'' Martin said, "even on a bad night.''
Stokes, who earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors on Jan. 23, has averaged 9.1 points and 7.5 rebounds in the 14 games he has played since his mid-term enrollment in January.
Mike Griffith covers Tennessee men's basketball. Follow him at http://twitter.com/MikeGriffith32