First road win of season a giant learning experience for Jarnell Stokes, rest of Vols at South Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Watching Trae Golden's 3-point attempt reach the keystone of its arc, Tennessee's Jarnell Stokes had a decision to make Sunday afternoon.

Be a giant or be a gnat?

Stokes might as well have bellowed, "Fee-fi-fo-fum."

The 6-foot-9, 270-pound anchor bullied through three undersized post players from South Carolina. They latched onto him like baby brothers.

No chance. Stokes corralled the rebound, kicked a pass to the outside. Swinging around the perimeter, the ball found its way from Josh Richardson to Skylar McBee. Toeing the arc, the senior pushed a one-point lead to a four-point lead.

That's how you win on the road in the SEC.

Stokes learned as much in powering his Vols to a 66-61 victory at South Carolina's Colonial Life Arena.

"That's one of those things — I don't want to take any plays off anymore," said Stokes, basking in the contentment of a 20-point, 10-rebound showing, his fifth straight double-double. "I think that's something I've done in the past."

Casting aside the Gamecocks' record, which stands at 12-11 and 2-8 in the SEC, Stokes' sequence was a microcosm of everything that's been missing.

It was the extra play. It was the extra effort. It was the difference maker.

It was precisely what the Vols have lacked in six road losses.

Now they have their first true road win of the season. It's part of a 12-10 overall record and a 4-6 SEC mark.

"To battle on that emotional rollercoaster, trying to get road wins and losing tough games, to finally get a road win feels good," UT coach Cuonzo Martin said.

It didn't come easy. Nothing does for these Vols.

They still committed 18 turnovers, 11 after halftime.

They still shot 3-for-14 from 3-point distance, but those that fell all came in the final six minutes.

Jordan McRae, languishing through a 1-for-7 shooting night, picked a good time to make the one. His 3-pointer from the wing came with 3 minutes, 30 seconds left to give UT a 58-57 advantage it wouldn't relinquish.

It was the 16th lead change of the game.

"Everybody played their game, inside-out, just getting the ball to Jarnell and letting him do his thing and playing off of that," said Golden, who returned after missing two games with a strained hamstring to score 16 points and hit 8-of-10 free throws.

In other words, "We were gonna throw it inside to Jarnell until the cows came home," McRae said.

Stokes, who was 12 years old the last time South Carolina beat the Vols — 12 meetings ago on Feb., 17, 2007 — had help.

The unforeseen reemergence of forwards Quinton Chievous and D'Montre Edwards headlined a first half that Tennessee led 32-29. Chievous, who might as well have paid admission to UT's last eight games, was dispensed to slow down South Carolina forward Michael Carrera, who opened the game making three of four shots.

It worked. Chievous saddled him. Carrera still led the Gamecocks with 18 points, but he was hindered.

Edwards, meanwhile, played six minutes and grabbed three rebounds.

"They've earned (playing time), now who knows the next game, hopefully we can play them again so we can have a consistent rotation and flow," Martin said.

Josh Richardson added seven points, five rebounds and five assists for the Vols.

The Gamecocks shot 10-for-28 in a back-and-forth second half featuring six ties and 10 lead changes. Martin, a disciple of former Purdue coach Gene Keady's man-to-man defense, unexpectedly threw a full-court press and matchup zone defense at South Carolina.

"I don't think we have all the personnel to defend at the level I'd like to defend at, so as a coach you have to make adjustments and come to grips with it," he said. "This is one of those things that the players and the coaching staff have said, 'Coach, let's try it.' You have to do it if it's what's best for your team."

It was the best on Sunday.

The Vols held the Gamecocks scoreless in five of their last seven possessions.

Brendan F. Quinn covers Tennessee men's basketball. Follow him at Twitter.com/BFQuinn

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Comments » 104

pdhuff#552644 writes:

We'll take it.

It's a W

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

Finally got a road victory..WTG VOLS!!

SummittsCourt writes:

Great to get a road SEC win! Good job Vols.

VictorKruger writes:

Way to go Vols! Having Golden back was huge, and it was great to see contributions from McBee, Chievous and Edwards too. It was amusing watching Frank Martin drop an F bomb within the first 2 seconds of every time-out. Is a road win at the awful Vandy gym too much to ask?

mocsandvolsfan writes:

Great job Stokes Golden GBO Go VOLs we won a road game!!

8inarow writes:

Cuonzo for SEC Coach of the Year!

TheEffect writes:

in response to SummittsCourt:

Great to get a road SEC win! Good job Vols.

At South Carolina.......the worst team in the SEC with Miss. State. Maybe you should have a ring made to commemorate the "big" victory.

Samuel_L_Salma_GataBait_HowBoutDemCowboys_BlueWaffles88 writes:

Ugly game. Ball changed possessions on a consistent basis. Hard game to watch if you're a Vol or Lamecock.

HooRay_Vol writes:

HooRay!!!!!

VinylVols writes:

At least they actually closed out this game better.

johnlg00 writes:

Happy for the guys today. A big monkey off their shoulders for sure. Still a few too many turnovers but some welcome strategic wrinkles and great performances by Stokes and Golden. It was also encouraging that they had a decent overall offensive performance without much from McRae, though I still think he is the Vols' most explosive scorer, so I hope he isn't losing confidence not scoring much lately.

I took it as a good sign that the Vols played a few possessions of zone and the zone press will give future opponents something extra to work on. With all the rangy 6'5" to 6'8" types the Vols have, I have thought all season that some pressure defense would be effective. Nice to see some solid minutes by Cheivous and Edwards.

Troll comments above notwithstanding, a nice win for the team's confidence. Now, Vols, let's keep it going at Vandy. That should be a winnable game if you can keep grinding and improving.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to TheEffect:

At South Carolina.......the worst team in the SEC with Miss. State. Maybe you should have a ring made to commemorate the "big" victory.

wahun wahun wahun as Charlie Brown's teacher says. Blah blah blah

jt45 writes:

Good job by Stokes today getting a road win.
Finally got to see Chievous get some minutes.
And as Andy Griffith called them, those convicts
in the striped suits were kind of tough on the boys
in orange today.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Happy for the guys today. A big monkey off their shoulders for sure. Still a few too many turnovers but some welcome strategic wrinkles and great performances by Stokes and Golden. It was also encouraging that they had a decent overall offensive performance without much from McRae, though I still think he is the Vols' most explosive scorer, so I hope he isn't losing confidence not scoring much lately.

I took it as a good sign that the Vols played a few possessions of zone and the zone press will give future opponents something extra to work on. With all the rangy 6'5" to 6'8" types the Vols have, I have thought all season that some pressure defense would be effective. Nice to see some solid minutes by Cheivous and Edwards.

Troll comments above notwithstanding, a nice win for the team's confidence. Now, Vols, let's keep it going at Vandy. That should be a winnable game if you can keep grinding and improving.

yep

TheEffect writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

wahun wahun wahun as Charlie Brown's teacher says. Blah blah blah

That's pretty much how Tennessee plays......good post.

smokeygrowl writes:

Great coaching by ZO. No fast breaks was great. We like to let defense get back and set up so we can run our offense great philosphy. Fast breaks lead to to many turnovers despite the aasy layups and dunks. Excellent coaching to play Chievous so much he is a stat sheet stuffer.His 5 fouls helped tremendously showing we are aggressive on D. zo kept our players between their man and the basket never gambling for steals prevents us from getting beat back door. Pearls overplaying the passing lanes style of play causes to much running and tires players out. Good offensive philosophy letting one player dribble and go one on one cause it limits our passes to cut down turnovers. By the other four players standing still on offense vols get the rest they need for defense. Zo is on his way to putting some banners up.

Ironcity writes:

Went and played golf instead of watching my Vols. Glad we won. Interesting that Edwards and Chivious actually played. I think one of those two are playing for their scholly right now so that could be the best thing to watch the rest of the way.

stoney writes:

in response to TheEffect:

That's pretty much how Tennessee plays......good post.

TheEffect? You must be from New Jersey.

decades_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to TheEffect:

At South Carolina.......the worst team in the SEC with Miss. State. Maybe you should have a ring made to commemorate the "big" victory.

I'd be more concerned about your kitties going to Gainesville Tuesday than a game between UT and South Carolina. It's really sad that you and the Gators are the best this league has to offer right now. Neither one of you would finish in the top 5-6 in the Big East or Big 10. Worst league overall since the three-team SEC in the NCAA back in 2009. We're not very strong right now, that's obvious. But you're not that much better in this weak-sister league. Bottom line, pack lightly for the Dance, if you go at all.

Ironcity writes:

in response to VictorKruger:

Way to go Vols! Having Golden back was huge, and it was great to see contributions from McBee, Chievous and Edwards too. It was amusing watching Frank Martin drop an F bomb within the first 2 seconds of every time-out. Is a road win at the awful Vandy gym too much to ask?

As I stated earlier I did not see the game but you indicated Chievous contributed but when I look at the box I see 11 minute and 5 fouls. Ouch! I am guessing Golden iced the game away. he is the only player I trust at the stripe with the game on the line.

usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it writes:

in response to pdhuff#552644:

We'll take it.

It's a W

Amen.

TheEffect writes:

in response to stoney:

TheEffect? You must be from New Jersey.

Just pointing out the obvious.....Tennessee is still awful. This was not a "good" win. It was South Carolina!!!!

1vavolfan writes:

Have to admit I was pretty down on our chances when we were tied and under 4 to go. A big difference having Trae back and playing well. When we win with 3's by McBee and McRae I'm sure Frank Martin was cursing his luck. Stokes is playing like a boss, hope we can keep him here another year.

usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it writes:

in response to 8inarow:

Cuonzo for SEC Coach of the Year!

AR-KAN-SAS!
RA-ZOR-BACKS!
AR-KAN-SAS!
RA-ZOR-BACKS!

TheEffect writes:

in response to decades_vol:

I'd be more concerned about your kitties going to Gainesville Tuesday than a game between UT and South Carolina. It's really sad that you and the Gators are the best this league has to offer right now. Neither one of you would finish in the top 5-6 in the Big East or Big 10. Worst league overall since the three-team SEC in the NCAA back in 2009. We're not very strong right now, that's obvious. But you're not that much better in this weak-sister league. Bottom line, pack lightly for the Dance, if you go at all.

Enjoy that "NIT Appearance" banner you will be hanging.....if you go at all.

usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it writes:

in response to TheEffect:

Just pointing out the obvious.....Tennessee is still awful. This was not a "good" win. It was South Carolina!!!!

Yawn....another pointless post

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to VictorKruger:

Way to go Vols! Having Golden back was huge, and it was great to see contributions from McBee, Chievous and Edwards too. It was amusing watching Frank Martin drop an F bomb within the first 2 seconds of every time-out. Is a road win at the awful Vandy gym too much to ask?

Might be Vic..Despite the bad record, nobody has really gone into Vandy's gym and dominated them..Hogs went in and shot 30% and got drilled..Still Vandy is struggling to score 60 PPG..Sounds like another team I know

Samuel_L_Salma_GataBait_HowBoutDemCowboys_BlueWaffles88 writes:

in response to decades_vol:

I'd be more concerned about your kitties going to Gainesville Tuesday than a game between UT and South Carolina. It's really sad that you and the Gators are the best this league has to offer right now. Neither one of you would finish in the top 5-6 in the Big East or Big 10. Worst league overall since the three-team SEC in the NCAA back in 2009. We're not very strong right now, that's obvious. But you're not that much better in this weak-sister league. Bottom line, pack lightly for the Dance, if you go at all.

Gators destroyed Wisconsin and Marquette. That same Wisconsin team defeated #3 Michigan. Kansas is on a losing skid, Louisville hasnt looked impressive at all lately. Florida could easily finish 1st or 2nd in the Big East and Big 10.

decades_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to smokeygrowl:

Great coaching by ZO. No fast breaks was great. We like to let defense get back and set up so we can run our offense great philosphy. Fast breaks lead to to many turnovers despite the aasy layups and dunks. Excellent coaching to play Chievous so much he is a stat sheet stuffer.His 5 fouls helped tremendously showing we are aggressive on D. zo kept our players between their man and the basket never gambling for steals prevents us from getting beat back door. Pearls overplaying the passing lanes style of play causes to much running and tires players out. Good offensive philosophy letting one player dribble and go one on one cause it limits our passes to cut down turnovers. By the other four players standing still on offense vols get the rest they need for defense. Zo is on his way to putting some banners up.

Tenn won, on the road, which is not an easy thing to do. But I'm really disappointed that they didn't win just exactly the way you wanted. Maybe the Vols' next game will fit your style of play, and then you can happily say, along with Frank Sinatra, "they did it my way".

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to TheEffect:

At South Carolina.......the worst team in the SEC with Miss. State. Maybe you should have a ring made to commemorate the "big" victory.

You need to change your screen name to Mary Sunshine Effect or even better Effective Loser...In the words of Cartman...Your such a Melvin

redskinvol1 writes:

A win is a win.Go Vols!

UKblue02 writes:

A "W" on any home teams floor is a good win in the sec...

decades_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to usnavyvolfan__times_free_press_can_shove_it:

AR-KAN-SAS!
RA-ZOR-BACKS!
AR-KAN-SAS!
RA-ZOR-BACKS!

I like the way that the Hogs put 80 on the luggage sets, and then followed that up with a blistering 49 at Vandy yesterday. I swear, with the comments we are getting from certain interloping cockroaches, I wish that both Ky and Florida would lose on Tuesday. There are plenty of classy fans, both from Florida and Kentucky. Too bad that none of them post on this site.

decades_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to TheEffect:

Enjoy that "NIT Appearance" banner you will be hanging.....if you go at all.

Cause: a large amount of spicy foods, consumed too quickly and therefore extremely harsh on the stomach and continuing GI tract. Effect: the final expulsion of the unnecessary ingredients of the aforementioned cause. Taste with haste makes waste!

sameolvolalum writes:

I see gay jeff and his "effected" buddy are out trolling today. Don't feed the trolls, Vol fans.

8inarow writes:

in response to decades_vol:

I like the way that the Hogs put 80 on the luggage sets, and then followed that up with a blistering 49 at Vandy yesterday. I swear, with the comments we are getting from certain interloping cockroaches, I wish that both Ky and Florida would lose on Tuesday. There are plenty of classy fans, both from Florida and Kentucky. Too bad that none of them post on this site.

You girls are SOOOOOOO sensitive.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to decades_vol:

I like the way that the Hogs put 80 on the luggage sets, and then followed that up with a blistering 49 at Vandy yesterday. I swear, with the comments we are getting from certain interloping cockroaches, I wish that both Ky and Florida would lose on Tuesday. There are plenty of classy fans, both from Florida and Kentucky. Too bad that none of them post on this site.

I've thought the same thing many times, dv! I guess the smarter and classier members of both fan bases enjoy talking to each other on their own websites, while we get the dregs that none of the good fans want anything to do with. I know WE don't want anything to do with them, but what can you do? Even clueless dorks have to feel like they have SOME purpose in life. I just wish they didn't feel like they have to come on our site to fulfill it.

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

3 or 4 times we got momentum and had a 6 point lead only to give it away on turnovers..Totally had me pulling my hair out..Hall was responsible for some of those..50% of the time he has the ball he gets a travel call..Truly don't understand that one!! With 8 minutes left in the game the Refs started calling one tic and tac foul after another..It put SC in the double bonus and kept them in the game..Smart move by Frank to use the zone in desperation but we dealt with it okay..It was nice to see us play good defense in the last 6 minutes and iced the cake with some huge 3's that in the past never fell but this time won the game..Stokes MVP again, while McRae stays ice cold

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to 8inarow:

You girls are SOOOOOOO sensitive.

You might want to sit on your tongue until after UT plays FU..Remember Cuonzo is 2&0 against Eddie Munster..Just a thought.

golfman1975 writes:

in response to MOD_4_MY_DAY_JOB:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Let's see, I recognize you...you work at Disney World! You're Goofy!

voloffaith writes:

in response to TheEffect:

Just pointing out the obvious.....Tennessee is still awful. This was not a "good" win. It was South Carolina!!!!

I want to continue and not lose your upbeat tirade......no not really....we won over a team we should and did. Nobody is proclaiming an SEC championship. Just observe we won and I'm happy. I'm afraid if someone gave you a new $100 bill with a wrinkle that you wouldn't be happy and would point out the wrinkle and not the fact you were now a hundred dollars richer. Ok we get it and have for some time this team is average. Since I'm a VOL fan ,and you apparently aren't, I cheer them on and pull for them. You apparently aren't and just bash and bemoan and gripe................alas some aren't happy,evidently,unless they can drag everybody down to their sordid level....

golfman1975 writes:

in response to Samuel_L_Salma_GataBait_HowBoutDemCowboys_BlueWaffles88:

Ugly game. Ball changed possessions on a consistent basis. Hard game to watch if you're a Vol or Lamecock.

Got an idea for ya...don't watch the games! Then you won't have to post those painful words, heart attacks kill ya know.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to licknpromise777#651578:

3 or 4 times we got momentum and had a 6 point lead only to give it away on turnovers..Totally had me pulling my hair out..Hall was responsible for some of those..50% of the time he has the ball he gets a travel call..Truly don't understand that one!! With 8 minutes left in the game the Refs started calling one tic and tac foul after another..It put SC in the double bonus and kept them in the game..Smart move by Frank to use the zone in desperation but we dealt with it okay..It was nice to see us play good defense in the last 6 minutes and iced the cake with some huge 3's that in the past never fell but this time won the game..Stokes MVP again, while McRae stays ice cold

I know McBee shot terribly at times, but his two 3's and Golden's play down the stretch won this game. Frank Martin sagged that zone and triple teamed Stokes, so it was imperative that UT hit some perimeter shots and/or create some other opportunities besides just dumping down low to Stokes.

VictorKruger writes:

in response to Ironcity:

As I stated earlier I did not see the game but you indicated Chievous contributed but when I look at the box I see 11 minute and 5 fouls. Ouch! I am guessing Golden iced the game away. he is the only player I trust at the stripe with the game on the line.

I look at box score and see 4 points, 1 rebound and 1 steal for Chievous, and 3 rebounds for Edwards ;>). Chievous was trying to aggressively check SC's big gun Carrera. Between Chievous and Edwards, some of the load was taken off the other players, which contributed to the win.

golfman1975 writes:

in response to stoney:

TheEffect? You must be from New Jersey.

"TheEffect" is short for...the effect of lack of oxygen at birth.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to Samuel_L_Salma_GataBait_HowBoutDemCowboys_BlueWaffles88:

Gators destroyed Wisconsin and Marquette. That same Wisconsin team defeated #3 Michigan. Kansas is on a losing skid, Louisville hasnt looked impressive at all lately. Florida could easily finish 1st or 2nd in the Big East and Big 10.

Arky destroyed UF, the same team that got drubbed by Vandy..

decades_vol (Inactive) writes:

in response to Samuel_L_Salma_GataBait_HowBoutDemCowboys_BlueWaffles88:

Gators destroyed Wisconsin and Marquette. That same Wisconsin team defeated #3 Michigan. Kansas is on a losing skid, Louisville hasnt looked impressive at all lately. Florida could easily finish 1st or 2nd in the Big East and Big 10.

Didn't say that the Gators weren't a very good team. They are. I'll cut you some slack, though, because you lost a good player for the season. I hate that for any player, regardless where he plays. But I'm just saying that playing in this league will probably hurt you in the tourney. We're weak across the board. Both the Big East and Big 10 are loaded. The Gators would not dominate either league. You'd be hard-pressed to get many road wins in either conference. I say that because they are currently beating up on each other. You'd share the same fate. One more thing, you might not have the best team in your own state right now. Again, don't get me wrong. You've got a good team. But just one good team among quite a few others out there.

Samuel_L_Salma_GataBait_HowBoutDemCowboys_BlueWaffles88 writes:

in response to golfman1975:

Got an idea for ya...don't watch the games! Then you won't have to post those painful words, heart attacks kill ya know.

Painful words for who? Watching UT struggle to put away SC gives me even more confidence for the trip to TBA. Now watch us beat up on those Kittens Tuesday.

golfman1975 writes:

in response to Samuel_L_Salma_GataBait_HowBoutDemCowboys_BlueWaffles88:

Gators destroyed Wisconsin and Marquette. That same Wisconsin team defeated #3 Michigan. Kansas is on a losing skid, Louisville hasnt looked impressive at all lately. Florida could easily finish 1st or 2nd in the Big East and Big 10.

Did FU loose to Arkansas? I just can't remember.

etu_vol_fan writes:

It was good to get a road win but at the expense of a woeful basketball team in South Carolina. We had them by 3 or 4 inches in the post and should have beat this bunch by 15. This season is pretty much a wash with no point guard to speak of and poor perimeter shooting. Get Hubbs in here and some how get a point guard. An NIT bid will be quite an accomplishment for this bunch.

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