Stokes named SEC Player of the Week after lifting Vols to first road win

Tennessee head coach Cuonzo Martin 
 (Adam Brimer/News Sentinel)

Photo by Adam Brimer

Tennessee head coach Cuonzo Martin (Adam Brimer/News Sentinel)

Cuonzo Martin on the Vols' road win

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With a road win in the rearview mirror and a roadtrip down I-40 West on the horizon, Tennessee men’s basketball coach Cuonzo Martin is moving forward with relief.

“Finally got that road win, great feeling,” he said Monday at his weekly press luncheon, referencing Sunday’s 66-61 win at South Carolina. “Getting on the plane after a road win, that was always one of the things I took great pride in as a player.”

One player feeling prideful is Jarnell Stokes. Following a 20-point, 10-rebound performance against the Gamecocks, the sophomore forward was named SEC Player of the Week on Monday. Now riding a streak of five straight double-doubles, Stokes averaged 18 points, 10.5 rebounds, two assists and two steals last week as the Vols split a pair of games against Georgia and South Carolina.

Though based on two games, the award caps a string of five brilliant outings from Stokes. The performances happen to correspond with Martin’s decision to contact Gerald Boudreaux, the SEC’s coordinator of men’s basketball officials, to address fouls being called on Stokes and no-calls against defenders hounding him following UT’s loss at Ole Miss on Jan. 24.

Stokes has dominated since. Playing 33 minutes per game, he’s averaged 17.6 points on 68.9 percent shooting (31-of-45) and grabbed 60 rebounds. Of the rebounds, 27 have been offensive. Stokes had 26 in the 10 games prior.

“Offensively, on the rebounding side, he’s rebounding balls out of his area, he’s going and getting rebounds and keeping that ball alive,” Martin said. “That’s really something he didn’t do last year and didn’t do earlier this year.”

Against South Carolina, Stokes grabbed two crucial offensive boards in the game’s final three minutes. One led to a Skylar McBee 3-pointer that stretched a 58-57 lead to 61-57. The other allowed the Vols to run an additional 24 seconds off the clock.

Up Next: Sitting at 12-10 overall and 4-6 in the SEC, the Vols will head to Nashville on Wednesday (TV: 8 p.m., WVLT) for a date with Vanderbilt (9-13, 3-7). Tennessee topped the Commodores 58-57 on Jan. 29 at Thompson-Boling Arena.

The narrow win came after a frantic final sequence that saw Vandy get two late shot attempts near the rim that nearly fell.

With only three games separating the meetings, UT has an advantage of having faced coach Kevin Stallings’ Princeton-style offense recently.

“I think it helps, our guys will be familiar with it,” Martin said. “But with that being said, when you’re talking about a rival opponent, everything goes out the door and you’re competing, playing a basketball game. It should be a tough game, a physical game.”

McRae’s Misfortune: While Stokes has surged, junior guard Jordan McRae has seen his production plummet.

Since raising his season scoring average from 10.3 to 14.7 points per game over a torrid seven-game stretch in January, McRae is 9-for-38 from the field (23.7 percent), 1-for-14 on 3-point attempts (7.1 percent) and averaging 9.3 points per game.

Changing the Turnover Tide: During Monday morning’s SEC teleconference, Martin mentioned that a difference seen in Sunday’s win over South Carolina was the Vols not “finding a way to lose.”

Asked about the comment during his luncheon, Martin returned to UT’s turnover tendencies.

“You’ve got to take care of the basketball,” he said. “The biggest Achilles’ heel for us has been taking care of the basketball. In some ways it’s free throws, but we’ve been in games where the opposing team has missed big free throws. You have to be able to take care of that basketball, give yourself a chance to win games.”

The Vols committed 11 second-half turnovers against the Gamecocks, but only three came in the game’s final nine minutes.

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

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Comments » 39

VictorKruger writes:

Well-deserved honor for Jarnell! Personally, I would have given him the award just based on picking up Michael Carerra using the ball :>). Stokes has gotten a lot more decisive making his scoring moves when he's posting up. Pound Vandy!

johnlg00 writes:

I can't get the teleconference to run! Congrats to Jarnell for a well-deserved honor. He really does seem to have kicked into a higher gear lately. He seems to have resolved his earlier dilemma of trying to find the balance between playing aggessively and taking what the defense gives him. I also think the refs have been giving him a little more respect lately. He has never been a dirty player, but it almost seemed as if the refs held it against him because he is usually the strongest guy on the court. To his credit, he has also learned to spin off guys instead of just trying to bull them over and to pass it quicker when he is double-teamed. More than anything, he doesn't give up on plays, always looking to keep the ball alive if he can't grab it outright. He also looks more confident at the FT line. Keep up the great work, big fella!

wigmeister writes:

Bout time we beat Vandy! Go Vols!

VolGrad writes:

Loathe playing at Vandy.

Go Vols! Beat the 'Dores!!!

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to johnlg00:

I can't get the teleconference to run! Congrats to Jarnell for a well-deserved honor. He really does seem to have kicked into a higher gear lately. He seems to have resolved his earlier dilemma of trying to find the balance between playing aggessively and taking what the defense gives him. I also think the refs have been giving him a little more respect lately. He has never been a dirty player, but it almost seemed as if the refs held it against him because he is usually the strongest guy on the court. To his credit, he has also learned to spin off guys instead of just trying to bull them over and to pass it quicker when he is double-teamed. More than anything, he doesn't give up on plays, always looking to keep the ball alive if he can't grab it outright. He also looks more confident at the FT line. Keep up the great work, big fella!

Exactly John. Jarnell is Tennessee's version of a Charles Barkley. Both very tough guys.
Vols need to reduce the turnovers, hit more outside shots, and play tighter defense on the guys with the ball. Quite a few teams we've played are something like 1 foot away from our guy's dribbling the ball, with intense pressure.. We seem to have 4 or 5 feet in space from their guy when he has the ball.

Still, maybe that's the plan, what do I know? Not much, admittedly ! I do know the free throw shooting was a lot better, especially down the stretch, and especially from Stokes and Golden. Heck, even big Mac made 2 !

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

Any player putting up 20 points with no less than 2 defenders hanging on him deserves some credit. Now if our guards can get remotely consistent we might have something!!CCM hasn't taken full advantage of all these double teams Stokes faces every game..When Stokes is 8 feet or more from the basket, with his backed turned; it leaves a cutter coming down the baseline wide open for a dunk..We did it once using Josh against So Car. and it was a thing of beauty!!! It's a little hard to pull off if the guard's defender cuts him off from the baseline but it just as easily done using Hall when he gets left alone

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to MOD_4_MY_DAY_JOB:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

you're a NOBODY

GrandCanyonVol writes:

I am not a BB player, don't know much about the game. But I think it is ok for the coach to crow a little. Victory makes a person feel good as we all know. So, I would let the coach feel good for a while. He's had a rough year and I really don't want to add to his hurt. He needs a couple of shooters who can shoot the lights out, and he will have a better team. Give him some support and see if things work out. I like the defence, just need some baskets made. It's still BB, and you need someone to shoot the ball in the basket to win a lot of games. I like the coach. I think he is a decent man who wants to win. I believe he will get the job done, and we will crow some and maybe a whole lot next year. May the good Lord help you coach!!!!!!!!!

VolGrad writes:

in response to MOD_4_MY_DAY_JOB:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Beating "nobodys" is much better than losing to "nobodys," simpleton. No one here is talking NCAAs or NITs except the naysayers. After losing 3 or 4 games we think we should have been able to win, it is great to finally get another victory, and this time it was on the road. Who shouldn't be happy about that?

Go Vols! Beat the 'Dores!!!

johnlg00 writes:

in response to MOD_4_MY_DAY_JOB:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Who have YOU beaten lately, blowhard? We have about had it with you. You calling Jarnell Stokes a "fool" on another thread was beneath contempt. He has already accomplished more in his life than the likes of you ever dreamed of. As for Martin, he is MANY more times the man than you could ever hope to be. Stop posting on here and go write your drivel on strip-club bathroom walls where it MIGHT not be the worst thing anybody reads all day.

voloffaith writes:

in response to MOD_4_MY_DAY_JOB:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz and more zzzzzzzzzzzzzz

tennrich1 writes:

in response to MOD_4_MY_DAY_JOB:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

WARNING WARNING DO NOT RESPOND...DO NOT RESPOND...SETUP ALERT SETUP ALERT!!!

tennrich1 writes:

in response to tennrich1:

WARNING WARNING DO NOT RESPOND...DO NOT RESPOND...SETUP ALERT SETUP ALERT!!!

COME ON FOLKS...HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE FOR YALL TO REALIZE THAT GUY IS SETTTING YOU UP??? Man I am embarrassed for you not him...he's getting what he wants....Great now I'm responding to my own post...

tennrich1 writes:

Now to say what I would have said otherwise...Jarnell I think is starting to figure out how he's to play his position in the SEC...with a healthy Golden and even without Maymon I still think we can be ok...no one is suggesting this team will make it to the tourney...I think we realistic fans knew that would be a long shot when Maymon was out for the season...let's play these young kids and get as good as we can....AND STOP RESPONDING TO THOSE MORONS FOR HEAVENS SAKE!!!

CactusJack writes:

This is a good win. Any win on the road in the SEC is a good win. Even the down teams will play you tough at home, trying for a win to make their season. Vandy will be tough in Nashville, they always are.

claiborneh writes:

in response to VolGrad:

Beating "nobodys" is much better than losing to "nobodys," simpleton. No one here is talking NCAAs or NITs except the naysayers. After losing 3 or 4 games we think we should have been able to win, it is great to finally get another victory, and this time it was on the road. Who shouldn't be happy about that?

Go Vols! Beat the 'Dores!!!

NO! We should NOT be happy. Maybe slighty encouraged, maybe indifferent to feelings but supportive of team and effort. But no sir, I am definitely not turning a cartwheel about winning a game we were supposed to win. Otherwise you start to accept average. Likewise I am not going to pout about the loss to lowly Georgia which was also a game we should have won.

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor said it before instead of arguing hit the "Suggest Removal" button continuously and eventually the Mods in Sandusky get tired of having to delete their co workers. lol
Bones never lie.

Basketvol writes:

It looks like Stokes has done what we've all been waiting for and has taken his play to the next level. Now the question is, can he be consistent? I'd say five double-doubles in a row was a good start. I see these glimpses of what could be with players like McRae, Stokes, Golden, Moore, and others. I wonder how this team would be doing if all of these players were performing at their best at the same time, and on a more consistent level.

I'm glad for the win. The team, coach, and fans always have the right to celebrate an SEC road win no matter who it is against. Now let's get another one against Vandy in that awful gymansium!

voloffaith writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor said it before instead of arguing hit the "Suggest Removal" button continuously and eventually the Mods in Sandusky get tired of having to delete their co workers. lol
Bones never lie.

Hey Doc didn't you see I hit the snooooooze button................

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to johnlg00:

Who have YOU beaten lately, blowhard? We have about had it with you. You calling Jarnell Stokes a "fool" on another thread was beneath contempt. He has already accomplished more in his life than the likes of you ever dreamed of. As for Martin, he is MANY more times the man than you could ever hope to be. Stop posting on here and go write your drivel on strip-club bathroom walls where it MIGHT not be the worst thing anybody reads all day.

Wow, that guy must have really stepped in it to provoke you to wrath..Good job, John..OBTW, great game Mr. Stokes, you manned up big time.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to voloffaith:

Hey Doc didn't you see I hit the snooooooze button................

Witch Doctor say the running joke is if they blocked IP addresses of these "Trolls" none of them would be able to login in to post articles! lol
Bones never lie.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor say the running joke is if they blocked IP addresses of these "Trolls" none of them would be able to login in to post articles! lol
Bones never lie.

Shhhh..Don't give them any ideas.

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

Shhhh..Don't give them any ideas.

Witch Doctor know not to say too much! lol. Witch Doctor say someone posted on another site to go look at all the sites that have a sister 247 site...hmmm some of these people look real familar? lol
Bones never lie.
*hey they are here for our smacking enjoyment!

licknpromise777#651578 writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

Wow, that guy must have really stepped in it to provoke you to wrath..Good job, John..OBTW, great game Mr. Stokes, you manned up big time.

Your right..John like the rest of us old timers usually side steps such crud but this new or newly disguised troll is hitting some new all time lows in degrading Vol Sports

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor know not to say too much! lol. Witch Doctor say someone posted on another site to go look at all the sites that have a sister 247 site...hmmm some of these people look real familar? lol
Bones never lie.
*hey they are here for our smacking enjoyment!

Yep, JA would be cut off from posting under his many aliases..lol

VolGrad writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor said it before instead of arguing hit the "Suggest Removal" button continuously and eventually the Mods in Sandusky get tired of having to delete their co workers. lol
Bones never lie.

Yeah, I keep forgetting some people really get off on being bitter and eaten up with self loathing.

On a lighter note, how the heck are you? :D

Witch_Doctors writes:

in response to VolGrad:

Yeah, I keep forgetting some people really get off on being bitter and eaten up with self loathing.

On a lighter note, how the heck are you? :D

Witch Doctor got pills that make Witch Doctor love again! haha
Bones never lie.

VolGrad writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors:

Witch Doctor got pills that make Witch Doctor love again! haha
Bones never lie.

At risk of offending some... LOL!

VictorKruger writes:

Folks, I apologize in advance if you're tired of seeing me post this same thing. It's the last time I will this BB season...

If you're running Firefox or Chrome, there is a browser extension to block trolls on this site and knoxnews. Don' forget the prerequisites!

https://userscripts.org/scripts/show/...

smokeygrowl writes:

With Hobbs Jarnell,Josh, Trae and Mcrae then add Maymon. Big Mac inside and Reese. A lot of coaches would love to have that base.Then bring in a good juco point guard. Just a good ball handler and defender and can score just a little bit, enuf to keep defender honest. A good coach could make some noise with that line-up. Cuonzo will get that shot next year. If he can't make the tourney with that line-up he needs to go. I hate this style of play on both ends. No gambling for steals and walking the ball up but I can put up with it for wins I guess. But I don't think we will see it. I just don't. Zo is as lost as Bo Peeps sheep.

volthrunthru#658770 writes:

Congratulations, team and coaches.

Any way to do that again?

brod writes:

well deserved. now he can back it up by playing better defense against vandy's bigs than he did last game. his offensive production was great in that game.

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

Who knows what to expect in the Vandy game?
Having to go play in the movie theater of a gym is always interesting. Surprising the NCAA didn't make them conform to the normal
arrangement of basketball arenas.

You know a troll like this MOD pod is pretty deserving of whatever he gets when Johnlg calls him out. John usually considers the source when these idiots post their nonsense.
I have no idea what the troll was saying since I didn't read the stuff he wrote, but it must have been something else if a class person like Johnlg replied as he did.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

Wow, that guy must have really stepped in it to provoke you to wrath..Good job, John..OBTW, great game Mr. Stokes, you manned up big time.

You know, BB, I periodically take the vow not to respond to the obvious provocateurs, but sometimes it is just too hard to resist the temptation to unload on them. We have all expressed our various gripes and irritations at the sloppy play and such, but it is just completely beside the point, unfair, and counter-productive to slam coaches and players in insultingly personal terms just because they don't perform up to our expectations. Sometimes you just have to wonder about the mental state of people who just have to "go there" whenever things that they have no possible control over don't go the way they think they ought to. And then you have to worry that people like that vote, have kids, and drive the same roads you do.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to brod:

well deserved. now he can back it up by playing better defense against vandy's bigs than he did last game. his offensive production was great in that game.

I'm pretty sure that guy--Henderson, I think is his name--didn't show up very prominently on the scouting report. I don't think he had scored in double-figures before that game, but he showed some nice chops out there. But with most teams, you kind of have to pick your poison. Even as well as he played the last time, I would still rather see the Vols shut down Vandy's guards a little better rather than concentrating too much on that guy.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to claiborneh:

NO! We should NOT be happy. Maybe slighty encouraged, maybe indifferent to feelings but supportive of team and effort. But no sir, I am definitely not turning a cartwheel about winning a game we were supposed to win. Otherwise you start to accept average. Likewise I am not going to pout about the loss to lowly Georgia which was also a game we should have won.

It must be NICE to be above average. I personally wouldn't know. I'm just an average Joe...or mocs/vols if you will. I'm not a believer in median or middle of the road or anything like that. My tendency is to edge towards the ditch.hehe Either way can get you in trouble. This "mediocrity" stuff is a myth. A "mythconception" I guess. How in the world can a person judge something like that? well obviously you can and I mean no disrespect.

WE ALL need to get better. Please don't use the labels of the media.halgh media now that's an "average" word.

On subject of the article...uhhh what was the article?

bobe4544 writes:

Coach if you cannot beat SC in this weak SEC league this year then you will not win many games. Not much of a victory to crow about. BP would be unbeaten in league play to this point.

mocsandvolsfan writes:

in response to bobe4544:

Coach if you cannot beat SC in this weak SEC league this year then you will not win many games. Not much of a victory to crow about. BP would be unbeaten in league play to this point.

crow??? Maybe he's crowing. I doubt it though. A win on the road in this league is always tough and a good get. Ask Kentucky. Ask Florida because they couldn't beat us at home last year.

Our club is hurting and needs encouragements not what a lot of "fans" give. We're definitely overcoming obstacles.

BP ? BP might still have Harris and Hopson. I'll give you that...maybe. Actually I doubt that and I doubt Pearl would have done any better considering the injuries.IMHO

But if Martin chose to leave...key word is chose...I'd welcome Pearl. He definitely wouldn't be my own first choice though. I'd like to believe he as a penitant heart.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

crow??? Maybe he's crowing. I doubt it though. A win on the road in this league is always tough and a good get. Ask Kentucky. Ask Florida because they couldn't beat us at home last year.

Our club is hurting and needs encouragements not what a lot of "fans" give. We're definitely overcoming obstacles.

BP ? BP might still have Harris and Hopson. I'll give you that...maybe. Actually I doubt that and I doubt Pearl would have done any better considering the injuries.IMHO

But if Martin chose to leave...key word is chose...I'd welcome Pearl. He definitely wouldn't be my own first choice though. I'd like to believe he as a penitant heart.

I don't disagree with most of your post, but I don't think Harris and Hopson would have stayed even if Bruce had. When a guy is a sure-fire 1st-rounder as Harris was, he would be crazy NOT to go for the gold because there is just so much uncertainty from year to year, what with injuries, off-years, and such. Hopson and Pearl had little to say to each other by the end of Scotty's last season. Most of the time, he looked like he just didn't want to be out there. As even he has admitted, Scotty was dealing with a lot of disappointment over how his career had gone and he didn't handle it well. Couple that with some bad advice, and it was almost inevitable that he would bail. All this is water under the bridge of course, but it is instructive as to what influences the highly-rated "can't-miss" stars have on them. A college coach can seem like the least of those influences.

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