Jarnell Stokes, Daniel Coursey

Jarnell Stokes to return to Tennessee for junior season

Leave a comment

Another key member of Tennessee’s 2012-2013 season is set to return to Knoxville next fall.

Second-leading scorer Jarnell Stokes will not declare for the NBA Draft and will instead be back in a Volunteers’ uniform for his junior season. The school announced the news on Saturday morning.

“After considering entering the NBA Draft, I have decided to return to Tennessee for my junior season,” Stokes said in a school statement. “After talking with my family I have decided to come back and I am excited to return to the Vols. I am looking forward to playing with Jeronne (Maymon), Jordan (McRae), Trae (Golden) and my other teammates again. I think we are ready for a big season, one that will make Vol Nation proud.”

Two weeks ago, leading scorer Jordan McRae announced he would be back for his senior year. The 6-foot-5 McRae dropped 15.7 points per game, followed by Stokes with 12.7 points per game.

“I am excited that Jarnell is returning for his junior season,” Cuonzo Martin said. “I thought he had a great sophomore campaign. He did a tremendous job of improving throughout the season. He did a great job in terms of offensive rebounding. This is very exciting news for our team and the entire Tennessee family.”

Martin should be excited. Tennessee was on the bubble for an NCAA tournament bid this season before ultimately settling for a berth in the NIT.

The SEC should be better next season. Florida returns Patric Young and Scottie Wilbekin while gaining top-recruits Kasey Hill and Chris Walker. Kentucky is suppose to be bringing in the best recruiting class of all time and Ole Miss returns fan favorite Marshall Henderson.

According to the press release, with the 6-foot-8 Stokes returning for next season, the Volunteers return 83.7 percent of its scoring and 86.3 percent of its rebounding.

Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

PHOTO: Ohio State’s new LeBron James shoe display

during the College Football Playoff National Championship Game at AT&T Stadium on January 12, 2015 in Arlington, Texas.
Leave a comment

Ohio State has capitalized on its close relationship with NBA superstar LeBron James over the years and now has a new shoe display that should come in handy during recruiting.

The Buckeyes put out a tweet late this week with the display, calling themselves “THE LeBron school.” While this is something small, recruits like that the Buckeyes are tied into the best player in the world and it’s cool to them that Ohio State gets some exclusive gear.

Rutgers hoping new duo can bring a spark

of the Ohio State Buckeyes against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during their Big Ten conference game at Rutgers Athletic Center on February 8, 2015 in Piscataway, New Jersey.
Leave a comment

Rutgers has struggled to achieve success on the floor the last few years and head coach Eddie Jordan is hoping that some talented newcomers can help start a turnaround. With the start of practice, local media saw some of the Scarlet Knights’ early practice and Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press noted that the duo of freshman point guard Corey Sanders and junior college forward Deshawn Freeman were getting a lot of burn together.

With both incoming players being four-star prospects, it’s hardly a surprise that Jordan would see what the two were capable of. According to Carino, it meant a lot of Sanders driving and forcing the defense to collapse before finding Freeman.

“It seems like coach always has us on the same team,” Freeman said to Carino. “Ever since we’ve gotten here, he’s trying to get us to play together.”

Carino also notes that since Rutgers is deeper, longer and more athletic in general this season, the team could do more with a pressing defense to help create turnovers.

While Rutgers still faces an uphill climb in the Big Ten, they at least have some exciting pieces that will be in place for a few seasons.