2014 NBA Draft: Tennessee big man Jarnell Stokes goes pro

USA TODAY Sports

The Volunteers will lose talented big man Jarnell Stokes, who will forgo his final season of college ball to enter the NBA Draft.

After helping his Tennessee Volunteers to the Sweet 16 as an 11-seed, junior Jarnell Stokes has decided to enter the NBA Draftthe school announced on Friday:

"First of all, I think Jarnell is going to go down as one of the best big men to ever play at Tennessee -- certainly one of the most dominant rebounders ever to wear the orange," UT head coach Cuonzo Martin said.

"I know this wasn't an easy decision for him, but his goal has always been to be a pro, and he's worked incredibly hard to put that goal within reach."

Stokes averaged 15.1 points, 10.6 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game for the Vols this season and projects as a second-round pick. Draft Express currently has him going 53rd overall in its 2014 mock draft.

Stokes recorded 22 double-doubles in 2013-14, the second-most in the NCAA, and leaves UT as the school's most prolific offensive rebounder. He averaged 3.9 offensive rebounds per game in 87 career outings. At 6'8 and 260 pounds, Stokes is offensively a post player who uses his strength to score at the rim.

At 20 years old, he played three years at Tennessee after enrolling early out of high school.

Tennessee surprised during the 2014 NCAA Tournament and after a tight win against Iowa in the play-in game, rolled all the way to the Sweet 16, where it lost to No. 2 seed Michigan. Stokes' postseason included three games of 13 rebounds or more, a 26-point outburst in the second round against UMass and an 18-rebound performance against Mercer in the round of 32.

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