Players drafted: 2
Jarnell Stokes – Memphis Grizzlies via Utah Jass; Round 2, Pick 35
Jordan McRae – Philadelphia 76ers via San Antonio Spurs; Round 2, Pick 58
Tennessee basketball made history here. At the time, it was the first NBA Draft in which they saw multiple guys selected since 2002. And both were great developmental stories on Rocky Top as well, which makes this a bigger deal.
Jarnell Stokes was a five-star who enrolled early in 2012. He helped the Vols rebound that year and make the NIT. Jordan McRae, meanwhile, was a four-star commitment to Bruce Pearl who stayed after Pearl’s firing in 2011.
Cuonzo Martin developed both of them. After a Sweet Sixteen appearance in 2014, their skills were clear. Stokes, despite only being 6’7″ or 6’8″ depending on how he was measured, was so wide and ridiculously athletic at the same time that scouts were ready to take him as an underclassman.
McRae, meanwhile, was a four-year guy who, at 6’5″, could drive to the basket or stretch the floor as a primary scorer in college. So he was definitely somebody worth taking a chance on in the second round for some scoring punch.
Neither of these guys have really made any significant impact in the pros, but McRae did start one game on the Cleveland Cavaliers the year they won the NBA title, so he has a ring, and he played in 27 games with the Washington Wizards this past year. Stokes hasn’t played in the league since 2017.
This class could have been better as well. Trae Golden was part of the McRae class in 2010 but transferred out. Also, Jeronne Maymon helped the Vols dominate under the basket this year with a similar build to Stokes, but he was a bit shorter, a bit less athletic and had suffered a season-ending injury in 2012-2013. Those things hurt his draft chances.