Remember Jarnell Stokes? How could you not…for most of last season, Jimmy Dykes couldn’t shut up about how he’s learned how to stretch. Well, Stokes, who chose Tennessee over Kentucky and others, put together a decent little half-season in Knoxville, and may be the most exciting thing to happen to Volunteer basketball since Bruce Pearl’s last barbeque. Let’s face it: SEC basketball was more fun when Bruce wore that orange blazer, and although Cuonzo Martin seems like a very nice person, I can’t muster the same kind of “love to hate” for him that I did his predecessor. So, in the grand tradition of Tony Harris, Ron Slay, and Scotty Hopson before him, Jarnell has taken it upon himself to stoke* the Kentucky/Tennessee rivalry with these remarks to Brendan F. Quinn, the UT basketball beat writer:
“We can beat any team. Just making the tournament isn’t enough this year. It’s definitely different this year. We plan on winning in Rupp Arena.“
Stokes’ confidence is nothing new (maybe that comes along with having a size 20 foot). Back in February, he made similar remarks after the Vols lost to the Cats in Rupp Arena:
“It definitely made me more hungry. I definitely wanted to win. If anything, I want to win at Rupp Arena. I plan on winning, before I leave, at Rupp Arena. I’m saying that on the record right now. It made me more hungry and made me dislike Kentucky more.”
Oh, it’s fun having a villain again. See you in January, Jarnell.
* I will not apologize for this pun.
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Bill Keightley Report : Never to be forgotten.
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