Vols visit Georgetown

Jarnell Stokes

You get everything you need on Vol hoops from InsideTennessee. Check out this combination analysis piece/game preview:

Three minutes into the second half of Monday's game with Oakland, Tennessee's Kenny Hall got the ball near the basket, sensed a double-team coming and flipped the basketball to Jarnell Stokes for a layup.

On the very next Vol possession Stokes got the ball down low, felt a double-team coming and shoveled the basketball to Hall for a dunk.

You can call it teamwork. You can call it chemistry. You can call it familiarity. Whatever you choose to call it, Stokes and Hall are developing it as Tennessee's primary post tandem this season. They worked together exceptionally well Monday night -- Stokes producing 19 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists; Hall adding 9 points, 11 rebounds and 2 assists.

"You'll see that a lot more as we play together," Stokes said afterward.

Tennessee hopes to see a lot more of the Stokes/Hall chemistry tonight at 6:30 in Washington, D.C., when the Vols face Georgetown in the SEC/Big East Challenge.

Although Hall (6-9, 232) is a senior, he and Stokes (6-8, 270) scarcely worked together prior to last summer. Stokes missed the first two months of the 2011-12 season while finishing up his diploma at Memphis' Southwind High School. Then Hall missed the final month of the 2011-12 season under disciplinary suspension.

"We're definitely new to playing together," Stokes said. "The more we practice together and the more we play together, the better you'll see us play."

With Hall suspended, Stokes paired with Jeronne Maymon to give Tennessee one of the SEC's top post tandems late last season. Maymon is nursing a knee problem this fall, however, so Stokes has gotten a bunch of practice repetitions with Hall. Those repetitions are starting to pay dividends.

"When you're practicing with each other, playing with each other for so long, chemistry is going to start to build," Hall said. "We've been practicing all summer, all preseason and since the season began. He's a quick learner and I'm a quick learner, so it pretty much goes hand in hand."

Thanks to their growing familiarity with one another's games, Stokes and Hall are beginning to anticipate one another's moves, just as Stokes and Maymon did last March.

"Yeah. I feel like me and Jeronne had just started clicking at the end of the year," Stokes said. "That's just common sense: The more we play together the better we'll play."

Trae Golden is encouraged by the fact Hall and Stokes are developing more chemistry with each passing week.

"That's what they have to do," Tennessee's No. 1 point guard said. "You kind of saw it late last year with Jeronne and Jarnell. Now Kenny and Jarnell are getting a lot of reps together, so they're getting that energy. We're going to keep feeding them and playing through them.

"When Jeronne gets back, down low will be crazy. We'll have the best front court in the country."

GAME NOTES: Georgetown is 4-1 and ranked No. 20 nationally. The Hoyas are 1-1 against other ranked teams, having beaten No. 11 UCLA 78-70 in the semifinals of the Legends Classic in Brooklyn before dropping an 82-72 overtime decision to top-ranked Indiana in the title game.... Georgetown's leading scorers are 6-foot-2 junior guard Markel Starks (14.0 points per game), 6-foot-8 sophomore forward Greg Whittington (13.6 ppg) and 6-foot-8 sophomore forward Otto Porter (12.5 ppg)..... Golden has recorded at least five assists in four of the Vols' first five games. He ranks third among SEC players with an average of 5.2 assists per game and carries an excellent 3.7 to 1 assist/turnover ratio.... Tonight's contest will be televised by ESPN, with Marc Kestecher handling play-by-play and Bob Knight providing analysis.... Tennessee and Georgetown have split two previous meetings. The Hoyas beat Buzz Peterson's Vols 70-60 at Knoxville in the first round of the 2003 National Invitation Tournament. The 12th-ranked Vols, then coached by Bruce Pearl, evened the series with a 90-78 defeat of the No. 21 Hoyas in the semifinals of the 2008 Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Fla.... Tennessee head man Cuonzo Martin was teammates with Georgetown assistant Kenya Hunter at New Hampton (N.H.) Prep School in 1990.... Tennessee holds a 7-3 record against current members of the Big East.

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