In the end, it didn't work out as Stokes felt God led him to wear the Orange of Tennessee instead of Razorback Red.
Thankfully on this day for Anderson, he also spent some time chasing Michael Qualls as well.
B.J. Young scored 25 points off the bench while Qualls added seven points and a career-high 11 rebounds in his first start while playing a big part in helping the Razorbacks down the Volunteers 73-60 Saturday afternoon before 14,029 fans at Bud Walton Arena.
Young was happy to see Qualls starting at small forward along with fellow forwards Coty Clarke and Marshawn Powell and guards Ricky Scott and Mardracus Wade.
"He (Qualls) brought a lot of stuff — toughness, rebounding, athleticism," Young said after the game. "... I've kind of been telling the coaches all year that if we had him in at the 3 instead of the 4, he could just run around crazy and grab a lot of boards, because he really wouldn't be able to be boxed out by those bigger guys. And it worked today."
Young, who had been 0-of-13 from 3-point lane before hitting 2-of-3 on Saturday, was pleased with his effort off the bench.
"I was able to go back to my role from last year and just come in and do my thing and play with a chip on my shoulder," Young said. "Our whole team really played with a chip on our shoulder today. We came out and got the job done."
Marshawn Powell added 12 points and Hunter Mickelson 10 points, 5 rebounds and 4 steals for Arkansas (13-8, 4-4) as two of the college games' legendary head coaches looked on.
Clarke added six points and two assists and Rashad Madden three points, four rebounds and five assists while helping finish off the win.
Former Razorback head coach Nolan Richardson was honored at halftime with a painting while former Indiana coach Bobby Knight handled the ESPN TV analyst duties alongside Brent Musbuger.
New Arkansas head football coach Bret Bielema was also introduced to a rousing standing ovation before joining the ESPN broadcast for a few minutes.
"It didn't dawn on me because I am so locked in," Anderson said. "I was locked in. I knew Coach Richardson was going to be here and I heard something where Coach Bielema was talking, but for the most part I was locked into our team and what we were doing."
Tennessee (11-9, 3-5) played without starting point guiard Tre' Golden and it showed as head coach Cuonzo Martin's team had a season-high 20 turnovers.
"The key to this game was what we talked about coming into this game being able to handle their press and their pressure, being able to get the ball across the court and being able to execute the offense," Martin said. "They did a good job of really pressuring. Whether they got steals in the backcourt or not they put pressure on the ball and forced us to make tough plays off the dribble forced us to make tough passes and also tough post entry."
Qualls had shined with nine points and six rebounds in an 18-minute stint in Thursday's 59-56 loss at Alabama and was inserted into the starting quintet on Saturday.
"I didn't know I was going to start until before tipoff," Qualls said. "... Basically I just wanted to come out and produce for the team. I wanted to get as many boards as possible and play lockup D."
Anderson said he just had a feeling it was time to get Qualls - who he says may be 6-5 in height but plays like he is 6-11 with his wingspan - into the opening quintet.
"He's starting to give us some quality minutes," Anderson said. "So we needed an injection. Somebody with some energy. He's starting to pick it up. And it's not even about his offense. It's about his defense. You can see he's a guy that can get some offensive rebounds. He touches a lot of balls and, again, his energy is contagious. He plays the game the right way. He made some nice passes out there. And he continues to really evolve as a player."
Stokes, a 6-7, 270-pound sophomore who enrolled at Tennessee last January, continued his fine play this season with 18 points and 10 rebounds, but had four turnovers as he was doubled teamed a lot.
"Stokes is a great player, a real big body, hard to box out," Qualls said. " So one our points of emphasis was, every time he gets the ball we wanted to double him. Every time a shot went up, we wanted to find him and box him out, because he's real good. For us being the smaller team - and then we've been getting out-rebounding a lot of games - that's one thing we really needed to get better at, is getting more boards and limiting other teams' big men."
Arkansas had 46-9 edge in bench points, obviously with Young's 25 leading the way.
"It was a great effort from the bench, but the starters brought it from the jump," Young said. "They kicked it off, and we saw the energy they played with, and we wanted to come in and match their energy, or even take it up to a higher level, because we know that once our bench is playing like that, really no bench can match up with us. We just happened to come out and played well today, and do what we needed to do. and what Coach asked us to do and got the W."
Arkansas will now face SEC leader Florida (18-2, 8-0) in a Tuesday night game on ESPN at 6 p.m.
"It's a great opportunity for us to make a statement and show the improvement we've made as a team and get a big win in the SEC," Young said.
Former Memphis prep star Jarnell Stokes works against Arkansas forward Coty Clarke.
BJ Young shoots over Tennessee's Skyler McBee for two of his game-high 25 points.
Former Arkansas head coach Nolan Richardson was presented a painting of himself - one of which is being done for every head coach who has won a national championship.
New Arkansas head football coach Bret Bielema got a rousing standing ovation when he was introduced during a timeout in the first half.