Isaiah Stokes got a long look at what Tennessee basketball has to offer a long talent like himself.
The Scout No. 28-ranked center in the 2017 class took an official visit to Knoxville on the weekend of Sept. 16-18.
Tennessee coach Rick Barnes clearly made a positive impression.
“I really like Rick Barnes,” the Scout three-star center prospect said. “He’s definitely a down-to-earth guy. He speaks the truth and trusts his God, that’s what I like about him. I also like the way he sees me in his style of play.”
Joining Stokes on the visit were parents Shunta and Willie Stokes, who came away impressed.
“I loved it,” Willie Stokes told IT. “Everything was just great. I liked the whole visit. It was actually better than I thought.
“They are great guys (on staff) and really know basketball, especially coach Barnes. They care about their players and play (Isaiah’s) style of play.”
Isaiah’s brother Jarnell was a standout at Tennessee under then-coach Cuonzo Martin. Chris Stokes is another older brother that attended Tennessee. Isaiah plans to discuss his college decision with his parents as well as his siblings.
“When the time comes, I am going to sit down with my whole family, and I am definitely going to have a conversation,” Isaiah Stokes said. “We just haven’t had that talk.”
The former Lausanne Collegiate (Tenn.) School talent transferred to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Family members in Memphis were paid a visit on Sept. 11.
While Barnes has been active in the pursuit of Stokes, associate head coach Rob Lanier has been the lead recruiter.
Other potential landing spots include Florida, Iowa State, North Carolina and Texas Christian. Iowa State hosts the Stokes family this weekend on another official visit.
Stokes was once a Scout four-star offensive tackle prospect in football before giving up the sport to concentrate on basketball. As a sophomore, he weighed 280 pounds but has trimmed up to get down to 255.
“I got up to 310 pounds as a left tackle,” Stokes said, “but I realized basketball was my heart and 255 is good for a basketball player.”
Time spent at IMG Academy has helped the 6-foot-8 talent get his health in order.
“It’s so much better here because the food is all healthy,” said Stokes, who drinks 2-3 gallons of water daily. “Everything you do here is a pro’s life. That’s one thing that’s helped me to keep my weight down. You don’t have to worry about McDonald’s and fast food here.”
In the 2015-16 season, Stokes averaged 15 points and nine rebounds per game for Lausanne Collegiate for coach Dan Williams.
“(Stokes) has a strong basketball I.Q., good footwork for a big man, along with court awareness,” said Williams, who mentioned that Stokes has impressed with his face-up game from the elbow and the short-corner.
Off the court, Williams is equally impressed with Stokes: “He is extremely respectful and not one to command attention. He’s a yes sir, no sir type.”