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Knoxville News Sentinel, Adam Brimer, Associated Press
Tennessee forward Jarnell Stokes (5) keeps the ball away from Kentucky forward Eloy Vargas (30) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tenn., Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012. Kentucky won 65-62.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Jarnell Stokes' first week at Tennessee was full of new experiences. There were conditioning programs, film study, his first attempts to play sound defense and the challenges of finding his way around campus.

And don't forget the thrilling debut to his collegiate basketball career against No. 2 Kentucky.

Ranked among the top 25 prospects in the nation for 2012 by multiple recruiting services, Stokes signed with Tennessee on Dec. 23. He played in his first game, a 65-62 loss to the Wildcats on Saturday, just five days after his first practice at Tennessee and a week after his 18th birthday.

Even with little knowledge of the playbook, the 6-foot-8, 250-pound power forward finished 4 of 5 from the field and had nine points and four rebounds in 17 minutes.