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Tennessee's Jarnell Stokes says he entering NBA draft, bypassing senior season with the Vols

Tennessee Stokes Basketball-1.jpg

FILE - In this March 27, 2014 filem photo, Tennessee's Jarnell Stokes shoots during practice for the NCAA Midwest Regional semifinal college basketball tournament game in Indianapolis. Stokes is holding a press conference Friday, April 11, 2014, at which he's expected to announce whether he's bypassing his senior season to enter the NBA draft. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File) (The Associated Press)

Jarnell Stokes has decided to bypass his senior season at Tennessee to enter the NBA draft.

Stokes, a 6-foot-8, 260-pound forward, confirmed Friday at a news conference that he had decided to begin his pro career. The news was first reported by

Stokes averaged 15.1 points and 10.6 rebounds per game to earn first-team all-Southeastern Conference honors this season while helping Tennessee go 24-13 and reach the Midwest Regional semifinals. He had 22 double-doubles to tie the school single-season record set by Bernard King in 1976-77.

Stokes was at his best in the NCAA tournament, where he averaged 18 points and 12.8 rebounds in four games.

Stokes' departure means that Tennessee will have to replace four of its top five scorers from this year's team.