Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports
What was just said about Patric Young could be said about Jarnell Stokes, but intensified. Stokes is the best big man Kentucky will face in the SEC this year, and arguably the best big man in the entire conference, Kentucky players included.
Stokes is coming off a year where he grabbed 9.5 rebounds per game, and over four of those were on the offensive side. The junior also averaged over 12 points per game as a sophomore for the Volunteers.
With another offseason to improve his game, the 6'8", 260 pound center is expected to be tougher to stop this year and the question is: How can you slow him down? Well, the best way to guard Stokes is to attack him on the offensive side of the ball.
When Kentucky is on offense they attack the rim and Stokes at the same time. A combination of often fouling and not having the best endurance can limit the amount of time Stokes is on the floor. Willie Cauley-Stein, Julius Randle, Marcus Lee, Alex Poythess and Dakari Johnson all need to attack the offensive glass and be demonstrative in getting the ball in the post.
While on defense, besides keeping Stokes off the offensive glass, throwing double teams on him in the post to confuse him is the best defense. Having a wing player dig down in the post and cause Stokes to pick his dribble up quick will lead to turnovers and a confused Stokes.