Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin has no doubt that junior forward Jarnell Stokes is one of college basketball’s best big men.

“When you’re talking about big guys, the way he rebounds the basketball, when he’s moving and scoring the ball like that, there’s no doubt in my mind,” Martin said. “I’d take him up against anybody.”

If the 6-foot-8 Stokes keeps playing the way he did in his last game, a few more people might start agreeing.

Stokes had 20 points and 15 rebounds Saturday in a 74-66 loss at No. 14 Kentucky. Stokes will try to back up Martin’s bold statement tonight when the Volunteers (11-6, 2-2 SEC) host Arkansas (12-5, 1-3).

“I feel like when you’re not at a Top 25 (team), one of those top, big basketball schools, they don’t compare you with one of the best bigs and they don’t give you the credit that you deserve,” Stokes said. “But we’re waking up at 6 a.m. We’re in the gym working on our game also. I feel like I’ve worked harder than any other big man in college basketball, so I deserve statements like that.”

Tennessee usually is at its best when Stokes is at his best.

But despite averaging 13.8 points and 9.9 rebounds this season, his big performances have not come consistently.

Stokes had four points and four rebounds before fouling out of a season-opening 67-63 loss at Xavier. He fouled out of a 70-61 loss at Wichita State with eight points and four rebounds. He had six points, five rebounds and four turnovers in a 57-56 home loss to Texas A&M.

“For him, it’s playing each opponent the same; it doesn’t matter who it is,” Martin said. “I think the stage had something to do with that, with his level of play (against Kentucky). I think he wanted to play well against those guys. You have to be consistent with that.”

Stokes said his problems in certain games have arisen from foul trouble rather than a lack of intensity. Stokes also had a bruised AC joint in his right shoulder that bothered him against Texas A&M, though he says he feels better now.