Hometown: Upper Marlboro, MD
High School: Gonzaga College High School
Weight: 240 lbs
Jenkins, whose mother is an assistant basketball coach for the women's team at Jacksonville State, grew up on the hardwood. He developed a great basketball IQ at a young age, but was sent to live with the family of UNC guard Nate Britt during high school to help keep him away from trouble and focused on getting to college. It worked, and he was twice named the WCAC and Washington DC Gatorade Player of the Year.
As a freshman last season, he averaged 11.7 minutes per game, and scored 140 points total or 4.7 per game (or 14 points per 40-minutes). That is a level of scoring that would put him up there with some of Villanova's better scorers last season, if it held up over longer stretches. He appeared in all 34 games, scoring 11 points against Milwaukee in the NCAA tournament and 3 points in the tournament-ending loss to UConn.
Jenkins is a quality 3-point shooter who averaged 37% from beyond the arc as a freshman. He won't have to live on the perimeter, however, as his big frame and soft hands can help him to battle on the interior. That versatility has him as the likely back-up power-forward for the Wildcats, filling in for JayVaughn Pinkston for stretches. While his game isn't entirely the same as the senior, his body and skill set are a good fit for that role in the Wildcats' system.
At the four, Jenkins will be a difficult match-up for most teams. While one of Josh Hart or Dylan Ennis is slated to be the sixth-man (or co-starting fifth-man if you believe Jay Wright), Jenkins should also see an increase in his role this season -- his minutes increased as the season went on last year.
He lost 40 pounds as a freshman working on conditioning (but still has the body to bang inside), the change helped him to keep up on defense and run the floor, but it should also improve his shooting. Instead of launching the ball with tired legs, his improved condition means that he should have better form from outside, especially late in games.
2013-14 Stat Line
Best Case: Jenkins proves why coaches think he is the best shooter in the program, knocking down big shots from deep and showing off his scoring potential off the bench. He plays good defense, and utilizes his "new" body to keep up for longer stretches without getting fatigued, allowing him to play more minutes. Ultimately, he earns the Big East Sixth Man of the Year award for his big time contributions off the bench.
Worst Case: With Josh Hart and Dylan Ennis splitting the bulk of James Bell's inherited minutes, there isn't much left for Jenkins. Staying at under 15 minutes per game, it is difficult for Jenkins to get a hot hand, and he continues to be a role-player for the 'Cats for another season.
Ed's Wisdom of Crowds experiment is back for the 2014-15 season. Following each of our previews we will be sampling the VUHoops community on the projected performances of the Villanova roster for the upcoming season.