Kris Jenkins came to Villanova as an undersized forward with a good basketball IQ, and quickly gained traction as one of the best outside shooters on the team. Still, on a team returning so much, it was hard to predict what level of contribution he would make during his maiden campaign.
Here is how the season went for Jenkins:
What was expected
Depending on who you talked to, Jenkins was either going to light the world on fire as Villanova's first legitimate three-point sniper since Corey Stokes, or he was too out of shape and not yet ready for Big East-level play.
Best Case Scenario: The Wildcats, in search of some respect on the perimeter, turn to Jenkins' to lend his sweet stroke to stretch defenders outward. He earns more and more minutes as Wright deploys him as an offensive weapon more and more regularly. He adds some rebounding prowess to the mix and begins to develop as a defensive player over the course of the season.
Worst Case Scenario: Villanova is able to get enough success from deep out of Pinkston and it's myriad of guards and doesn't require as many minutes out of Jenkins. Faced with tougher offensive options than he saw in the DC Catholic League, he needs time to learn the defensive scheme. He gets few minutes as a freshman and is asked to develop and learn in practice and limited game minutes, and likely to make his first big splash as a sophomore.
While the non-biased opinion of Jenkins' season is somewhere in the middle, Jenkins whipped himself into shape, dropping 40 pounds before the first game of the year, providing solid defense and plenty of fire when given playing time. His outside shot really came alive at the end of the year (43.7% over his final 11 games), leaving fans excited for what should be a nice sophomore season.
Vote from Wisdom of Crowds
In Wisdom of Crowds, we asked readers to vote on their prediction for how many points per game Jenkins would average this season. 24% (77 voters) led the charge with a 6 ppg prediction, while 17% (55 votes) opted for a 5 ppg prediction.
16% of the community was pretty dead-on with their 4 ppg prediction, as Jenkins finished the year with a 4.1 average.
It was a while ago, but Jenkins 12 points in the 22 minutes he logged in the Battle 4 Atlantis championship game were crucial in winning the title. With JayVaughn Pinkston on the bench, Jenkins came in and made some big baskets, and hit his free throws, during overtime to beat the Hawkeyes.
11 point performances against La Salle, DePaul and Milwaukee were buoyed by Jenkins' strong shooting from deep.
Jenkins didn't see the floor in the double-overtime win at Providence, a fact that was vexing for many fans at the time as Jay Wright rode a short bench to the victory. In fairness to Jenkins, he responded well and played his best ball of the season from there on.
B+ - My heart wanted to give Jenkins the A- because he totally beat our modest expectations, but in reviewing his stats and his game log, he didn't perform consistently at the level he was capable of. Still, a great freshmen year to build on and he should see his minutes rise to 15-20 minutes per game next year, if not more.