From August 11-19, the pair of Wildcats will play five games against international competition in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany. The academy will also provide a glimpse of European culture to the participants through sight-seeing events.
Coached by Northwestern assistant Patrick Baldwin, the team will consist of other Division 1 talents Nick Barnyard (Illinois State), Sterling Brown (SMU), Trey Harris (Kansas St.), George Marshall Jr. (South Dakota State), Benjamin Moore (SMU), Jarvis Pugh (Santa Clara), Xavier Smith (St. Bonaventure), Nathan Taphorn (Northwestern), and Jordan Threloff (Northern Illinois). This makes Jenkins and Reynolds the only representatives of the Big East on the tour.
Playing against elite talent in the summer is important for all basketball players, and especially for the Villanova Wildcats, who will face an uptick in competition with a more difficult non-conference schedule this season. We have seen Ryan Arcidiacono take advantage of international play this summer, and both Tony Chennault and Darrun Hilliard have participated in the Global Sports Academy in the past.
This opportunity is particularly important for both Jenkins and Reynolds, who faced inconsistent playing time all season long. Jenkins took advantage of his 11.7 minutes per game average, scoring 4.1 ppg and securing 1.8 rpg. Reynolds had even less of an opportunity last season, averaging only 3.1 minutes per game.
Both players, however, can expect to see more minutes this upcoming season. With 2014 graduate James Bell off to Italy, Jenkins will have the opportunity to take a step forward in the rotation. Reynolds could also see an increase in minutes this season given Nova's need for a backup big man to Daniel Ochefu. Whatever experience these two young forwards can get this summer will help prepare them for an exciting season ahead.