Welcome to A10 Talk’s Top 25 Player Countdown. Each day, we publish a new article counting down the 25 best players in the Atlantic 10 this past season, as voted by our staff. Today, we feature #23 De’Riante Jenkins of VCU.
Although it was a transition year for VCU, players like De’Riante Jenkins had a chance to step in the spotlight and establish precedence for this program. The sophomore sharpshooter knocked down triples at a very efficient rate this past season, maintaining high shooting percentages even with an increase in shots taken. Jenkins also elevated his game defensively, developing into more of a complete player. Mike Rhoades will add new talent next season, but De’Riante Jenkins is likely the guy that fosters an improving 2018-19 season.
Jenkins had some standout scoring nights, especially in the non-conference slate of the season. He dropped a career-high 27 points on California, knocking down 5 triples in the process and swatting this one into the bleachers. Jenkins was a catalyst in a road win over La Salle, going 4 of 9 from deep and scoring 20 points.
De’Riante Jenkins GOT UP pic.twitter.com/pJKp5GxtZz
— A10Talk (@A10Talk) November 21, 2017
Perhaps most impressive was the fact that Jenkins only had 2 games all season where he did not hit a three pointer. It’s tough to point to too many nights where Jenkins went off, especially with Tillman carrying a big load in terms of scoring, but he was always good for some big shots from the outside. Without the aforementioned big man in the paint, expect Jenkins to have some 30+ point scoring nights in the 2018-19 season.
42.9%. Jenkins knocked down 42.9% of his three point attempts as a sophomore in conference play, ranking 7th in the Atlantic 10. He hit 79 of his 189 attempts for the entire season.
2.0. De’Riante Jenkins improved his assists and rebounds per game by 2.0 from freshman to sophomore year, elevating from 1.7 to 3.7 and 0.5 to 2.5 respectively.
16. The sophomore had 16 games last season with at least three made pointers, and in his best performances, he was able to knock down 5 triples in a single game.
Jenkins has all of a sudden become the “next man up,” as leading scorer and rebounder Justin Tillman graduates and leaves a big gap in this Rams’ roster. While I expect Rice transfer Marcus Evans to be a great addition and Issac Vann to have a much-improved junior year, De’Riante Jenkins becomes the guy to watch under Mike Rhoades in 2018-19. He is the leading returning scorer and should get a lot more looks next year. If he stays hot from three point range, he could put up some lethal numbers in A-10 play next season.