Welcome to A10 Talk’s postseason Top 25 player countdown where we’ll be breaking down the best players in the Atlantic 10 this past year, as voted on by our staff. Each day, we’ll release a new article as we unveil our list. Today, we start with #23 De’Riante Jenkins of VCU.
What he did
With the addition of Marcus Evans to VCU’s lineup, De’Riante Jenkins didn’t have to be one of the only scoring threats for the Rams in 2018-19. Averaging 11.3 points and 3.9 rebounds per game his junior year, Jenkins was once again a pivotal piece to VCU’s successful season and a key reason the Rams made it to the Big Dance. Though Jenkins didn’t shoot the ball as well from three as he did his sophomore season, he still shot 38% from deep in conference play and certainly improved his ability to score at the rim. Arguably De’Riante Jenkins’ most pivotal performance from the season came against Dayton on the road, a key victory for VCU in conference play, where the junior shot 5/7 from three en route to a 19 point performance. Jenkins’ ability to heat up was crucial for a team that did not shoot the ball well from three as a whole.
As I mentioned, Jenkins developed further this past season to become more than just a shooter. He converted on 55.8% of his attempts inside the three point line in A-10 play compared to just 44.2% the prior conference season. The combination of Jenkins with Issac Vann and Marcus Evans gave the Rams a trio of athletic scorers and shooters who helped VCU make a lot of noise this past season.
What he’ll do
Jenkins enters his senior year in a season where the expectations for VCU are as high as I can remember. There is a chance the Rams are pegged as a preseason top 25 team, and they will easily be an at-large pick at the beginning of the year. Expect De’Riante Jenkins to continue to fill the role as the team’s go-to-shooter, but also expect him to use his athleticism to look for opportunities around the basket. VCU was always at its best when it was attacking the rim instead of settling for threes, and that really showed in the few games VCU struggled with at the beginning of last season. De’Riante Jenkins and VCU have a very fun 2019-20 season to look forward to.