COVID brought a lot of strangeness to college basketball, leading among them players getting a fifth full season if they were active during the 2020-21 season. Combined with the transfer portal, it has created a free agent market for experienced players looking to make a one year impact. That is what who we have today:
David Jenkins Jr. - Grad
Tacoma, WA (Wilson HS)
6’1”, 200 pounds
2022-23 Projection: Starter
It is weird to say, but Jenkins is on his fourth school since he started playing college basketball. He began his career at South Dakota State in 2017-18. He averaged better than 16 points per game as the Jackrabbits went 28-7 and reached the NCAA Tournament as a 12 seed, where they lost to Ohio State. The next season he returned and averaged a career best 19.7 points per game and the Jackrabbits won the Summit league regular season title, but they were upset by Western Illinois in the conference tournament.
In 2019-20 he decided to transfer to UNLV, but since he was not a grad transfer he had to sit out due to the rules at the time. He averaged 14.8 points per game in 2020-21 for a Runnin’ Rebels team that struggled to a 12-15 finish. Seeking an opportunity in a major conference, he transferred again to Utah, where last year he saw his minutes drop to just 19 per game. He averaged 8.5 points per game, but still shot close to 40% from three.
Now at Purdue it is hard to say what his role will be. He was a volume scorer in his time at San Diego State, and in those years, as well as his year at UNLV, he was taking over 12 shots per game. He is an excellent three-point shooter, going 323 of 782 in his career. That’s good for 41.3%.
I look for him to replace the role of two of Purdue’s departures in Isaiah Thompson and Eric Hunter Jr. With Zach Edey drawing so much attention in the paint there will be open threes to take. That is what will make the difference between a good season and a great season for Purdue. The reason Purdue lost to St. Peter’s is because it was 5 of 21 from three. It lost to North Texas in the 2021 tournament because it was 9 of 30 from three. Several other losses last year could be attributed to poor three point shooting.
Simply put, if the threes are falling, Purdue is very tough to beat with a guy like Edey inside. Jenkins can make them fall.