#44 RANKED PLAYER IN COUNTRY (CLASS OF 2016)
STAR RANKING: 4 STARS
WEIGHT: 180 POUNDS
AGE: 19 YEARS OLD
POSITION: SMALL FORWARD
HIGH SCHOOL: HARGRAVE MILITARY ACADEMY IN VIRGINIA
CHOSE VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH OVER: CLEMSON, TENNESSEE, SOUTH CAROLINA, AMONG OTHERS
PLAYER SUMMARY: In 2011, a university located in Richmond, Virginia was the story of the college basketball world. Led by current Texas head coach Shaka Smart, The Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Rams went on a wild ride all the way to Houston, Texas and the Final 4. The term “mid-major” has been attached to the basketball program since then. However, with their play on the court, VCU has shown it isn’t just a good “mid-major” program, it is just one of the better overall basketball programs in america and a perennial borderline top-25 team.
When Smart left for Texas, VCU hired a young up and coming coach who had very good success at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Will Wade took over the head coaching duties last season and led the Rams into the 2nd round of the NCAA tournament, where they narrowly lost to Oklahoma, 85-81. The 33-year old Wade and his assistants went out on the recruiting trail and ended up signing one of the better small forward prospects in the class of 2016, De’Riante Jenkins.
Jenkins is a player who we believe fits perfectly into Wade’s “Chaos” style of play, which is a fast-paced system used for the entire 40 minutes. Players love to play in this type of system and the 4-star Jenkins has the ability to make an immediate impact in it. Jenkins is a very athletic athlete who is excellent in an open-court setting. He is very good while attacking the basket and shows the ability to finish with contact. His passing and rebounding are above average for the small forward position.
Jenkins shows solid form on his shot, however it is inconsistent. He needs to work hard over the summer and in the fall on his jump-shot. If he puts in the time to work at this skill it will make him a bigger threat on the offensive end, and will keep defenses honest as they will key on his ability to drive to the rim. He has range out to the 3-point line, however we believe his greatest offensive strength at this point in his development is as a slasher.
In our opinion, Jenkins greatest attribute as a basketball player at this time is the ability to defend. Of all the players we have profiled in the class of 2016, Jenkins is one of the best on-ball defenders. He has the versatility to defend multiple positions, which is extremely important in VCU’s “Chaos” style of play. The Rams pride themselves on turning opponents over, which often leads to fast-breaks on the offensive end. Having a player who can guard multiple positions like Jenkins does will give Will Wade flexibility with his defensive sets and assignments.
We have come to appreciate the overall game that the 6’5″, 19-year old brings to the basketball court. The VCU Rams are a premier team in the very underrated Atlantic-10 conference. Bringing in a player with the talent and potential that Jenkins possesses will only make VCU a better team. A former star quarterback who stopped playing football to focus squarely on basketball, it looks like Jenkins made the correct decision. The future is very bright for De’Riante Jenkins.
BELOW ARE HIGHLIGHTS OF De’RIANTE JENKINS
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