May 02, 2016
Big Smooth is coming back to defend the belt. That sound you hear is Gus Johnson screaming.
After hitting “The shot heard round college hoops,” Villanova junior forward Kris Jenkins decided to test the NBA Draft waters but not hire an agent. As expected, the 6’6” forward announced that he’s coming back to the Main Line for his senior year via Twitter on Monday night:
It was a good experience going through this process but I’m looking forward to focusing on graduating next year and becoming a great leader.— Kris Jenkins (@bigticket2) May 3, 2016
(Almost a month later, I still can’t believe that happened.)
Unlike teammate Josh Hart, who also can still return to 'Nova, Jenkins didn’t receive an invite to the NBA Draft combine in Chicago. This is generally a decent sign that your draft stock isn’t all that high.
Although the news isn’t surprising, it’s still huge for Jay Wright and Villanova, expected to start in the Top-5 of the polls next season. In some ways, the final shot overshadowed what a matchup nightmare Jenkins became the entire second half of the season playing as 'Nova's stretch 4. He was the biggest reason that the Wildcats were unguardable down the stretch.
In the NCAA Tournament, Jenkins shot 17-35 from beyond the arc.
Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann