After Vanderbilt's win over Manhattan, I joked on my blog's Twitter account about John Jenkins post-game quote:
I’m a little disappointed with my three-point effort today,” Jenkins said. “I can get better and I’ll work on it.”
That was after going 3-for-7 from behind the arc. Not too shabby. But tonight's performance showed that Jenkins wasn't kidding. The super freshman led the Commodores with 20 points (6-for-6 from 3-point range) in their 82-46 victory over Southern Miss.
You can feel the Vandy faithful beginning to fall in love with the kid. The crowd is waiting to explode every time he launches a shot. When he catches the ball, I always hear a couple fans yell "Shoot It", regardless of the situation. As the season progresses, I think he'll oblige them more and more.
“Confidence is definitely something I struggled with at the beginning of the year," Jenkins said. "Confidence makes me shoot better and it’s something that has gotten better as the season goes on. I come out confident and I feel that the team has confidence in me too. (Not having to take every shot), that’s a big adjustment. I’m not worried about creating my own shot. I know it’s going to come.”
Jenkins has a lot of swagger to him, and appears to be a really good teammate. He does a lot of the little things you like to see. When anybody on Vandy makes a great play, he's always one of the first over to congratulate them. And for a player who averaged 40+ last year in high school, it's remarkable how unselfish he plays. It will be a blast to watch him play for the next couple of years.
A few other random thoughts from the night:
How great was that Andre Walker dunk?! That was nasty. So was his stat line: 10 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 blocks. He may put up a quadruple-double against Middle Tennessee.
The Commodores have four players that can carry the scoring load on a given night. Jenkins, Jermaine Beal, A.J. Ogilvy, and Jeffery Taylor. Speaking of Taylor....
The blowout happened with Taylor riding the pine. He got into early foul trouble and was a non-factor. It's encouraging when a team's best player doesn't contribute and everybody else picks up the slack.
Just when I thought Brad Tinsley had turned the corner, he puts up an 0-for-5 from the floor.
Every stat sheet that I've seen says that Jenkins was perfect for the night. He wasn't. In the second half, he missed a three from the baseline. Didn't anybody else see that?
I've been hard on Lance Goulbourne to start the season. He had a quality game, scoring two points and grabbing seven rebounds. I hope he's on the verge of becoming a big asset to the team.
A.J. and Jermaine did what they are supposed to. The veterans combined for 32 points, 10 rebounds, zero turnovers, and 12-14 from the stripe. Jenkins is going to get the headlines, but Ogilvy and Beal deserve a huge pat on the back.
Beal is getting an MRI on his thumb. Both he and Stallings didn't act like it was that big of a deal.
It's a very quick turnaround for the 'Dores. They host Middle Tennessee State on Monday, then welcome Florida to town on Saturday to begin SEC play.