Vanderbilt shooting guard John Jenkins recently returned home to Tennessee after an eight-game stint with the U.S. Basketball men's team at the World University Games. The competition, held in Shenzhen, China, saw the Americans roll to a 7-1 record but just a fifth place finish thanks to a quarterfinal loss to Lithuania. Jenkins started the majority of the team's games at the 2, but split time with Syracuse's Scoop Jardine and Missouri's Marcus Denmon in the backcourt.
Jenkins led all scorers with 13.5 points per game, standing out as the team's most consistent offensive threat. Though his game was primarily perimeter oriented (he took over twice as many three-pointers as two-pointers), the junior showed that his game could be effective inside the arc as well. His ability to step up and get to the line was also a boost for the U.S. team, as Jenkins was able to get to the free-throw line once the Games' tournament setting rolled along, shooting 93 percent from the stripe in the games that mattered most.
Jenkins's turnover numbers were down as well, which is an encouraging statistic for Vanderbilt fans who have seen the young shooter attempt to develop stronger ball skills during his time in Nashville. However, his .4 turnovers per game may be a bit misleading. Not only was he playing against weaker competition in China, but he also had the privilege of playing next to two solid handlers in Denmon and Jardine. While Jenkins's assist numbers are actually a bit better than they were at Vandy in 2010, there's no doubt that having two high level guards at his side was helpful.
In all, it was a successful summer trip for Jenkins, who continued his rise into college basketball's elite class. Though he wasn't able to bring home a medal, the U.S. team still finished with the best record in the tournament at 7-1. Now, he's back in Nashville with teammates like Jeffery Taylor, Festus Ezeli, and Steve Tchiengang awaiting November and the chance to scrub the stink of last year's Richmond defeat from the halls of Memorial Gym. JJ's U.S.A. Basketball stats are after the jump.
|US 108, Mexico 67||Jenkins, John||19||*1-4||*2-6||0-0||0||3||3||3||0||0||0||8|
|US 102, Hungary 53||Jenkins, John||15||*1-1||*6-10||0-0||0||1||1||1||0||0||0||20|
|US 112, S.Korea 68||Jenkins, John||21||*3-5||*2-5||0-0||0||3||3||0||0||0||0||12|
|US 124, Finland 64||Jenkins, John||16||*3-4||*2-7||0-0||0||0||0||3||1||0||1||12|
|US 94, Israel 84||Jenkins, John||20||*3-7||*2-6||0-0||0||1||1||1||1||1||0||12|
|US 74, Lithuania 76||Jenkins, John||28||*1-1||*4-9||*3-3||0||1||1||1||1||0||1||17|
|US 94, Romania 73||Jenkins, John||16||*1-3||*1-5||*7-8||2||2||4||0||2||0||0||12|
|US 86, Germany 83||Jenkins, John||21||*1-3||*3-9||*4-4||2||0||2||1||2||0||1||15|
Update (KJIV, 1:22pm)
I came across a Team USA box score that is cumulative for the entire World University Games. You might say Jenkins is a bit of a sniper from behind the arc, seeing as he's the only player close to double-digits in made three-pointers.