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Friday, May 13, 2011

Scouting Report: Charles Jenkins

I took more of a "scout form" style of writing for this report on Charles Jenkins. Jenkins was one of the leading scorers in the country coming out of Hofstra. He is a 6'3 guard who is viewed as a late first to mid-second round pick.

"Great midrange game, always in control. Steady player. Solid ball handling ability. Shows a good crossover to help get open. Not great at dribbling through traffic, but uses size and strength well to protect the ball. More than just a straight line driver, he has shown impressive drives snaking through traffic. Unselfish and good decision maker. Most of his assists were to 3-pt shooters, Hofstra was the best 3-pt shooting team in CAA. Not a PG, but plays with a high IQ. Can play spot duty at PG due to BBIQ. Ran some point at Hofstra while getting experience playing off ball too. Good passer. Doesn’t always see the entire court due to his style of play. Likes to turn his back to defenders to prevent ball from getting stolen and overpower them. Not much of a post game, however he likes to back down defenders until he gets into the paint where he is nearly automatic. Strength and touch make him a good finisher at the college level. Not that explosive at the rim, though. Will have adjustments to make at the NBA level since he relies too much on strength in college. Strength helps hide an average first step at the moment. Quick release on shot with range back to NBA 3-pt line. Smooth shooter who can shoot from anywhere. Makes it look easy shooting off the dribble. Can get his own shot fairly easy, but passes up too many shots to get teammates involved. Excellent character and leadership. Very good kid who grew up from a tough background in NYC. Hardworker. Has improved his game each year, especially his ball handling. Has had his share of clutch moments during his career. Stayed positive during multiple coaching and style changes. Played 37 minutes per game showing great conditioning. Good actively defensively, especially considering his minutes and offensive role. Gets low and displays good lateral quickness. Seems to have good awareness on defense and plays great help defense. Knows when to double team. Effort wont be a problem defensively at the next level. His size will prevent him from being a great defender, but he’ll be ok. Played a lot of zone in college and didn’t mix it up to much on the glass. Solid wingspan, although he is definitely undersized at 6’3 for a 2 guard. Built like a NFL RB. Finding a role will be tough for him, he doesn’t have the 6th man scorer’s mentality of the bench, but if he develops his PG skills his versatility will be welcomed."

Bottom Line: Jenkins will have to adjust to a new style, where he won't be able to constantly use his strength to aide his scoring. In college, he used his strength to carve out space in order to get into the paint. It helped hide his average first step and ball handling, but it won't work the same way at the next level. The fact that his athleticism doesn't translate well in terms of getting to the rim at the NBA level is concerning, since his game in college was based upon getting into the painted area.

He will most likely never start, but he it would help him stick around if he improved his point guard play. He racked up assists in college, but it was mainly due to the amount of defensive attention he drew. As a very unselfish player, of course he was going to find open teammates for easy dimes. For a point guard prospect, he dribbles with his head down and back to the basket way to much. His bullish style is part of his game, but it doesnt help his future as a point guard.

As I said, he most likely will never start. Nor does he have to mindset of a scoring guard off the bench. He will need to find a niche, most likely as a do-it-all combo guard off the bench. His best shot is carving out a role as a poor man's James Harden, providing solid play off the bench without hurting the team on either side off the ball. Harden has better size and explosiveness, but they do play in a similar fashion.

Perhaps the player that reminds me of Jenkins the most, especially when looking for a great low/mid-major college scorer that actually isn't a chucker, is Trey Johnson. Johnson has been one of the best players in the D-League for years and has earned a few NBA cameos. The only thing preventing him from getting a contract now is age. Seeing that Charles Jenkins had a more successful college career (Johnson was a late-bloomer who didnt start playing until his sophomore year), he has a better shot of being drafted and ending up in a good situation. For these fringe players, all it takes is a good situation to change fates. Trey Johnson could have easily been an NBA player if scouts had caught onto him earlier.

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