Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Huge Week for Hofstra’s Jenkins; Big East Honors Hansbrough, Napier
While UConn star Kemba Walker has garnered national headlines for his scoring exploits this season, one player who has flown under the radar is Hofstra senior guard Charles Jenkins.
The 6-foot-3 Queens, N.Y. native averaged 25.0 points and 6.3 assists in three Hofstra wins last week, and shared the Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Week honor with Frank Hassell of Old Dominion.
“He’s a pro,” said George Mason assistant Chris Caputo, whose team watched Jenkins score 32 points on 9 of 13 shooting to go with eight assists in an 87-74 loss Wednesday.
“He has always been able to get into the lane and score with a variety of layups or get fouled at will. The thing that sets him apart is how much he has improved as a shooter. When a guy with that type of ability going to the rim also shoots 50 percent from 3 he is very hard to guard with one player.”
While Walker is first in the nation in scoring (25.8), Jenkins is fourth at 23.8 points per game, and ranks first among all active players with 2,124 career points. Walker has taken 62 more shots than Jenkins and played in one fewer game.
Jenkins has also been scoring in efficient fashion this season, shooting 58.9 percent from the floor, as well as 50.9 percent from 3-point territory (31-61).
Derrick Williams of Arizona is the only player in the country shooting a higher percentage from the floor with at least one 3-pointer made per game, and he’s a 6-8 forward with exactly one 3-pointer per contest.
“He has this young and totally inexperienced team on his back,” first-year Hofstra coach Mo Cassara said.
BIG EAST HONORS HANSBROUGH, NAPIERThe Big East named Notre Dame guard Ben Hansbrough and Connecticut guard Shabazz Napier the winners of the conference’s weekly men’s basketball honors for the week ending Jan. 9.
Hansbrough was named Big East Player of the Week after he averaged 23.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.5 steals in a 2-0 week for Notre Dame. He scored 21 points with five rebounds, four assists and a steal in a 73-70 win against No. 8 Connecticut and had a career-high 26 points with four rebounds, three assists and four steals in a 76-61 win against St. John’s. Hansbrough, who has hit for double figures in 10 consecutive games, leads Notre Dame in scoring at 16.3 ppg.
Napier earned Big East Rookie of the Week honors after he averaged 16.5 points in a 1-1 week against a pair of nationally ranked opponents on the road for the Huskies. He scored a career-high 18 points in a 73-70 loss against No. 14 Notre Dame and added 15 points in an 82-81 overtime win at No. 12 Texas. Napier was 10-of-16 from the field (.625) and 6-of-9 from 3-point range (.667) in the two games and registered his sixth and seventh games in double figures.
BIG EAST Player of the Week
BEN HANSBROUGH, Notre Dame, G, Sr.
BIG EAST Rookie of the Week
SHABAZZ NAPIER, Connecticut, G, Fr.
BIG EAST Honor RollDarius Johnson-Odom, Marquette, G, Jr.
Averaged 24.5 points, 3.5 assists and 1.5 rebounds in a 1-1 week. Matched his career high with 29 points in a 73-65 win at Rutgers.
Gilbert Brown, Pittsburgh, F, Sr.
Averaged 16.5 points and 6.0 rebounds, shooting 71.4 percent from the field (10-of-14) in a 2-0 week.
Marshon Brooks, Providence, F, Sr.
Averaged 28.5 points and 5.0 rebounds in two games. Has scored at least 20 points in 11 consecutive games.
Corey Fisher, Villanova, G, Sr.
Averaged 16.5 points and 5.0 assists in a 2-0 week. Scored 20 first-half points in a 72-61 win against Cincinnati
Casey Mitchell, West Virginia, G, Sr.
Averaged 23.0 points in a 2-0 week. Scored a game-high 28 points in 65-59 win at Georgetown.
DEPAUL ANNOUNCES KIRK TRANSFER
DePaul officially announced today that Donnavan Kirk has transferred from Miami.
“Donnavan Kirk is an outstanding run and jump athlete,” said head coach Oliver Purnell. “He should fit into our system really well. The fact that he can start practice immediately is an advantage for him going into next season.”
Under NCAA guidelines, Kirk is scheduled to sit out the remainder of the 2010-11 season and the Autumn Quarter of the 2011-12 season. DePaul’s Autumn Quarter exams are scheduled to end on Nov. 22.
Kirk, a 6-9 forward, played in 13 games this season as a redshirt freshman and averaged 2.7 points and 1.6 rebounds in 9.5 minutes of action.
The Pontiac, Mich., native shot .406 (13-32) from the field and .900 (9-10) from the free throw line while making three starts for the Hurricanes.
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.