Kris Jenkins andThe Villanova Wildcats: Season in Review

Kris Jenkins, Credit – AP

By Ryan Touhey,

The Villanova Wildcats are currently sitting pretty. They’re on top of the Big East mountain, in first place, and are also ranked fourth in the nation. With the regular season dwindling down to its final month, basketball fans are curious to see how things will play out for the defending national champions, once March Madness begins.

Nova have lived up to their billing, and are putting together another dominant season. Overall, they’re 21-2, and 8-2 against their conference adversaries. They are also undefeated at home this season, with a perfect record of 11-0. What’s interesting about this group of Wildcats, is how versatile they are. According to ESPN, Josh Hart is the only ranked Nova player in a Top 100 category in the nation.

Hart is currently ranked 71st in the nation in scoring, at 18.7 points per game. Other than that, not a single Nova player is anywhere to be found in a Top 100 offensive or defensive category. It goes to show just how unified this team is, and how they’re able to move the ball all around the court.

Additionally, according to Fox Sports, Hart is also the team leader in rebounds per game, with 6.5, and has a field goal percentage of .526 this season. Nova has had some impressive wins during the season. On January 10, they defeated Xavier, 79-54, who at the time, were ranked 15th in the country. They achieved vengeance against the Seton Hall Pirates and annihilated them 76-46 on Martin Luther King Day. They defeated the Virginia Cavaliers on Sunday night, 61-59, and they defeated Providence last night, 66-57.

Although they’re destined for March Madness, Villanova has had their share of moments they’d like to forget. They have been upset twice this year. They were handed their first loss from Butler, who at the time were coming off a loss to St. John’s, and were also upset by Marquette 74-72 on January 24.

The big question on fans’ mind after the Marquette game, was what happened to Kris Jenkins? The man who made the buzzer-beater to secure the National championship for the Wildcats last season, had an uncharacteristic-like game. In his 37 minutes of play, Jenkins only scored two points, while also recording three assists and two rebounds. To be fair though, he wasn’t the only player who contributed to the loss for Nova. The Wildcats took more than half of their shots from behind the arc, and Hart missed a crucial free-throw shot.

Jenkins however, was cold again in last night’s game in Providence. In his 30 minutes of play, he went 2-for-12 in field goal attempts, with nine of his shots coming from behind the arc. It seems that Jenkins is trying to do too much from behind the three-point line, and perhaps is not taking enough opportunities to shoot two-pointers.

Jenkins is one of the nation’s top three-point shooters. But even though he feeds off of the energy at the Pavilion in Philly, he has struggled this season when it comes to shooting on the road. According to Rotowire.com, Jenkins is a 46.2 percent shooter from behind the arc at home, but only 34 percent in nine games on the road this season. Jenkins also has a field goal percentage of .386, in his 23 games played this season according to Sportsreference.com. That’s a .073 difference in his field goal percentage from all of last year.

Nova is the favorite to win the Big East this season, and they also have a very good chance at entering March Madness, as one of the top five seeds in the country. Their next game will be against St. John’s on Saturday, at 4 p.m.

 

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