On Friday morning, Coach Rick Pitino officially landed his first transfer of his St. John's tenure. Following Pitino from Iona, Daniss Jenkins announced that he will be joining the Red Storm for the 2023-24 season. Jenkins, a Second Team All-MAAC selection, is an interesting player with surprisingly high upside. Let's take a closer look at Jenkins' game and how it might translate to the Big East.
Note- Daniss Jenkins is wearing No. 5 in the following clips
Let's start with some clips of Jenkins scoring out of the Pick n Roll. Jenkins finished seventh in the MAAC last season in scoring, averaging 15.6 points per game on 41.8% shooting. The Iona transfer is a certified 3-level scorer with a particularly well-developed mid-range game. Down the stretch of the MAAC Tournament Championship game Jenkins was outstanding, finishing with a game-high 27 points.
Next are clips of Jenkins passing out of the Pick n Roll. Last season Iona split ballhandling responsibilities between Jenkins and Clayton Jr, but Jenkins still managed to average 4.9 assists per game. When asked about his role at St. John's, Jenkins said, "I see myself as whatever the coach and my team needs me to be! I just want to come in and work hard and win at St. John's."
Here are some clips of Jenkins spacing the floor and scoring from the outside. Although Pitino did not run many plays for Jenkins to get outside looks, Jenkins was solid at spreading the defense especially when the ball was in Clayton Jr's hands. Last season Jenkins finished with 56 three-point makes on 153 attempts; both marks would have been the leader on St. John's team last year.
While Jenkins is known for his offense, his defense is what jumps off the screen. Utilized in Pitino's famous press defense, Jenkins finished fifth in the MAAC in steals per game. The senior guard has a knack for getting into passing lanes and forcing mistakes and turnovers.
Lastly, here are a couple clips of Jenkins' one-on-one defense. Notice in the first clip as Jenkins shadows Jordan Hawkins across the entire floor and is present on the catch. Jenkins will be one of the best defensive guards in the Big East the moment he steps on the St. John's floor. Defensive hound, no other way to put it.
At this point in the off-season, Coach Rick Pitino is essentially working with a blank slate for the 2023-24 St. John's team. On Friday he landed a versatile and experienced guard with two-way player talent.
Questions remain regarding Jenkins' ability to adapt to the higher talent level of the Big East. Yet in Iona's NCAA Tournament game against UConn, Jenkins finished with 14 points, 5 assists and 4 steals. Not bad considering the damage UConn went on to do throughout the rest of the Tournament. When asked about transferring into the Big East, Jenkins said: "Have to bring it each and every game, great conference!"
That consistency was sorely lacking last year on a St. John's team that finished 7-13 in the Big East and had more questions than answers. One thing we do know: the Rick Pitino Era has started in Queens and he just landed his first big piece.