Numbers adding up for Jenkins

The South Carolina-based Upward Stars program quietly churns out high-major talent, and De’Riante Jenkins serves as another example. The 6-5 swingman reclassed from 2015 and 2016, and so far this year he has made the most of the opportunity.

Though two full events on the Adidas Uprising circuit, De’Riante Jenkins has emerged as one of the league’s breakout prospects. He’s averaging 15 points and five points per game, shooting just a hair under 50 percent from the field.

He has made a living at the free throw line, shooting 37 free throws in just seven games. Even better, he has knocked down 85 percent of his charity stripe attempts.

His numbers indicate what he does best: Attack off the bounce. Jenkins is a very quick and agile athlete who truly excels in the open floor. He’s a fast, creative and intuitive transition scorer who, when he doesn’t get fouled, regularly finishes with dunks and and-one layups.

He also possesses good shooting touch, as his free throw accuracy indicates. His problem has been errant three-point shooting, due primarily to the fact that his release is very slow. If he can speed up his shot, he should become a factor from long-range as well.

Meanwhile, Jenkins projects as a potentially outstanding defender. He has the length and quick feet to defend either wing position in college, and as a trapper he could become a menace to opposing point guards.

His success this spring and early summer has been a carryover from the 2014-15 high school season. Albeit a South Carolina native, Jenkins prepped in Florida and helped lead Orlando (Fla.) West Oaks to a resounding season and boosted his stock heading into spring. After making the decision to reclass, he’s now representing his home state on the travel circuit.

Jenkins has a clear idea of his own game and also how he can further enhance his status.

”I push the ball in transition well, find my teammates and my motor on the court (are strengths),” Jenkins said. “I’m working on my ballhandling, jump shot and improving my defense. I’d like to play the two or the three, but I also have some offers for point guard.”

His recruiting list has expanded dramatically and now includes reported offers from Clemson, Indiana, South Florida, Virginia Tech, East Carolina, Houston, Charlotte, Arizona State and New Mexico State, among others. He’s also receiving interest from Providence, Texas, Georgia Tech, South Carolina and Arkansas.

”I visited Clemson and I visited Georgia Tech a couple weeks back,” he said. “I’m just enjoying being out here and competing and not rushing anything.”

Jenkins intends to attend the NBPA Top 100 Camp next month as well as Adidas Nations, in addition to finishing the summer with the Stars.

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