Hrynko and Jenkins: Points Perfect

CHICAGO- One of the better compositions in the chemical world is hydrogen and oxygen. Combined in the correct proportion, they produce a compound that is versatile, vital, and supportive. One of the better compositions in women’s college basketball last year was Brittany Hrynko and Chanise Jenkins.

The DePaul guards were the only two Division I teammates to notch more than 185 assists each last year and were the only two ranked in the top 50 nationally in assists per game. Hrynko finished No. 1 in the BIG EAST in steals at 3.1 per game and No. 1 in assists per game at 5.6. Jenkins finished No. 6 in steals at 1.7 and No. 2 in assists at 5.2. The duo averaged a combined 11.6 ppg, 5.3 apg, and 1.9 spg.

And while their numbers are an indication of their physical tools, they are also an indication of how well they both understand their coach, Doug Bruno, their teammates, and themselves.

“We are the coach on the floor,” said Hrynko, a senior, during a recent interview with both players. “We know where Coach Bruno wants us, and it is our job to let everybody on the floor know what he wants. I think [Chanise and I] both do a good job of coaching each other and making sure everybody is doing what they have to do while we are out there.”

“Our job is mainly to be leaders on and off the court,” said Jenkins, a junior. “As a point guard, you are expected to be a leader of the team and you are expected to lead the team in the right direction, and push them in the direction that Coach Bruno wants us to go to.”

Both of them agree that being a point guard is a composition of physical toughness and mental toughness. And both of those attributes were on full display in DePaul’s NCAA Tournament wins versus Oklahoma and Duke.

The Sooners came from 16 points down in the second half and DePaul was left with a three- point lead with under one minute to play.

“Even in crazy games like the Oklahoma game, Brittany and I have to be the relievers, because Coach Bruno is obviously on the bench going crazy,” said Jenkins.

Hrynko describes what was going on in her mind during those final forty seconds.

“Coach Bruno called a play, and it was Jasmine [Penny] and me in the middle. At that moment I figured we needed a bucket, so I did what I had to do to get a bucket. If I was not open, I had [Megan Rogowski] open in the corner, and she hit the three. At that time we just talked to each other and made sure we all stayed in focus and that we all kept going strong.”

Hrynko’s assist on the play helped her on the way to 202 assists last season. Jenkins’ assist: turnover ratio of 2.6 was nineteenth in the country.

But as good as the individual statistics are, there is beauty in watching them together on the court, a beauty that was forged from the first day of practice in 2011 and has continued through repetition, along with a continued respect and admiration for each other’s play.

“We came in together [in 2011], so we know how each other plays,” said Hrynko. “We play in our open gyms, and we are almost always on the same team, so we know where each other is on the floor and where we have to go.”

Hrynko and Jenkins speak about each other’s play with unwavering confidence.

“Brittany has the mentality where if the team and coach is looking for her, we know we can depend on her,” said Jenkins. “We know that she is the go-to player and that if we need a basket in a crucial moment she knows how to get it for us. She has it on the offensive end and on the defensive end, and that is what I like about her game.”

“Chanise can score when she wants to, but that is not what she is looking to do,” said Hrynko. “She is looking to get the ball to an open teammate, making sure everybody is in their proper positions, and that she gets the ball where it needs to be.”

The box scores in the Oklahoma and Duke games show those thoughts in action.

Versus Oklahoma: Hrynko with 19 points and five assists. Jenkins with 21 points, four assists, and two steals.

Versus Duke: Hrynko with 14 points and six assists. Jenkins with a game-high seven assists, seven rebounds, and two steals.

Any successful basketball coach would agree that in order for a player to play, they have to play smart. Hrynko and Jenkins did that last year, with Hrynko fouling out zero times and Jenkins fouling out only once.

Hrynko’s 202 assists is No. 3 for a single season in DePaul history. Jenkins’ 187 assists is No. 4 for a single season. Hrynko was named the team’s co-defensive player and Jenkins received the team’s Pat Ewers Unsung Hero Award.

Versatility, vitality, and support. Hydrogen and oxygen, meet Hrynko and Jenkins.

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