Jenkins Set for IU Unofficial

The state of Kentucky has never been a hotbed of Indiana basketball recruiting, but Kelvin Sampson's staff may be changing that. Indiana already has a verbal commitment from one of the state's best in '08 in Scott County H.S. guard Bud Mackey, and the Hoosiers are welcoming one of the Bluegrass state's best '09 preps to campus this weekend. Jenkins talks about his trip to Bloomington...

Bloomington, Ind. – The state of Kentucky has never been a hotbed of Indiana basketball recruiting, but Kelvin Sampson's staff may be changing that.

Indiana already has a verbal commitment from one of the state's best in '08 in Scott County H.S. guard Bud Mackey, and the Hoosiers are welcoming one of the Bluegrass state's best '09 preps to campus this weekend.

Jacob Jenkins, a 6-4 guard from Dupont Manual H.S. in Louisville, will be in Bloomington for an unofficial visit. It's Jenkins' third unofficial visit this season, following trips to Western Kentucky and Kentucky.

"It's been talked about for a while for me to come up and watch a game, but I haven't had time until now because of school and games," Jenkins said.

Jenkins has a break this weekend and will be sitting courtside for Indiana's match-up with Michigan at noon on Saturday.

Indiana began showing interest in the sharp-shooting guard in the fall, joining a long list of suitors that includes Kentucky, Western Kentucky, Xavier, Wisconsin, Illinois and Mississippi State, among others. None have offered a scholarship just yet, but each appears interested in keeping a close eye on the sophomore.

He's done nothing to disappoint on-lookers thus far this season. He's helped lead Dupont Manual to an 11-4 start by averaging 21 points, eight rebounds, five assists and three steals. While used primarily at shooting guard, he has played every position on the floor this season with the exception of center.

The first thing that catches the eye of most is his ability to shoot the ball, evidenced by his 47 percent shooting from behind the 3-point arc this year.

"I've put in a lot of hard work in my workouts to become a good shooter," Jenkins said. "I get a lot of shots up every day. I don't really keep track of how many I get up, but I love being in the gym."

Jenkins will take a one-day break from the gym to make the trip to Bloomington Saturday, getting a closer look at what Coach Kelvin Sampson's program has to offer.

"I've heard the academics there are real strong, and it's not too far from home, which is nice," Jenkins said about the IU program.

He admits, though, that Kentucky is a school he's been a fan of for some time, and the Wildcats were the first to show interest in him, first sending him a letter when he was in the eighth grade.

"I'm from Kentucky, so I'm going to like Kentucky," Jenkins said. "It's a good school, and it would be nice to play for them. But it wouldn't be bad to play at Indiana or anywhere else, either."

Time will tell where Jenkins will wind up. His opportunity to sign a national letter of intent is still nearly two years away, so I whole lot can change between now and then. Jenkins is well aware of that, and wants to do whatever he can to make sure he remains a coveted recruiting commodity.

"It's good getting this attention early, but you have to keep going," Jenkins said. "You can't just stay the same. You always know there's room for improvement."

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