Hofstra's Charles Jenkins On Knicks Radar

Courtesy of the Post, it looks like the Knicks have their sights set on a point guard, Hofstra’s Charles Jenkins.

“Where I go depends on how I work out, how I impress scouts in the workouts,” Jenkins said. “It all depends on me. Projections by ‘experts’ are one thing. It all depends on how good I play.”

The Knicks have Chauncey Billups, 35 years old and coming off a knee strain that knocked him out for most of the first-round playoff sweep against the Celtics. His backup is Toney Douglas, who the Knicks have deduced does not have the decision-making skills to be their playmaker of the future.

The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Jenkins, 22, may just have them. The Knicks also are looking at Boston College’s Reggie Jackson and Georgia Tech’s Iman Shumpert if they go the point guard route in the first round.

“He’s a throwback point guard with a really good feel for the game,” one NBA executive said. “He plays with a quiet confidence. He’s more polished than Jackson. He’s more savvy, more ready. Reggie is more of a scorer, maybe more upside, but Jenkins has more consistency and he’s got a strong upper body on him.”

According to DraftExpress he was the nation’s second most efficient scorer coming from isolation situations (Jimmer Fredette was 19th). Here’s his scouting report:

Jenkins has a firm understanding of his game and what will be asked of him at the pro level.

“One thing that separates me from a lot of other guys is I don’t force things,” he says. “I know I’m not going to get there and finish over a guy like Dwight Howard, but I have a pull up jump shot that I can rely on and I’m a great passer which a lot of people don’t really know. People see my scoring numbers and that’s really all they see, but I’m smart enough to know the ways I’m going to score there.”

That really is one of the great allures of Charles Jenkins: He’s smart enough. Smart enough to realize he isn’t going to receive the same notoriety as many of his peers, but smart enough to let it serve as a motivator. Smart enough to know he won’t enter NBA Draft talks with the kind of hype befitting his scoring average, but smart enough to know his game will do the talking when it comes time. In the end maybe it is best that talk of Jenkins has been confined to YouTube clips and internet chat rooms. After all, he is college basketball’s best kept secret.

Taking a point guard here isn’t as crazy as it sounds. The Knicks chance at grabbing either Chris Paul or Deron Williams in free agency next summer is nearing extinction, and they’re thin at the position. A very important one at that. In a draft that’s been deemed especially disappointing, Jenkins could be a pleasant surprise. He’s a proficient scorer, something point guards need to be today, yet reading about him there’s no selfishness. He’s a proponent of correct, team oriented basketball, and would be complimentary to Amar’e and Carmelo once Chauncey left town. While I’d still prefer the team take a rebounding big man, if none are available in this draft there’s no sense in reaching for another Jordan Hill. Still, it’s interesting to see the possible direction the Knicks are heading by taking a point guard who seems mature enough to lead an NBA team (Jenkins enters the draft as a senior). This might be reading into it too heavily, but taking Hofstra’s all-time leading scorer would make moving Chauncey at the trade deadline a much smoother move for the Knicks. In such a case, I’m convinced that contract gets moved for a big man, but that’s me getting ahead of myself. Jenkins could be the George Hill of this draft: A solid, athletic scorer capable of playing the NBA game after coming from a small school—no surprise he’s already worked out for the Spurs. Who wouldn’t want to copy them.

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