John Jenkins leaves Vanderbilt early, declares for NBA draft

Monday, April 9, 2012 at 6:42pm
Staff reports

John Jenkins will forego his senior season at Vanderbilt and enter the NBA draft.

The 6-foot-4 shooting guard from Hendersonville plans to hire an agent immediately, which means his college career officially is over.

Jenkins was the Southeastern Conference's leading scorer the past two seasons and ranked 10th all-time at Vanderbilt with 1,660 career points.

“This was a very difficult decision for my family and I to make, but I am ready to dedicate myself fully to achieving my dream of playing in the NBA,” Jenkins said in a statement. “The last three years have been the time of my life, and I will always cherish my time at Vanderbilt and the relationships I have made along the way.”

Jenkins joins former Vanderbilt teammates Jeffery Taylor and Festus Ezeli — both seniors — as NBA draft hopefuls. He is projected anywhere from a late first-round pick to an early second-round selection.

The draft will take place June 28.

“I’m very happy for John as he has chosen this opportunity to pursue his professional career,” Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings said. “This is something that he wants to do and has his family’s blessing. My role has been to accumulate information on where he might be drafted. I have given that information to John and his parents, and this is the decision they have made.

“We thank John for his incredible contributions over the last three years and wish him a long and prosperous professional career.”

A two-time All-SEC First Team selection, Jenkins averaged 19.9 points as a junior and was named a third-team All-American by the Associated Press. He led the country in 3-pointers per game (3.83) as the Commodores won the SEC Tournament championship and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Jenkins tied Shan Foster for the single-season school record with 134 3-pointers and finished second all-time to Foster with 306 career 3-pointers.

Foster was the last Commodore drafted. He was picked in the second round by Dallas in 2008. Will Perdue was Vanderbilt’s last first-round pick when he was taken seventh overall by Chicago in 1988.

“I would like to thank my teammates, who provided me with so many opportunities to be successful and memories that I will never forget, and Coach Stallings and his staff, for preparing me for what lies ahead,” Jenkins, who plans to eventually finish his degree at Vanderbilt, said. “I look forward to applying what he has taught me in the next phase of my basketball journey.

"... I also would like to thank Commodore fans. It has been a blessing to play at Memorial Gym for the last three years and those experiences will be ones that I will always remember. The fans that fill Memorial Gym every night really help make Vanderbilt a special place, and leaving them is the hardest part about this decision.”

9 Comments on this post:

By: Rasputin72 on 4/10/12 at 5:59

John Jenkins is a fantastic basketball player. Unfortunately his skills do not equate to success in the NBA. He in all liklihood was perplexed by the kind of team that Vanderbilt and (whistle britches) will put on the floor next year.

He should get a little seed money from the NBA which should buoy his life to another level

Thanks for being a Commodore. It was such fun to watch you play.

By: rldavenport@com... on 4/10/12 at 6:44

I am saddened but not surprised by this decision. There is no doubt in my mind that this decision was partly based on the fact that the "cupboard is bare" for next year and that he would have very little scoring help next year. I really don't blame him at all...who would want to have to bear the whole scoring load? Stallings need to pull a recruiting miracle out of his hat to even reach .500 next year.

By: pshipwrite on 4/10/12 at 7:22

Rasputin72: Stupidity personified.

By: Rasputin72 on 4/10/12 at 8:34

Pshipwrite......You have no idea how much enjoyment I get from hitting the nerves of those that do not see the big picture.

By: BigPapa on 4/10/12 at 11:02

He should have stayed! Heck he could experience all the fun of another early exit from the NCAA tournament.

By: bobpolk on 4/10/12 at 1:46

Noticed Rasputin72 quit posting on Tennessean site when they went to facebook format. He didn't want to reveal the idenitiy of one of the most ignorant posters ever! Man--get a life!

By: spooky24 on 4/10/12 at 1:46

Surprised! Not really. He is simply not an NBA player because of his lack of defensive skills, small frame and stand still shooters are seldom used in the NBA game. However, he will get his chance in the D league to improve his skills, get a paycheck and perhaps move up later-the chances aren't great but he will get a chance to play in the NBA.
The fact that the cupboard will be bare next year for Vandy had to be considered along with taking a chance now because he will not get another one.


By: Jughead on 4/10/12 at 2:37

Shoots as well as anyone, defense as bad as anyone. Slow and not mobile. Will need a niche in the NBA.

By: Rasputin72 on 4/11/12 at 6:10

It appears to me that there are a lot of posters who have the same thought process as myself.

Anytime you are perplexed you should always use the word idiot or ignorant as your defense mechanism.