VU's Jenkins deals with loss, helps Team USA keep winning

Monday, August 15, 2011 at 2:48pm
Staff reports

Vanderbilt guard John Jenkins and Team USA maintained their torrid pace on Monday.

Jenkins scored 12 points and was one of six American players to score in double-digit figures in a 112-68 victory over South Korea in World University Games pool play in Shenzhen, China.

The USA is 3-0 so far with earlier victories over Mexico and Hungary. Up next is Finland at 5 a.m. (CST) on Wednesday. Team USA wraps up pool play on Thursday against Israel.

The top two teams in each pool advance to the eight-team tournament. The medal round begins Saturday and runs through next Monday.

Jenkins, a rising junior who led the Southeastern Conference in scoring last season, is averaging more than 13 points per game. He had his best performance on Sunday when he set a Team USA tournament record with six 3-pointers against Hungary. He finished with 20 points in just 16 minutes. Jenkins has made 10 3-pointers in three games.

The Station Camp grad has done all of that with a heavy heart. His grandfather died on Aug. 9.

“I’ve kind of been going through a hard time this week,” Jenkins said after setting the 3-point record against Hungary. "This whole thing has been kind of delirious for me. I don't know what's going on, I'm just playing games. It's been hard for me because my family's back at home. Just to hear that [breaking the record] definitely means I'm doing something right out here and I feel blessed.

“Every moment of the game, I'm playing for him.”