By John Vogl
The “Freshman 15” wouldn’t have worked for Kris Jenkins. The forward arrived at Villanova weighing about 295 pounds, so the fabled weight gain during the first year of college would have put him over 300. There’s no way a 6-foot-6 shooter can compete at the top NCAA level at that weight.
So while his fellow freshmen put on pounds, Jenkins lost them.
“Forty pounds,” Wildcats coach Jay Wright said. “He’s lost 40 pounds. He worked so hard.
“He hasn’t grown at all since he stepped on campus. He shrunk since he stepped on campus.”
It’s been noticed.
“He made great improvements from the summertime until now with dropping weight and getting his body to where it needs to be to compete at this level,” Villanova guard Darrun Hilliard said. “He’s just been all in and didn’t really complain about doing anything we asked him to, that coach has asked him to. It’s showing right now.”
Jenkins scored 11 points during Villanova’s victory over Milwaukee. He went 3 for 4 from three-point range for a team that shot only 4 for 22. He’ll need to keep it up and his teammates will need to catch up tonight against Connecticut in First Niagara Center.
“He’s going to keep improving,” Hilliard said, “and he’s going to be a great player in this program.”