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Villanova's Kris Jenkins swears 'The Shot' is an afterthought

What do you do when you've reached the the pinnacle of success?

If you're Villanova's Kris Jenkins, you forget everything that happened and start the process all over again.

The Wildcats' senior forward hit one of the most famous shots in college basketball history – a three-pointer at the buzzer to beat North Carolina and win the 2016 national championship. It would be understandable if Jenkins held onto that moment with all his might, replaying it over and over in his head.

Instead, he insists, the opposite is true.

"I don't even think about it," he said Wednesday before the Wildcats held their practice at KeyBank Center. I "talk about it when I'm asked about it. It wasn't hard for me, because I still have a lot that I want to accomplish. I'm a part of this great team with these great guys and the guys in the locker room. So, when you have guys around you like that, it's easy to refocus."

Of course, Jenkins' teammates don't always make it easy on him. One of fellow senior Josh Hart's favorite things to do is bring up Jenkins' shot in public, so that fans swarm him.

"They come up to him everywhere," Hart joked Wednesday.

As the Wildcats prepare to defend their title, starting Thursday night against Mount St. Mary's, Jenkins' shot is sure to be played on a continuous loop. Despite the constant reminders, Wildcats coach Jay Wright remains amazed at the way Jenkins has handled the attention.

"He's a confident, cocky – in a good way – kid," Wright said. "We talked about it right after the season. And he's real bright. He's really bright. When we talked about 'You still got a year left, you want to get better, you got this for the rest of your life.' He right away internalizes that."

Wright will watch Jenkins closely at practice, for any signs that he's let success on the biggest stage get inside his head.

"When the guys do shooting drills at the end of practice or they're doing competitions, you would think one time it would slip, 'I hit the big shot,' Wright said. "I've never ever, ever seen him mention it ever, and it's really impressive."

Jenkins is averaging 13.4 points, 4.2 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game for the Wildcats, stats that are almost identical to what he put up in his junior year. The goal now is to have this season end the way last year's did.

"Just take it one day at a time, one game at a time," Jenkins said. "We really enjoy being around each other, and we're looking forward to tomorrow."

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