David Jenkins Jr. has yet to obtain going for UNLV basketball, which shed a 3rd directly game to open up the season, falling to Alabama 86-74 on Tuesday night.

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UNLV Rebels guard David Jenkins Jr. (5) dribbles the ball previous Montana State Bobcats throughout the initially fifty percent of the season opener at the Thomas & Mack Center, on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, in Las Vegas. (Elizabeth Page Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

ASHEVILLE. N.C.

My eyes followed David Jenkins Jr. on Tuesday night.

Eincredibly pass. Eexceptionally swarm. Eexceptionally reduced. Eextremely make. Eexceptionally miss out on.

Followed the male that is expected to carry out so a lot for UNLV basketround this seaboy.

The Rebels remained winless in three tries, falling to Alabama 86-74 in a Maui Invitational consolation bracket game at Harrah’s Cherokee Center.

Jenkins is the junior transfer from South Dakota State, the guard who adhered to T.J. Otzelberger to UNLV as soon as the last was named head coach last year.

I’m not sure which one came down on campus through more fanfare, although the truth Otzelberger arrived in a helicopter kind of afforded him the edge.

The hype train

It have the right to be unfair, the hype and also expectations bestowed on a move player by various pressures, be it his coach or the media or fans hoping their excitement will certainly be justified.

You would certainly be surprised exactly how loud specific whispers about a player become as soon as he is practicing behind closed doors for a year. Surprised how embelliburned evaluations are the majority of of the moment.

But we’re additionally talking about a UNLV routine that hasn’t made the NCAA Tournament since 2013. Its fan base isn’t just hungry for a winning product. It’s starving. Like crawling through the Sahara for days in July famished with no food and water.

So once it’s argued a player choose Jenkins can be the lacking item to UNLV aacquire existing among the finest Mountain West teams and, consequently, an NCAA-worthy side, assumptions are made before he ever laces them up for genuine in a Rebels unicreate.

To say that he has struggled is an understatement. Jenkins is averaging 7.6 points while shooting just 22 percent; he has actually likewise made just 6 of 23 3s. His defense is seriously lacking, yet that appears standing quo via UNLV guards. There isn’t an above-average perimeter defender among them.

The Rebels haven’t, other than for sophomore Caleb Grill, swarm the round well at all. Grill was excellent in the loss Tuesday, scoring a career-high 27 while making 7 of 12 3s. Jenkins scored 12 points on 4-of-14 shooting. He had actually no rebounds and also one assist in 24 minutes.

“David has been a man who has actually constantly had actually a chip on his shoulder, a guy who has actually always been wondered about,” Otzelberger shelp. “We have to get David earlier to that male. I need to take on that push for him with some of the accolades and recognitions that have come his way. I have to wear that and take that on.

“He simply needs to relax and be that male from Tacoma that fell in love through this game with that chip on his shoulder and played hard.”

Tbelow is likewise this: Despite Otzelberger having shelp some of Jenkins’ finest games at South Dakota State came versus non-conference groups from power conferences, the change from a Summit Organization existence to currently was constantly going to take time.

North Carolina and Alabama are astronomical measures up. The Mountain West will be a big action up. He will be guarded by even more length and also athleticism than he observed with the Jackrabbits.

He likewise played through Mike Daum — one of the best college players at any kind of level — at South Dakota State. Jenkins doesn’t have close to that level of a frontcourt danger to play off of currently. The onus is even more on him to develop. It’s challenging for him right currently just to create space. He can’t get going at either finish yet.

Figure things out

He can score. You don’t average 20 points and shoot 46 percent on 3s as a sophoeven more and also forobtain how to uncover the basket. But points haven’t gone well therefore far for him or the Rebels, that next confront Davidchild in the seventh-place game Wednesday night at 6:30 on ESPN2.

“There were a pair moments tonight once we witnessed glimpses (with Jenkins),” Otzelberger sassist. “I recognize what he can do and also he hregarding remain the course by embracing the points that are challenging prefer defending and also rebounding. And then I think his offense will come earlier to him.”

Three games is simply that. Nothing.

So in the civilization of expectations, allow David Jenkins Jr. time to figure things out.

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After all, it wasn’t him that fired up the hype train.

Ed Graney is a Sigma Delta Chi Award winner for sporting activities column creating and can be got to at egraney
neurosoup.org or 702-383-4618. He can be heard on “The Press Box,” ESPN Radio 100.9 FM and also 1100 AM, from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Monday with Friday. Follow