Hofstra Star Charles Jenkins' Sophomore Season by jjwagner
Jon Wagner gives a game-by-game inside look at the 2008-09 college basketball season of the former Springfield Gardens High School standout.
Mar 08, 2009 | 49091 views | 0 0 comments | 90 90 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

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Game 5: at Manhattan
by jjwagner
Nov 30, 2008 | 5560 views | 2 2 comments | 136 136 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
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SAT 11/29/08

HOFSTRA 65, MANHATTAN 61

HOFSTRA RECORD: 4-1

JENKINS SEASON AVERAGES: 23.6 pts, 5.2 reb, 3.6 ast, 3.0 to

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Prior to Saturday night, Manhattan had been Hofstra's Daddy at Draddy. That is, Hofstra just couldn't win at Draddy Gymnasium against the Manhattan College Jaspers, losing 6 straight in the Riverdale gym dating back to 1988.

But then, Charles Jenkins never played there for Hofstra in any of those 6 games. The Super Soph ended Hofstra's dreaded Draddy streak as he continued to play the hero role in this young season for the Pride.

Hofstra was down by 6 at the break and by 10 a minute into the second half before Jenkins led his team back, scoring 21 of his game-high 23 points in the second half on Saturday night, including the game's final four points to give Hofstra a four-point victory.

Jenkins answered a 7-0 Manhattan run that tied the game at 61-61, with a driving runner with 1:19 left, before sealing the win with a pair of free throws.

Hofstra might have put this one away sooner had they shot even a little better than their horrid 41% (7-17) at the line, which included a fairly poor 63% (5-8) by Jenkins, a normally very reliable 78% FT shooter.

In the end though, Jenkins was once again the late hero for already the third time in four Hofstra wins to open the season, as he finished the game making 9 of 18 field goals and grabbing 4 boards, while dishing out 4 assists and committing just 2 turnovers.

The Pride's next game is at home against winless Fordham (0-5), on a night when Hofstra will retire the jersey of former Hofstra great Steve Nisenson, who held Hofstra's all-time scoring record for 43 years until it was broken by Jenkins' teammate Antoine Agudio during Agudio's senior season last year.

If he continues on at his current pace, Hofstra will undoubtedly have a night to eventually retire Jenkins' number 22. Jenkins is currently on pace to break Agudio's career scoring record. He's now scored in double figures in 32 of his first 34 career games, and this season he's been Hofstra's leading scorer in all 5 of the Pride's games, including the game's high scorer in 4 of those games.
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J.J. Wagner
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December 01, 2008
Hey Tiger, thanks for the comment.

Jenkins actually wasn't under the radar. He was a two-time team MVP at Springfield Gardens HS and a known talent. He actually chose Hofstra over St. John's because Hofstra was on him right away, and he liked the interest that Hofstra showed in him both academically and with basketball. When he was still in high school, I recall Hofstra bringing him to one of the bigger home games, packed house, about 5,000 fans, loud, and Jenkins remarked that he loved the atmosphere and wanted to be part of that. Now, most Hofstra home games are not like that, but they would be if Jenkins continues to lead the Pride to victories as he has in the past four games. In fact, he mentioned to me after last week's Old Westbury win how much fun it was just to finally play the first home game that night, with the Lions' Den student section making noise, etc., after three games down in SC to open the season.

Game 4: Hofstra Home Opener
by jjwagner
Nov 29, 2008 | 6231 views | 0 0 comments | 149 149 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
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MON 11/24/08

HOFSTRA 68, OLD WESTBURY 50

HOFSTRA RECORD: 3-1

JENKINS SEASON AVERAGES: 23.8 pts, 5.5 reb, 3.5 ast, 3.3 to

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Hofstra's home opener against Division III Old Westbury was originally supposed to be an exhibition game. It only came about because of the connection of Old Westbury's Head Coach Bernard Tomlin, who played on Hofstra's 1976 NCAA tournament team. But, with Hofstra opening in the Charleston Classic, the game got pushed back and became a regular season game.

I had a good view of this one, sitting courtside by the midcourt line, my first time seeing Hofstra and Jenkins in person this season, and what I saw at first, was surprising. By halftime, it looked more like Hofstra was locked in a tough battle with a CAA opponent like Drexel than with a school that plays two divisions lower. Jenkins was on (8 points, 3-6 fg) but the rest of his team (a combined 36%, 8-22 fg, was strangely unaggressive against the decidedly smaller Panthers, content to fire up brick after brick from the perimeter, en route to a shockingly slim 28-25 lead at the break.

The strategy was as expected in the second half. The Pride started to drive the lane a lot more, including Jenkins, who scored 16 in after halftime. Jenkins finished with a game-high 24 points (the next closest was Hofstra's Cornelius Vines with 13) on 7-13 fg and 9-11 ft. Jenkins also added 6 boards. Hofstra Head Coach Tom Pecora's teams have had a habit at times of playing down to inferior opponents in recent years, something they'll have to guard against in the CAA this season. This game was like that for Hofstra for most of it, though give some credit to a scrappy, hustling D-III Old Westbury for playing smart and tough, taking the shot clock down on almost every possession to try to shorten the game and stay in it until Hofstra finally pulled away late for their third straight win.

Coach Tomlin was impressed seeing Jenkins up close in game action for the first time, saying "He's a scary player. When you open the floor up and allow him a lot of possessions, he can put big numbers on you."

After the game, Jenkins' admitted to me that his role as Hofstra's leader this year is a lot different than being Agudio's sidekick last year, but it's one that he's confident that he can grow into with ease. Jenkins said "It's very different, it's like night and day. Last year, I relied on Antoine a lot and this year it's kind of weird when the coaches yell at me to get the ball in certain situations. As the season progresses it's going to become second nature."

Comments like the one that followed the one above, demonstrate that the sophomore might already have the maturity needed to accept his new leadership role. He realizes that for Hofstra to win this season, "it's gonna be a collective effort, it's not just going to be one player."

Up next, a contest against another local team, though time, a fellow D-I opponent, as HU travels to the Bronx to take on Manhattan College (that has just never sounded right to me! The Jaspers should be playing in Manhattan!). Talk to you all again this weekend.
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Games 1-3: The Charleston Classic
by jjwagner
Nov 29, 2008 | 5614 views | 0 0 comments | 122 122 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
Now that I've introduced Charles Jenkins to the Queens Ledger community with my first blog a few days ago, let's start getting into some of the games that Jenkins and his Hofstra Pride have already played so far this season, as Hofstra traveled to South Carolina to open its 2008-09 season in the Charleston Classic.

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FRI 11/14/08

CLEMSON 98, HOFSTRA 69

HOFSTRA RECORD: 0-1

JENKINS SEASON AVERAGES: 21.0 pts, 4.0 reb, 5.0 ast, 5.0 to

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Hofstra's first game on Friday 11/14 wasn't pretty. The Pride was overmatched and got smoked by ACC foe Clemson (now 6-0 as I write this). Down 3-0, the Tigers scored the next 15 and never looked back. Despite committing 5 of Hofstra's 23 turnovers, Jenkins was impressive, scoring a game-high 21 points, shooting 6 of 14 from the field and 9 of 11 at the line (where Jenkins shot a team-best 78% last year). Jenkins however, got little help from his teammates who shot a combined 29% (15-52) from the floor and just 48% (10-21) from the charity stripe.

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SAT 11/15/08

HOFSTRA 71, WESTERN MICHIGAN 68 (OT)

HOFSTRA RECORD: 1-1

JENKINS SEASON AVERAGES: 20.0 pts, 5.0 reb, 3.5 ast, 3.0 to

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Hofstra rebounded quickly the next day to gut out a solid overtime win over a Western Michigan team which has been one of the best in the MAC in recent years, and which was the consensus preseason pick along with Kent State to challenge for another MAC title this year. Poor shooting game all around, including just 6-17 from the floor in 26 foul-plagued minutes for Jenkins, who had 4 personals. Amazing that Hofstra could win despite shooting just 29% (20-70) from the field, but that had a lot to do with Western Michigan making just 22 of 63 field goals for 35%. Jenkins is relying on the potential shooting help of two of three new JUCO transfers who began their Hofstra careers in this tournament (Tony Dennison, an All-America nominee and Long Island City native who arrived at Hofstra by way of Broward CC and hailing from Syracuse, 6-2 guard Cornelius Vines who played at Iowa Lakes CC before enrolling at Hofstra). Both struggled from the field against Western Michigan. Dennison only 5-18 and Vines was just 2-18 including 0-8 from three (I instantly thought of John Starks in Game 7 of the '94 Finals against the Rockets when I saw Vines' numbers, though I think John gets a bad rap for that; the Knicks never would have made it that far without him, and the way he was shooting the game before, I'm still positive, he'd have won a title for the Knicks on that left-wing three had Olajuwon not come all the way out to the perimeter to block it at the buzzer). But, I digress... Despite the shooting woes, Dennison still had 18 points, second only to Jenkins' team-high 19. Jenkins scored half of Hofstra's 12 points in the OT to seal it.

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SUN 11/16/08

HOFSTRA 76, EAST TENNESSEE STATE 75

HOFSTRA RECORD: 2-1

JENKINS SEASON AVERAGES: 23.7 pts, 5.3 reb, 3.7 ast, 3.7 to

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Hofstra wins a gut-check game against another solid mid-major for the second straight day, and for the second straight day, Jenkins played the hero. He finally got some much-needed help from sidekicks Dennison (13 pts, 5-10 fg) and Vines (16 pts, 5-12 fg), but Hofstra still needed every last one of Jenkins' career-high 31 points to eek out a one point win in the final seconds. Jenkins was at his best, refusing to allow Hofstra to lose. He shot 10-for-20 from the field and score the Pride's final eight points to turn a 73-68 deficit with 3:30 left into the narrowest of victories. Jenkins nailed a right elbow jumper to tie the game 75-75 with :58 left before hitting the winning FT with :01.1 left (he missed the second intentionally so that all ETSU could do was attempt a despreation 80-footer that missed at the final buzzer.

All in all, it was a successful season-opening tournament for Hofstra to walk away with a couple of wins after the blowout loss to Clemson. For his efforts, Jenkins was named to Charleston Classic All-Tournament team and was also named CAA Player Of The Week, picking up right where he left off with four different CAA Rookie Of The Week honors as a freshman.
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It's Jenkins' Team, Now
by jjwagner
Nov 24, 2008 | 6300 views | 0 0 comments | 146 146 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
Welcome to the first of a regular series of blogs chronicling the sophomore season of former Springfield Gardens standout and current Hofstra University basketball star, Charles Jenkins.

For readers of the Queens Ledger/Brooklyn Star Newspaper Network, Jenkins represents both Brooklyn and Queens, having been born in Brownsville and raised there until the age of 6, before later moving to Springfield Gardens, where he started getting noticed as a talent on the court.

Making a smooth transition from high school to Division I college hoops, the strong, 6-foot-3, 220-pound Jenkins, showing the ability to score whether slashing his way through the paint or with a nice outside touch, has already begun to make his mark at Hofstra and in the Colonial Athletic Association.

Following the back-to-back team MVP awards he received while leading Springfield Gardens to a 43-8 record over his final two high school seasons, Jenkins debuted at Hofstra last season by scoring in double figures in 27 of 29 games, averaging 15.0 points and 4.6 rebounds per game, en route to earning the CAA Rookie Of The Year Award.

Although Jenkins' freshman season at Hofstra was a personal success, the Pride struggled to a 12-18 record last year after three straight 20-win seasons which all included NIT berths (the last of which, Jenkins redshirted while watching and learning during the senior season of former Hofstra star Loren Stokes, who now plays professionally in Italy after short stints in Cyprus and Belgium).

The subsequent graduation of Hofstra's all-time scoring leader, Huntington Station's Antoine Agudio, after last season, passes the torch to Jenkins as Hofstra's newest go-to guy.

As if the adjustment from high school to the number two offensive option wasn't enough during his freshman year, Jenkins now faces an even more challenging role as a sophomore, as he transforms from last year's apprentice under Agudio (who is playing professionally in Turkey) to now, leading last year's carry-overs plus three new JUCO transfers in trying to turn Hofstra around this season.

Check here throughout the 2008-09 season for game recaps, and insights from Jenkins, his teammates, and Hofstra's Head Men's Basketball Coach Tom Pecora, as I gain access to the story behind the story of a blossoming former Queens high school star on the local Division I college basketball scene.
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