'More complete' Kris Jenkins helps No. 3 Villanova blow away No. 15 Xavier

'More complete' Kris Jenkins helps No. 3 Villanova blow away No. 15 Xavier


VILLANOVA, Pa. — What’s the next step when you’ve already hit the greatest shot in college basketball history?

Get better.

That was the challenge facing Kris Jenkins this year.

It was Jenkins whose storied jump shot gave Villanova the national championship in Houston in April with the first title-winning three-pointer in NCAA Tournament history.

After toying with the idea of turning pro, Jenkins returned to Villanova with one goal.

To become more than just a shooter. To become a complete player.

“I’ve been amazed,” Jay Wright said. “It’s not an act. He’s humble. He wants to get better.

“I’ve heard him say a number of times, ‘When I’m 30 years old, I’ll talk about [the shot], I promise you. But right now, I’m focused on getting better.’

“It’s really a mature, intelligent approach. It’s really impressive.”

Jenkins scored 20 points and added six rebounds Tuesday night to help No. 3 Villanova demolish No. 15 Xavier, 79-54, at the Pavilion (see Instant Replay).

The win was Villanova’s 46th in a row on campus, tying the Pavilion record set from 2007 through 2011.

Although Jenkins’ stats look about the same as last year, Wright said the improvement is clear if you really watch him play.

“What’s really happened is that he got in great shape early this year, and he’s doing a lot more than just scoring,” he said. “You see him making shots, but he’s also running the floor well, he’s defending the perimeter, he’s passing the ball, he’s been getting in the lane.

“We need him to be an even better Kris Jenkins than he’s been in the past.”

Where is there to go when you’ve hit perhaps the most celebrated shot in college basketball history?

Jenkins spent the offseason pondering that.

“As long as you play the game, you can always improve,” Jenkins said. “I guarantee you, every guy on our team feels that way, or they're not going to be here. They just want to learn every day and get better.”

Jenkins made 5 of 10 shots Tuesday and 4 of 8 from three. Josh Hart added 20 points, six boards and five assists, Jalen Brunson had 11 points, six assists and no turnovers, and redshirt freshman Donte DiVincenzo contributed 10 points, four boards and three assists.

Jenkins, who had 23 points and four rebounds in Villanova’s win over Marquette on Saturday, now has consecutive Big East games with 20 or more points and four or more rebounds for the first time in his career.

But it wasn’t the scoring or the shooting that impressed Wright.

It was the stuff that can’t be measured in the box score.

“It’s a gradual thing, becoming a more complete player, just doing the little things on the floor,” Wright said.

“Last year, you wouldn’t see him out ahead of the break or going to the rim off one foot. But he’s in such good shape now, he’s getting used to doing that, and he’s learning how to expand his game.”

This isn’t as deep a Villanova team as the one that won the 2016 national championship, so Wright needs more out of Jenkins.

“Kris can do a lot of other things when he’s not making shots,” Wright said. “He’s playing well defensively, he’s rebounding and he’s our vocal leader, too.

“Earlier in his career, if he wasn’t making shots, he wasn’t doing a lot. But now he’s just becoming complete, and as he grows, it’s just going to make our team better.”

Against Xavier, Villanova fell behind by eight points early. It was 24-16 after 6½ minutes, and Xavier had made 5 of 10 shots from three.

Then Jenkins buried a couple deep jumpers, Villanova turned it up defensively, Xavier went 5½ minutes without a basket and Villanova outscored the nationally ranked Musketeers, 63-26, over a 24-minute span.

After shooting 5 for 10 from three to open the game, Xavier missed 20 of its last 21 attempts from behind the line.

“I’m concerned [about the slow start],” Wright said. “We did not start the game with energy, and they did. That’s a good team. They’ve won a lot of big games, a lot of big games on the road. They came in ready to go, and we did not.

“About halfway through the first half, Kris hit some shots and we got going defensively. I thought Donte DiVincenzo and Eric Paschall coming off the bench did a great job getting our defense going.”

Doug Overton pleads guilty to disorderly conduct in indecent exposure case

The Associated Press

Doug Overton pleads guilty to disorderly conduct in indecent exposure case

Former 76er and La Salle basketball star Doug Overton pleaded guilty to three counts of disorderly conduct Wednesday, stemming from an April 30 incident on the Cynwyd Heritage Trail.

Overton, 47, was arrested for exposing himself to both men and women while on the trail in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, on April 30, per the police.

Overton, the head basketball coach at Divison II Lincoln University, was sentenced to one year of probation and ordered to participate in a psycho-sexual evaluation.

As part of a plea deal, three counts of indecent exposure were dropped. 

“He admitted on the record that his behavior was offensive and obscene, it was obscene behavior and that other people that were there in the park that day enjoying a public area with their families, that they observed that and it was offensive and obscene to them,” Assistant District Attorney Brianna Ringwood told the Main Line Times. “He admitted to engaging in behavior that was obscene and offensive.”

The Big 5 Hall of Famer played 11 NBA seasons, including parts of three with the Sixers. 

Former La Salle great Donnie Carr returns to alma mater as assistant coach

USA Today Images

Former La Salle great Donnie Carr returns to alma mater as assistant coach

A former La Salle great and Big 5 Hall of Famer is being added to the Explorers' coaching staff.

Head coach John Giannini on Tuesday announced that Donnie Carr would be returning to the program as an assistant coach. Carr, who played four seasons at La Salle from 1996-2000, is one of just six players in program history with over 2,000 career points. 

"Donnie is a La Salle and Big 5 Hall of Famer who has paid his dues in coaching while getting valuable experience and making great contacts," Giannini said in a statement. "He has assisted at the small college level, the Division I level and the highest level of AAU competition. Our relationship has grown over the years and he is the perfect person for our staff at this time. Whether it is in mentoring, skill development or recruiting, he will make our players and program better."

After racking up over 1,000 points in his career at Roman Catholic High School, Carr moved a few miles north up Broad Street and continued to fill it up on Olney Avenue. In four seasons with the Explorers, Carr compiled 2,067 total points and career average of 19.7 points per game.

In addition to being named Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year in his first season as an Explorer, Carr landed on first team All-Big 5 in each of his four collegiate seasons. 

"Since March 8, 2000, when I played my last game at La Salle in the A-10 Tournament, I have always dreamed of one day getting an opportunity to coach at my alma mater," Carr said. "This is a dream come true, and I'm ready to hit the ground running for our program."

Injuries cut short Carr's professional playing career overseas, which included stops in Turkey and France.

His prior coaching resume includes different stops as an assistant coach at Holy Family University, The Haverford School and Roman Catholic, as well as a two-year stint at Hartford as a coordinator for player devolopment. Carr had recently been named the head basketball coach at Girard College before coming aboard as an assistant coach at La Salle. 

"I'm blessed, honored and thankful for the opportunity that Coach Giannini has entrusted me with," Carr said. "I have always supported Coach Giannini and have the utmost respect and admiration for him. To be given an opportunity to learn from him and the other coaches on the staff is priceless."