August 13, 2012 in Division I
Well … nothing like ratcheting up expectations for a freshman. Former UD Jesuit standout Chris Jenkins will play basketball for Colorado next season and in a story by Ryan Thorburn of BuffZone.com, Colorado coach Tad Boyle thinks in-state schools will regret letting Jenkins get out of Michigan. So much so, that Boyle even compared Jenkins to a recent NBA lottery pick out of Colorado:
But Michigan State might regret ignoring Jenkins the way Kansas coach Bill Self acknowledge he made a mistake in not looking at Burks.
“Alec was a kid that showed up every day, whether it was workouts, practice, or games, with a chip on his shoulder. And that is what made him so great,” Boyle said. “I see that in Chris. He has a fire in his belly, and that will serve him very well throughout his career here.”
When told of the comparison to Burks, an All-Big 12 first team selection as a sophomore and the 12th pick in the 2011 NBA draft, a wide smile spread across Jenkins’ face.
The 6-7 freshman from Detroit has the build and skill set to continue CU’s recent tradition of stellar play on the wing, which was established in spectacular fashion by Burks, Cory Higgins and Carlon Brown.
“I’m glad that he categorized me with Alec Burks and them. I really take that to heart,” Jenkins said. “I do have a chip on my shoulder and something to prove. That’s how I was raised, to always give your best effort no matter what. So I play hard.”
I’m not a huge fan of comparisons in sports, even though I know that everyone does it. But Burks is one of the most successful basketball players in recent Colorado history, so even mentioning his name in the same sentence as an as-yet untested freshman, to me, seems to be kind of needlessly raising the immediate expectations of fans on a developing young player.
But, if Jenkins is as hard-working as he seems to be and is as mature as that fantastic mustache he’s rocking in the video above suggests he is, he could become a big asset for a school not always known for its basketball.