MAY 3RD, 10:22am: Jenkins has withdrawn from the draft as planned, the school announced.
APRIL 15TH, 8:16am: NCAA Tournament hero Kris Jenkins plans to withdraw from this year’s draft and return to Villanova, as he said to Stephen Rocco Disangro this week at the Philadelphia Big 5 Banquet (YouTube link; hat tip to Chris Lane of SB Nation’s VU Hoops blog and Jon Rothstein of CBSSports.com). The junior combo forward confirmed he’s decided to go through the predraft process, as new NCAA rules allow him to do, but he’ll pull out before the May 25th NCAA draft withdrawal deadline and won’t hire an agent. That will allow him to retain his college eligibility even as he participates in workouts with NBA teams and, if invited, the NBA combine.
Jenkins wouldn’t stand much chance of getting drafted if he were to stay in. He’s the 128th-best prospect in Chad Ford’s ESPN.com listings. Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress doesn’t include the junior in his rankings. The 6’6″ 22-year-old was 78th in the Recruiting Services Consensus Index coming out of high school, and while he overhauled his conditioning during his three years at Villanova, he’s yet to emerge as a top-level pro prospect.
Still, the buzzer-beating shot he made in the NCAA Tournament final to give the Wildcats the national championship earlier this month earned him no shortage of name recognition, and he played a major role for Villanova throughout the season, his first as a starter. He put up 13.6 points and 3.9 rebounds in 28.4 minutes per game with 38.6% 3-point shooting. The Wildcats won the title despite a highly unusual lack of surefire NBA talent.