- Eamonn Brennan, ESPN Staff Writer
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Hofstra's Charles Jenkins might be the best college basketball player you've never heard of. (Especially since Cleveland State's Norris Cole put himself on the map with that insane 40-20-9 line versus Youngstown State Saturday.) Jenkins is averaging the fifth-most points per game (23.5) of any player in the nation this season, and he adds assists (4.9 per game) and rebounds (3.5). More importantly, Jenkins also happens to be the second-most efficient player high-usage in the nation, according to KenPom; among players who use more than 28 percent of their team's possessions, Jenkins' offensive rating trails only Arizona's Derrick Williams. Dude is really, really good.
And yet, Jenkins has gone unheralded for much of the season. For much of his career, actually. But that might be about to change.
On Tuesday night, Jenkins delivered a YouTube-sensation-worthy performance against William & Mary. The guard hit a last-second 3 to send the game into overtime, and then finished off the Tribe with a crazy 35-foot buzzer-beater at the end of OT to give Hofstra the win. And, yes, there is video, and yes, the video is awesome (hat tip: The Dagger):
This isn't the first time Jenkins has gotten noticed this year. Last week -- right around the time Jimmer Fredette fans were executing the most hilarious Facebook comment thread of all time (and making awesome Antoine Dodson parodies) -- Jenkins fans were building out their own Facebook tribute in an open group called "Charles Jenkins Facts." Step aside, Chuck Norris, because "Charles Jenkins knows only one meaning of pain: french bread," and "McDonald's gives Charles Jenkins two extra McNuggets in his 20-piece meal."
In other words, Hofstra and the rest of the Colonial are aware of Jenkins' brilliance. It's high time the rest of the college hoops world joined.
The only bad news here? Jenkins and Hofstra will have to win the CAA tournament to go to the Big Dance. That would mean, depending on Hofstra's conference tourney seeding, fighting through red-hot George Mason, likely at-large inclusion Old Dominion, and former conference favorite Virginia Commonwealth, not to mention Drexel, James Madison and the rest of the deeper-than-you-think Colonial. In many years, a singular talent like Jenkins would be enough to win the CAA and get to the tourney. This year, the Colonial is almost too good. But we'll see if Jenkins has saved a few more heroics for single-elimination season. You'd be a fool to count him out.
Hofstra's Charles Jenkins might be the best college basketball player you've never heard of. (Especially since Cleveland State's Norris Cole put himself on the map with that insane 40-20-9 line versus Youngstown State Saturday.