Stags’ Jenkins benefits from senior teammates’ help

Coach Sydney Johnson has maintained since the start of the season that he has five good freshmen on his Fairfield basketball team.
With three senior teammates in the backcourt, first-year guard Justin Jenkins has not always been able to get on the floor to show what he can do. But the 6-foot-2 Bronx native flashed his potential last Sunday in a 67-64 loss tom Niagara at the Webster Bank Arena.
The Stags (10-8, 2-4 MAAC), who play at 9 tonight at Iona, have been struggling on offense and Jenkins came off the bench to score a career-high 16 points in 28 minutes.
“We are not converting right now, offensively we are not playing as well as I’d like to and I know that kid wants to score,” Johnson said. “That’s why he played. Point blank.”
Prior to Sunday’s game, Jenkins played a combined 29 minutes in the previous five games, but you won’t find the freshmen complaining about his lack of minutes.
“I just feel comfortable with this team,” he said. “In practice, I just got to go hard against the three seniors (Derek Needham, Dez Wade and Colin Nickerson) and they help me get better every day. Most of the time I work on my own, so when my time comes, I’ll be ready.”
The rigors of conference play are nothing new for Jenkins, who is used to getting banged around on the court.
“I grew up in the Bronx and used to play in the park,“ he said. “my older friends would always push me, so I know when to push back and play tough.”
With the MAAC’s top scoring backcourt on the floor tonight in Iona’s Momo Jones and Sean Armand – who average 40.9 points per game – Jenkins and the Stags will have their hands full tonight.

William Paxton