St. John’s basketball: Daniss Jenkins not worried about turnover issues

St. John's basketball point guard Daniss Jenkins (David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports)
St. John's basketball point guard Daniss Jenkins (David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports) /

St. John’s basketball guard Daniss Jenkins is not worried about his turnover issues. 

It’s clear that Daniss Jenkins is the primary ball handler for the St. John’s basketball team and he has been coughing the ball up too much during his first three games — yet he is not worried.

Jenkins has committed 15 turnovers for the Johnnies and his latest giveaway nearly cost the Red Storm a victory against North Texas in the opening game of the Charleston Classic when he was trapped on the baseline with 16.3 seconds remaining before throwing the ball away.

St. John’s (2-1) was able to get a defensive stop after the turnover to close out the victory, 53-52, and advance to play Dayton (2-1) in the semifinals on Friday afternoon (2:00p.m. EST, ESPN2).

However, both Rick Pitino and his point guard have an idea why he is turning the ball over so much.


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“I think some of it is definitely fatigue,” Jenkins said after playing a season-high 38 minutes in the Red Storm victory on Thursday.

“Sometimes I just put myself in bad positions, but I don’t turn the ball over much in my career so I’m not worried about it.”

The Iona transfer turned the ball over six times in 28 minutes during the season opener against Stony Brook and four turnovers in just 24 minutes against Michigan after only having four games in which he committed five turnovers or more last season at Iona.

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Rick Pitino said that he wants to let freshman guard Simeon Wilcher play more point guard going forward and allow Daniss Jenkins to get more time as a shooting guard.

“It was the type of turnovers,” that had the Hall of Famer frustrated with his guard’s performance against North Texas.

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“We told him, ‘If you drive the baseline, that’s a a sixth man to them.’ They use the baseline, they overload the baseline on traps,” Pitino explained of Jenkins’ final offensive play and North Texas’ defensive strategy.

Jenkins had a 2.2 assist-to-turnover ratio last season and still averaged 33.7 minutes per game but now just sits at an 0.8 assist-to-turnover ratio in 30.0 minutes per contest.

The connection and trust between Rick Pitino and Daniss Jenkins is clearly strong and the Johnnies will needs its point guard to cut down on the costly turnovers as the competition gets tougher throughout the season.

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