St. John's basketball: Daniss Jenkins earns Second Team All-Big East nod

The Red Storm point guard was voted as one of the league's best players

Mar 9, 2024; New York, New York, USA; St. John's Red Storm guard Daniss Jenkins (5) takes a jump
Mar 9, 2024; New York, New York, USA; St. John's Red Storm guard Daniss Jenkins (5) takes a jump / Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Believe it or not, Daniss Jenkins had haters at the beginning of his tenure with the St. John's basketball team.

It even came as a surprise to Rick Pitino when he was told by his nephew of the criticism the former Iona guard was receiving in November from Red Storm fans for not believing he was a Big East caliber player.

That chatter looks foolish now as Jenkins was named to the All-Big East Second Team, the only St. John's player to be recognized by the conference's postseason honors, and would not be close to an NCAA Tournament bid without the Dallas, Texas native.

"DJ Is one of the premier guards in the country," Pitino said after his team won at Hinkle Fieldhouse in late February as Jenkins dished out a season-high nine assists with one turnover.

He averaged 14.7 points, 3.6 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 1.5 steals during his only regular season with the Johnnies and is shooting a career-best 44.7-percent from the floor.

The Hall of Famer explained his point guard could play, and thrive, in any conference in the country and "is a legitimate NBA prospect because of his size, leadership, and his ability to go by people."

"He does it for us every game, he never lets up in practice."

“If you get a guy who loves the game, has a high motor, is a very good athlete and wants to really get better, you have the perfect recruit. That’s Daniss Jenkins," Pitino explained ahead of Jenkins' senior day prior to the regular season finale against Georgetown.

He would have a team-high 23 points and seven assists on 7-of-11 shooting in a St. John's victory.

"He wanted to become better at everything on the basketball court. There are very few people as athletes who bring it every single practice, every single film session, every single game. They may have a poor night, but they bring it every single day," Pitino continued.

"I’ve coached a long, long time, and I could count on both of my hands the players who bring it every single time...Daniss brings it every single day for me.”

Now, the Red Storm will be relying on its star guard to officially clinch its first NCAA Tournament berth since 2019 and try and advance the Johnnies to its first Big East Tournament semifinal since 2000 with a win over Seton Hall on Thursday afternoon (2:30 p.m. ET, FS1).

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