We have reached the top 5 in our countdown of Outside the Huddle’s Top 50 boys basketball players. This is No. 5 in our annual preseason crowning of the top 5 players in northeast Indiana that we call the ‘First Five;’ our highest individual preseason honor.
The ‘First Five’ was started in 2018, following in the 35-plus year tradition of naming the top five area basketball players, started by a now defunct prep sports department in Fort Wayne. It is our honor to pick up and carry on that tradition with the ‘First Five,’ including our fourth group of honorees coming this season at the top of our Top 50 countdown.
No. 5 Karson Jenkins, Snider
Jenkins’ development from being a spot up shooter – always arguably the area’s best spot up shooter – to being one of the area’s most richly talented scorers has been a fun growth to watch. He played his role, waited his turn and absolutely exploded during his junior season. Cultivated well over the years, Jenkins’ dead eye shooting has worked to perfection as other teams kind of just expected that to be his one trick for a while, but he has proved them wrong as a sometimes lead guard. Karson is going to get his points, he is going to fight for them with the ball in his hands and he is going to find a way to create off ball so his touches can be that much more successful. That isn’t something many would say about him in earlier years as much, but he woke people up loudly as one of 2020-21’s breakout area players.
But don’t forget the shot. Jenkins can absolutely let it fly. Jenkins has always been really good at controlling space offensively to set up his shot. Now that he has shown he can play in high tempo, he is able to do that even better as a guy who can score well at all three levels and attack from every area of the court. Jenkins is quick, but doesn’t have overwhelming speed; yet he is incredibly strong with the basketball, crafty and gets separation attacking the rim as well because of his IQ and not trying to rely solely on physical traits.
Jenkins averaged 20.8 points per game last season. He also added 3.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists per contest.
COACH’S QUOTE ON KARSON JENKINS
“Karson can score at all three levels, create for himself and others, and has added strength to his frame. He has taken his game to yet another level this offseason, and he’s ready for a huge season.” – Snider coach Jeremy Rauch
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