John Jenkins wants to prove he is one of the best college basketball players in the country.
On Sunday he moved one step closer to achieving that goal.
The Vanderbilt shooting guard was named one of 14 finalists (out of 21 participants) for Team USA, which will compete in the World University Games from Aug. 13-22 in Shenzhen, China. The team continues training camp in Colorado Springs, Colo., through Aug. 7. The 12-man squad will be announced before it departs to China on Aug. 8.
Jenkins, a rising junior from Hendersonville, led the Southeastern Conference in scoring last year with 19.5 points a game. The sharp shooter averaged a league-high 3.1 3-pointers and totaled 100, which is the fourth-best single-season mark in school history.
Jenkins is joined by fellow SEC representative JaMychal Green (Alabama). Others making the first cut are Tim Abromaitis (Notre Dame), Marcus Denmon (Missouri), Ashton Gibbs (Pittsburgh); Draymond Green (Michigan State), Scoop Jardine (Syracuse), Orlando Johnson (UC Santa Barbara), Greg Mangano (Yale), Trevor Mbakwe (Minnesota), Ray McCallum (Detroit Mercy), Darius Miller (Kentucky), Aaric Murray (West Virginia) and Shabazz Napier (Connecticut).
“I think it’s a great group,” Team USA and Purdue coach Matt Painter said. “We have a lot of balance. I think on the interior, we have some shot-blockers, we have some athletes, guys that can really go and get the basketball and some real good shooters. We have some good, interchangeable parts, and a lot of talent, both returning talent and young. I’m really excited about the mix we have.”