Any trickling doubt planted in the minds and hearts of Villanova Wildcats fans that the 2016 National Championship game's hero Kris Jenkins wouldn't be returning to campus for the 2016-17 has officially been dissipated. The rising senior forward, who averaged 13.6 points and 3.9 rebounds per game and was pivotal for 'Nova down the stretch of the Big East season prior to his unforgettable buzzer-beater, is returning for his senior season.
Jenkins had previously elected to test the NBA Draft process, and nobody could really blame him for it. With the new rules in place, there's no harm or foul in seeing where you're at in comparison to everyone else. But in any event, Jenkins has now elected to head back to Philadelphia where he's likely to now be looked at as a folk hero for the rest of his life. The move was officially announced via Villanova's Men's Basketball Twitter account:
Jenkins then went on to announce the move himself:
It was a good experience going through this process but I’m looking forward to focusing on graduating next year and becoming a great leader.— Kris Jenkins (@bigticket2) May 3, 2016
The move is not without precedent of course and now will give Villanova a big boost heading into their title defense next season. They were already expected to do damage with the players they were going to be trotting out, but Jenkins staying in school allows for 'Nova to bring damage from all areas of the floor.
As if they weren't before, Villanova remains the clear cut favorite in the Big East and a threat nationally. As for Jenkins, expect him to be a prime contender for the Big East Player of the Year award and perhaps some national recognition as well.