FORT WAYNE – Tyler Jenkins took a step back this summer and evaluated his game.
And he determined one of the best ways to help Fremont is to be a facilitator.
(The opposition) keys on me, and they don’t think the premier scorer is going to be one of the better passers on the team, Jenkins said. The team knows I’m going to get them the ball and get them to a point where they are going to score.
The 6-foot-2 guard showed he could score, rebound and pass last season for the Eagles and earned All-NECC honors.
He’s a lot more athletic now, Fremont coach Ted Bookwalter said. He’s a lot stronger, a lot tougher when it comes to defending and driving at the rim. He was already a very good ball handler and had great vision, but he’s improved his ball-handling and passing skills as well.
He’s developed a really nice jump shot. Last year he was more of a set shooter. He’s going to be tough to defend. He is going to draw a lot of attention. Last year, doubled and tripled. And even with all that attention he had a pretty good year.
Jenkins averaged 22.5 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists for Fremont, which went 9-1 on the way to winning the NECC regular-season title.
My freshman year I came in really blind. I had the normal skills down and was a role player. Sophomore year, I stepped up and had the ball in my hands a little more. I had to do something with it at that point, Jenkins said. My junior year, I learned you have to do more than just score the basketball. I’ve slowly incorporated passing the ball. I feel like that’s one of my strengths now, which it never was when I was young.
Last year I showed I could rebound the basketball. That was coach’s thing in high school. I’m slowly but surely get to that point.
Jenkins is also drawing more attention from colleges. IPFW, Bowling Green, Indiana Wesleyan and Defiance are among the schools that have shown some interest.
Leading up to the season, I’ve had to do a lot with the recruiting process. That was exciting, he said. I was pumped and excited at the same time. I haven’t signed with anybody. This season, it’s going to prove to me where I’m going to stand.
He’s also looking to expand on his role as a team leader.
This year being voted a team leader is a pretty big step, Jenkins said. I’m looking at helping not only myself out, but doing a really big role for the other players on the team. This year is filled with a lot of excitement, a lot of questions, a lot of joy.
Jenkins said he is getting closer to the school record for points. He has 1,004 points for his career and is 231 points away from the Fremont mark. But his focus isn’t on points, but more on team success.
I’m not looking at the numbers. I’m going to play my game and if the records come with it, the records come with it, he said. We’re looking to have a good season. Everybody is pumped and excited, he said.
We are going to have a lot of role players. We’re just going to try to up what we did from last season and take last year and improve on it.