When St. John's hired Rick Pitino to be their head coach a few weeks ago, he vowed to bring some of his players from Iona, and on Friday, that began to come to fruition.
St. John's announced the signing of graduate transfer Daniss Jenkins for the 2023-24 season. The 6-foot-4 averaged 15.6 points and 4.9 assists for Iona last season, earning All-MAAC honors and leading them to the NCAA Tournament.
Jenkins' 4.9 assists per game led the MAAC and ranked in the Top 50 in Division I. He not only averaged 15.6 points per game, but he had eight games in which he scored 20-plus points. Jenkins put up a career high 31 points against Niagara on December 2, and he also put up double figures in 31 games, including 11 in a row to finish the season. He notched three double-doubles, with a pair of 20-point, 10-assist performances as well.
Pitino said in a statement, "Daniss Jenkins is a lightning quick guard who is a tremendous leader on and off the court. He is someone we will rely on heavily to lead us into next season."
The Dallas, Texas native began his college career at the University of the Pacific, as he played two seasons in the West Coast Conference (WCC). In the 2019-20 season, Jenkins averaged 6.2 points and started 23 of his 32 appearances on his way to making the WCC's all-freshman team. As a sophomore, in the 2020-21 season, he led his team with 12.2 points per game, along with 3.2 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 18 games, all of which he started. Jenkins received All-WCC Honorable Mention recognition for his efforts.
Jenkins then played at Odessa College for the 2021-22 campaign, and he led the Wranglers to an Elite Eight Appearance in the NJCAA Division I Basketball Championship. In 34 games, all starts, he averaged 15.0 points and 5.3 assists per game, and he earned NJCAA Divison I All-America First Team honors and was named the Western Junior College Athletic Conference (WJCAC) Player of the Year.