Gulf Coast Showcase puts Jenkins back in Southwest Florida spotlight

Colorado State's Lorenzo "Doob" Jenkins, left, is guarded by FGCU's Christian Carlyle during a Gulf Coast Showcase game Tuesday at Hertz Arena in Estero. MATT ROTHMAN/SPECIAL TO CSI

BY MATT ROTHMAN
SPECIAL TO CSI

ESTERO — A former high school basketball standout from “the 239” dropped by Dunk City on Tuesday. (Actually, it was at nearby Hertz Arena, home of the 2018 Gulf Coast Showcase).

More aptly, Lorenzo “Doob” Jenkins dropped double digits on Dunk City … even “raining threes” down on the FGCU Eagles.

A former Collier County star and 2015 graduate of First Baptist Academy, Jenkins helped the Rams of Colorado State University to an 82-74 victory over Florida Gulf Coast University on Day 2 of the three-day, eight-team tournament that wraps up Wednesday night.

“I was really excited knowing that I can come back and play in front of my family and friends,” said Jenkins, a redshirt junior guard who followed up his 17-point effort in Monday’s opening-round loss to Louisiana with 11 points against FGCU. “It would be a dream come true. I have always wanted to do that. Being in Colorado, I knew it would be hard; I was just glad I was able to do that and also that I am doing well.”

In front of about 20 to 30 friends and family, Jenkins — who’s averaging 13 points per game this season for the Rams (4-1) — hit three 3-pointers Tuesday to give him six for the tournament. Colorado State will be in for a big test Wednesday when it faces mid-major powerhouse South Dakota State in the fifth-place game. Tip-off is set for 1:30 p.m. (FGCU will play University of Texas at San Antonio in the seventh-place game at 11:30 a.m.)

Jenkins is no stranger to scoring outbursts — his 1,720 career points were a huge factor in helping First Baptist claim three straight district championships. Jenkins’ best season at FBA came in his senior year when he led the Lions to the regional championship game — scoring 23 points in a double-overtime loss to Cardinal Mooney — and was named Class 3A-District 18’s Player of the Year.

He still keeps tabs on FBA.

“I have been able to follow them this year,” said Jenkins, who was part of a formidable Lions senior quartet that also included Remy Santos, Qwandell Newton and Isaiah Herrera. “I have been texting my coach back and forth. I am proud of them and try to stay in their ear and tell them how they can improve.”

After high school, Jenkins played one season at Arkansas before transferring to Colorado State. His breakout moment came just over a year ago when he scored a season-high 14 points (on 4-of-5 shooting from 3-point range) in 25 minutes during a Rams loss to Florida State at the Jamaica Classic.

Jenkins will get a second chance to play Arkansas when Colorado State hosts the Razorbacks on Dec. 5. He was held scoreless in 17 minutes of action during the teams’ meeting last season in Fayetteville, Ark. 

One of the biggest adjustments Jenkins had to make at Colorado State — located in Fort Collins, about an hour’s drive due north of Denver — was how to deal with those Rocky Mountain winters.

“It took some adjusting, especially after that first year with the snow,” Jenkins said. “It was a little rough adjusting to the winter. I tend to adjust pretty quickly. I bundle up now and I am ready for it.”