Sometimes, the best player on the floor is not always the player scoring the most points. De Soto Senior Guard Jacob Jennings is more concerned with doing what's best for the team rather than getting statistics. But, Jacob helped lead his team to two wins in three contests in the Tonganoxie Basketball Tournament and a third-place finish overall.
"We needed wins. You know, we were at a point where we need to make some stuff happen," Wildcats Boys Basketball Head Coach Matt Rice said. "And, he filled the stat sheet for us. I mean, he did more things for us efficiently."
Jacob averaged just about 12.3 points per game in his three games last week - 12 points against Tonganoxie, 14 points against Jefferson West and 11 points against an undefeated Wamego team. While those point totals may not totally impress, it was all of the other intangibles that earned him a place on the Tonganoxie All-Tournament Team and this week's Hy-Vee 41 Five-Star Athlete of the Week. He also averaged 3.3 rebounds, just under three assists, four steals per game and contributed with three total block shots.
In addition, he held opposing guards to 7 points per game and held Wamego's best player Dillon Blain to just 12 points, his lowest point total of the year, in De Soto's 63-49 loss to the Red Raiders. Blain had been averaging around 26 points per game. What's even more impressive was Jacob's tenacious defense on the court all while averaging just one foul per game.
"I kind of hang my hat on my defense. I really like defense. I enjoy looking forward to the challenge of playing the other guy's, you know, best offensive player," Senior Guard Jacob Jennings said. "I started out, you know, not being very confident or anything. But, I've definitely grown more confident. I've become a better defender than I was. Definitely offensively, I have too. You know, [Coach Rice] has shown me a lot about shooting well."
Coach Rice added that Jacob was the kind of young man every coach wants to have on their team.
"So many kids wanna make plays with the ball in their hands. And, Jacob has definitely bought into, you know, being able to do things to help your team win without the ball, whether it would be diving on the floor for a loose ball," Coach Rice said.
Jacob and the Wildcats (4-8) travel to face Basehor-Linwood this Friday night (1/29).
NOTE: The Hy-Vee 41 5-Star Athlete of the Week piece airs every Thursday night during the 41 Action Sports segment at 10 p.m. for the entire school year.