Junior guard Charles Jenkins is the recognized leader of Hofstra's basketball team, but that means coach Tom Pecora holds him to a higher set of expectations. Jenkins didn't have his best game in the Pride's 48-47 last-minute conference loss to William and Mary today, but he did manage 12 points and a team-high six assists.
Problem was that Jenkins was the victim on the game-winning three-point play by the Tribe's Kendrix Brown, who ran him off a screen, drove to the basket for a layup and was fouled by a trailing Jenkins. Brown hit the foul shot with 16.9 seconds left to give William and Mary its only lead of the game at the most critical time.
Pecora faulted Jenkins for being slow to fight over the top of the screen. "Tough guys don't get screened," the coach said. "That's unacceptable."
In general, Pecora said that Nathaniel Lester, who had 14 points and 10 rebounds, was the only one of his veteran players to bring it and provide some leadership. Possibly thinking of Hofstra great Speedy Claxton, who was courtside for the game, Pecora said, "This is a poor game for Charles. He's 5 of 13 from the floor; he has 12 points and two rebounds in 40 minutes.
"Our great players have always filled up box scores. They score points, they rebound, they defend, and they have a good assist-to-turnover ratio. He's still working on it. He's only a junior, but this would have been an opportunity. I talk all the time to these guys about their legacy. This would have been an opportunity for them to leave a mark in the history books by beating a team as highly touted as William and Mary."
To Jenkins' credit, he didn't flinch while sitting next to Pecora in the postgame news conference listening to the coach's critique, and he manned up about the foul on Brown at the end. "It was a stupid play by myself," Jenkins said. "Like coach said, I should have been tough enough to get over the screen. I got beat. The last thing I should have done was foul."
Personally, I though freshman big man Halil Kanacevic should have come off his man in the lane to help Jenkins. At least give a hard foul to prevent the layup and keep Brown to a chance for two from the line to just tie the game. But it didn't happen. It was a tough lesson for everyone in a Hofstra uniform, but they've got another tough CAA game and a chance to redeem themselves Monday night at George Mason. If the Pride plays defense like it did against William and Mary and shoots a little better, it's got a chance for a good road win.