MAAC Transfer Scouting, Part 2: Iona
There are 32 incoming transfers between the eleven MAAC teams as of right now, with more on the horizon. There are a lot of new faces in the MAAC, and that’s hard for fans. However, with the help of some analytics, film breakdowns, and clippings, we’re here to help you get to know every single entering transfer for the league, team-by-team.
Iona is one of six MAAC teams with a full 13 scholarship players as of right now, including two transfers, Odessa College guard Daniss Jenkins, and University of Missouri’s Anton Brookshire. Let’s get to know them.
Dallas native Daniss Jenkins comes to Iona from junior college, but not without Division I experience. The 6-foot-3, 185-pound point guard played his freshman and sophomore seasons at University of The Pacific in the West Coast Conference before transferring to Odessa College. Jenkins made his presence felt at JUCO, making First Team All-America at that level before committing to Iona.
In 2021–22, Jenkins played in 34 games for the Wranglers, and he averaged 15.0 PPG, 5.3 APG, and 3.9 RPG, leading them to the National JUCO Quarterfinals. During his two years at Pacific, he started 41 of 50 games. As a freshman, he put up 6.2 PPG, 1.2 RPG, and 1.2 APG in 22.1 MPG, and then he came back and doubled his scoring output to 12 per game for his sophomore year.
Jenkins struggled mightily with efficiency during his stint at Pacific, as he shot just 24% from 3 and 38% from the field. One possible explanation for his efficiency struggles is that Jenkins often opted for the mid-range shot over the drive in the Pick & Roll. Per Shot Quality, Jenkins opted for the midrange 62% of the time in the P&R during his sophomore year, yielding just 0.67 Points per Possession, while his drives yielded 0.93 Points per Possession.
In his JUCO season, Jenkins shot a remarkable 40.3% from long distance, sinking 56 of his 139 3-point attempts. If this trend does continue, it should fix a lot of the problems that Jenkins had as a Division I player.
On the defensive end, Jenkins ranked in the 89th and 87th percentiles in steals and blocks respectively in his sophomore season at Pacific, and was a key piece in the Tiger defense that ranked 7th and 19th nationally in those stats.
Turning on the tape from his season at Odessa, you can see Jenkins’ high revving defensive motor. Odessa played a full court press, and Jenkins was an integral piece of that. The Wranglers liked to play aggressive on both ends, and Jenkins’ ability to start the fastbreak was a key piece in the puzzle.
Here is Jenkins (4) picking up a loose ball and starting the break with a pass ahead to his teammate.
Jenkins’ vision and delivery aided the Wranglers in both the half and full court, and it also was a factor at Pacific. He ranked in Shot Quality’s 82nd percentile of passing in his sophomore season with the Tigers.
According to Coach Pitino, Iona wasn’t able to press as much as they wanted to last year because they didn’t have the personnel. Jenkins is a perfect fit for the press, as he has experience and instincts, as he shows here, as well as the ability to make plays, like with this nice pass.
Jenkins shows his explosiveness on this drive, destroying his man off the dribble, coming to a jump stop, and delivering a nice pass to his teammate on the opposite block for the easy layup.
One of Jenkins’ main strengths as an offensive player is his ability to take and make off the dribble jumpers moving to both sides.
On this play, Jenkins moves to his left and hits the mid range jump shot
Here’s yet another example of Jenkins starting a drive and stopping for a pull-up mid-range jump shot.
Jenkins is very good as a mid range player, but the ugly trait of choosing jump shots over drives to the basket still exists, and could hinder him. Jenkins had many driving opportunities, however almost every time he opted not to go to the basket strong for a layup, instead choosing either a mid range jump shot, or a pass.
Jenkins excelled in a point guard position at Odessa, and has the ability to play off the ball as well.
He’s also very clearly a Division I caliber athlete, and it wasn’t hard to tell which one he was when watching the JUCO games.
Iona loses guards Tyson Jolly and Elijah Joiner, so Coach Pitino made bringing in an experienced guard a priority, and coming away with Jenkins is a very good pickup for the Gaels.
Iona thought they were done in the Transfer Portal after bringing in Jenkins, but on the eve of the deadline, sophomore guard Ryan Myers entered his name into the portal, and the Gaels needed to fill another spot. It didn’t take very long after that for Missouri Freshman Anton Brookshire to commit to Iona.
At 6–1, 170 pounds, the Missouri native didn’t get the playing time that he may have expected with the Tigers, so he entered the portal. He entered after missing the last few games of the season with an unspecified injury, but the Tigers didn’t miss him much. Brookshire appeared in just 18 games, playing just 161 minutes all season, and his numbers in those minutes were not great. He shot a disappointing 4–26 from three-point range, and averaged per 40’s of 6.7 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists.
Brookshire was a 3 star prospect, and the number 3 player in the state of Missouri for the Class of 2021. His storied high school career at Kickapoo High School ended with a state championship, 1874 career points- a school record- as well as being Springfield’s best 3 point shooter. His high school coach, Mitch McHenry raves about his character, saying that “You can look at the stats and the numbers, I don’t think that begins to explain the character he is and his personality.”
People close to him have praised his leadership, character, and toughness, all part of the story of his legendary high school career.
On the court, Brookshire showed flashes of very strong playmaking. In Missouri’s blowout loss to Kansas, Brookshire created 7.36 Shot Quality Points for his teammates on his 4 SQ assists, his best passing game by the metric.
Despite the very limited playing time, his playmaking gifts are clear, and he uses them in a variety of different ways.
Whenever Brookshire is on the court, his teammates know that he’ll find them an opportunity to score.
Brookshire’s transfer is a chance for him to get a fresh start. As a small guard that’s slanted towards offense, his success will definitely depend on whether his shooting returns to form. While he didn’t shoot well at Missouri, his high school profile shows that he absolutely can be a very good shooter.
His form is solid and he has plenty of pedigree from his high school days.
Brookshire’s speed is another one of his best traits, and it bleeds into his play. His small, fast, offense-first game fits the mid-major level, and if the coaching staff pushes the right buttons, this could be a really good long-term piece for Iona in the MAAC. As of right now, it seems that he’ll be coming off of the bench.
Iona once again should be the number 1 team in the MAAC, and they didn’t go to the portal as heavily as they possibly could’ve, gearing more towards bringing in freshmen. They’ll be a younger group than last year, losing 3 important seniors, but they’ve set themselves up for success this year and in the long run.
Next up in the MAAC Transfer Scouting series will be Siena.