Terrence Jennings

RCSI: 38 (2008)
Height: 6'10" (208 cm)
Weight: 228 lbs (103 kg)
Position: C
High School: Notre Dame Preparatory School (Massachusetts)
Hometown: Fitchburg, MA
College: Louisville
Current Team: Stara Zagora
Win - Loss: 8 - 24


Top NBA Draft Prospects in the Big East, Part Two (#6-10)

Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Kyle Nelson
Kyle Nelson
Joseph Treutlein
Joseph Treutlein
Oct 08, 2010, 10:13 am
Kyle Nelson

It is safe to say that Terrence Jennings has yet to live up to the massive high school hype that followed him to Louisville. As a freshman and a sophomore, he failed to prove himself as anything other than an intriguing athlete. Jennings is projected to start at center this season, following an underwhelming two year stint backing up Samardo Samuels and will have the opportunity to both earn minutes and to shoulder an expanded role.

Jennings had NBA-caliber size and athleticism before he even arrived at Louisville. Standing 6'10 with a fantastic 230-pound frame and impressive length, Jennings has the size and athleticism to play either post position at the next level.

For all of Jennings's physical and athletic gifts, however, he has made few strides on the offensive end. He played only 13.2 minutes per game as a sophomore and scored in double figures just three times on his way to a paltry 5.1 points per game.

His footwork is still extremely raw and, though he does a decent job of establishing position in the post, his basketball IQ and court awareness look well below average. His hands are not the greatest, either, and he rarely was prepared once he received the ball in the post. Instead of backing his man down and utilizing his superior strength, he settled for highly difficult off-balance shots in the lane.

At this stage, Jennings is most effective cleaning up around the rim where he can grab offensive rebounds in his immediate vicinity and finish emphatically. As a junior, Jennings must work to develop a go-to post move and improve upon his extremely limited skill set from becoming more comfortable in pick and roll possessions to learning how to pass the ball out of double teams.

Outside of the post, he continued to show flashes that suggest he can expand his skill set in the future. While he is a weak ball handler, he occasionally put the ball on the floor for solid straight line drives to the basket. His quick first step, mobility, and finishing abilities could potentially translate into an effective, though likely limited, face-up game.

Jennings also showed some potential in spot-up possessions, albeit on a very small amount of attempts. His mechanics are surprisingly good from his fluid shooting motion to his high point of release. While Jennings is better off asserting himself in the post, his ability to knock down shots is intriguing and is definitely worth monitoring.

On defense, Jennings lacks the ideal lateral quickness to guard perimeter oriented big men, but he has solid quickness and strength to defend in the post. He is not a particularly skilled positional defender, however, as he frequently loses his man and compensates by committing bad fouls. While he displays solid effort, he must work on maintaining focus and awareness in the team defense if he wants to stay on the floor next season.

Jennings is one of the best shot blocking prospects in our database, however, averaging 3.6 blocks per 40 minutes pace adjusted last season. His timing and athleticism unfortunately help him less on the defensive boards, as he struggles to consistently box out his man and grabbed just 7.8% of Lousiville's defensive rebounds.

Ultimately, few NBA players have Jennings's combination of size, strength, and athleticism, but his skill set is severely lacking. He must learn how to stay on the floor by limiting turnovers and fouls while displaying better awareness on the defensive end. He must rebound the ball better and he must work to establish a post repertoire. After all, hype does not last forever and Jennings will only remain a relevant prospect if he proves he can be just as good of a basketball player as he is an athlete.

Top NBA Draft Prospects in the Big East (Part One: #1-5)

Matt Williams
Matt Williams
Oct 03, 2009, 04:46 am
Matthew Williams

A former top-40 recruit, Terrence Jennings played sparingly for Rick Pitino’s Cardinals during non-conference play early last season, but showed flashes of brilliance as Louisville ran through its conference schedule on their way to a 31-win season and a number 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Playing only 11.9 minutes per-game, Jennings admittedly didn’t make as big a splash as freshman teammate Samardo Samuels, but he cleared some significant hurdles that all young big men face and emerged as Samuels’s backup by season’s end. Familiarizing himself with a new system, level of competition, and set of expectations in terms of preparation and practice, if nothing else, last season was an important learning experience for Jennings.

Despite the steps he took last season, he'll face a new set of challenges in 2010, likely playing more next to Samuels instead of behind him, having to help compensate for the departures of Earl Clark and Terrence Williams, and facing the added pressure of legitimizing his NBA stock.

It isn’t hard to see what made Jennings such a highly regarded high school player coming out of Notre Dame Prep (MA) –he definitely looks the part of an NBA big man. Standing near 6-10 with long-arms and a frame that could carry quite a bit of additional weight, Jennings has excellent physical potential. Couple his size with his excellent end-to-end speed, quick first step, and terrific leaping ability, and Jennings already sounds like an intriguing NBA prospect, even if he was only playing 11.9 minutes per-game last season. Though his physical profile is one of his biggest strengths as a prospect, it would be nice to see him continue adding strength to better fit the center position at the next level, as his skill level may not afford him the chance to play much power forward.

Though Jennings's size, speed, and athleticism gave him the ability to score around the rim in face-up situations on the high school level, his lack of polish was apparent on the block in his first season at Louisville. Displaying a knack for beating his man up the floor, a willingness to get low and establish position, and earning quite a few dunks at the rim by pinning his defender near the mid-post, Jennings flashes a quick spin move that lets him use his excellent leaping ability at the rim when finishing, but that is about the extent of his polish in the post at this point.

When he can’t simply catch and turn over his left shoulder for a hook shot or lay in, Jennings struggles with counter-moves, appears uncomfortable or tentative at times, and gets his shot blocked rather frequently for an athlete of his caliber. As of last season, Jennings scored almost exclusively as a finisher at the rim, as jumpers accounted for only 3% of his total shots according to Synergy Sports Technology, and his 51.0% foul shooting indicates that he’ll need to improve the follow through and rhythm he displays in his mechanics if he wants to add some range to his game.

Despite how raw he appears in any situation where he has to create anything for himself, Jennings does excel when his teammates can create open looks for him. Offering a big target, moving well on the interior, and aggressively looking to gain position, Jennings converted nearly 66.7% of his finishing opportunities inside, many of which he earned himself on the offensive glass, where he would rank amongst the more prolific per-40 producers if he were statistically qualified.

Playing next to Samardo Samuels for the foreseeable future, it will be important for Jennings to continue working hard on the glass and improve his comfort level operating in the midrange to better produce in a complementary role. Clearly, Jennings has some promising offensive tools that will need time to develop, not too unlike what he brings to the table defensive.

Not terribly foul prone for a young, raw post, Jennings utilizes his length well to contest shots around the basket and shows good instincts and quick hands as shot blocker. With the lateral quickness to compensate for some lapses in positioning on the interior, Jennings has the potential to be a very high level defensive player. Already posting impressive per-40 block numbers, albeit in a small sample of minutes, Jennings will have the opportunity to solidify his reputation as an intimidating shot blocker next season. With Samardo Samuels defending stronger interior players, Jennings will likely spend more time defending the perimeter rather than sitting under the rim in Louisville’s zone like he did this year. That will factor into his productivity, but it will also require him to improve his discipline when closing out shooters, one area where Jennings displays consistently poor fundamentals defensively.

Already possessing the athleticism and body of an NBA player and some intriguing tools, it will be interesting to see if Jennings can extrapolate his productivity as he moves into a starting role. Essentially a clean slate as a player, Jennings doesn’t have great instincts offensively, nor does he have too many bad habits. His development as a scoring threat and defensive presence will dictate how NBA decision-makers view him next summer, as will his ability to shed the poor reputation he’s garnered off the court through his prep days. This could very well be the key to his draft stock actually, as any red flags that come up in the pre-draft process about his character could significantly hurt him.

Pittsburgh High School Classic Recap

Rodger Bohn
Rodger Bohn
Jan 29, 2008, 05:43 pm
There was no player more dominant then Terrence Jennings (#15 Rivals), who completely took over the game with his size and freakish athleticism. At 6’10 and 230 pounds, he already owns ideal stature for an NBA power forward and has the physical gifts to match. Unlike the last time we saw him, he completely maximized his athletic talents on both ends of the floor and looked like the top 20 player nationally that he is billed to be.

The Sacramento native is still very raw in terms of offensive skills, but really showed some potential. He threw out a number of blindingly quick spin moves in the paint, resulting in two points or a foul on every attempt. An absolute monster on the offensive glass, Terrence used his quick leaping ability to attack the ball much faster than any of the American Christian big men, and was able to get a number of put-backs before defenders even had a chance to react. He even showed flashes of a game facing the basket, as he stepped out a drilled a pair of smooth looking 17 foot jump-shots off the dribble.

Just as impressive was Jennings’ ability to run the floor and catch everything thrown his way. He seemingly glided up and down the court, often beating even American Christians’ guards while streaking down the floor. When the ball was thrown to him, he was able to corral everything and finish well above the rim with both his right and left hands. For a player who lacks refinement on the offensive end, his ability to run the floor and catch the ball should enable him to get his fair share of easy buckets at the collegiate level, assuming he gives decent effort out on the floor.

Jennings is still a work in progress defensively, possessing very little awareness and often looking lost on that side of the court. Showing flashes of potential as a shot blocker and rebounder, he is able to contribute in those areas through his raw athleticism, rather than actual defensive fundamentals. His lack of high level experience is quite clear here, as he has really only been playing elite level competition for two years now.

As hard as this may be to believe, the Amare Stoudemire comparisons may have some warrant. Jennings has similar tools (ability to run floor, quick leaping ability, super spin-moves), mannerisms, and athletic ability. Also like Stoudemire (especially in his prep days), there have been questions about Jennings’ character and desire. In terms of NBA potential, Terrence has arguably as much as any big man that the class of 2008 has to offer. Teaming with Samardo Samuels next year at Louisville, he will have the ability to feed off of the constant double teams that Samuels will see, giving him easy opportunities to score at the rim. There is still a ton of room for Jennings in terms of development on both ends of the floor, but he has the chance to be a very nice draft prospect down the road if he is willing to put forth the effort to make the most of his limitless potential.

National Prep Showcase, Day Two

Rodger Bohn
Rodger Bohn
Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Nov 18, 2007, 01:13 pm
This was a sub-par outing for Jennings after a fairly impressive showing yesterday, struggling through foul trouble for most of the game and never really getting into a rhythm when he was on the floor against the highly touted post duo of Rosco Davis and Chris Braswell. He again showed poor awareness on the defensive end, particularly on the perimeter, but also in the post, where he has a tendency to bite on pump-fakes and generally looks very lost in everything besides his shot-blocking ability. As a rebounder, Jennings relies too much on his natural gifts (size, length, freakish athleticism) and does not box out all that well, leading to quite a few offensive rebounds for the opposition. Offensively, he wasn’t involved at all today.

Jennings is obviously a huge talent, and this game didn’t do anything to discourage that notion, but he does have his work cut out for him over the next few years if he’s to get anywhere close to achieving his full potential. He needs a lot of coaching on his fundamentals especially, but there’s a lot to work with here.

National Prep Showcase: Day One

Rodger Bohn
Rodger Bohn
Jonathan Givony
Jonathan Givony
Nov 17, 2007, 10:59 am
Jennings was hands down the top big man prospect that the day had to offer, combining prototypical size with downright freakish athleticism. He displayed ridiculously quick moves when touching the ball around the basket, both in terms of footwork and how fast he got off of the ground. The Amare Stoudemire comparisons may be a stretch at the moment, but Jennings does own quickness, size, and athleticism somewhat comparable to that of the current Phoenix Suns star.
Jennings entire game is predicated off of his athleticism, both on the offensive and defensive ends of the floor. He simply outjumped any opposing player that he was matched up against Friday, corralling rebounds and rejecting any shot that came his way. The California native ran the floor incredibly well, jetting down the floor in transition for an outstanding dunk for one of his two field goals.

On the down side, Terrence is still remarkably raw for a player considered a top 20 recruit. His skill set needs quite a bit of work, as he did very little away from the rim and bricked quite a few easy scoring attempts. His post game is just as underdeveloped, as Jennings looked completely lost a few time when he touched the ball in the pivot.

Jennings’ basketball IQ and feel for the game also seemed a bit lackluster. It was clear that he lacked the court awareness that most players of his stature possess, especially on the defensive end. Everything that Jennings does on the floor is at 100 miles per hour due to his jetting quicks, but his elementary feel for the game is evident to anyone watching, especially when he is forced to make quick basketball decisions.

Either way that you look at it, Jennings is a player that will be closely followed by NBA personnel throughout his tenure as a Cardinal. The package of size, quickness, and upside that he brings to the table is virtually unparalleled by most power forwards that this class has to offer. Only time will tell if Jennings develops into the budding star that he has the potential to become, or if he will just remain an athletic marvel with an underdeveloped skill set.

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