Countdown to Tipoff: Jasmine Jenkins

Oct. 31, 2013

So., Guard, 5-8
Gainesville, Ga.

Jasmine Jenkins will always remember last year's game against Ole Miss on Jan. 30. And not just because she helped Vanderbilt roll to an impressive win, but because that was the game where everything started to click for her.

Jenkins, who was a standout player at East Hall (Ga.) High, used last year's game against Ole Miss as a turning point in her freshman season at Vanderbilt, and she played some of her best basketball after that point.

She set a career high in points two weeks later (with 10 against Missouri) and had a season-high five assists one week after that (against Florida). Now, she is looking to build on the late-season momentum as she heads into her sophomore campaign.

Today, Jenkins is our featured player as we continue our Countdown to Tipoff -- a two-week preview package that will spotlight a different player or coach each day. Jenkins recently sat down for an interview with to talk about the coming season and a few other topics. Here's what she had to say:


QUESTION: Did the amount of playing time you received last year as a freshman exceed your expectations?
JASMINE: It was what I hoped for, but at the beginning of the season, as a point guard, I really didn't know the plays. I really didn't know how to manage a collegiate basketball team. So in the grand scheme of things, (last season) really did exceed my expectations. When I finally knew what SEC basketball was all about, I'm like `wow, I get to play.'

QUESTION: Did you have a "light-bulb" moment last season where all of sudden everything about college basketball just kind of started to click for you?
JASMINE: I want to say the second time we played Ole Miss, it really became apparent to me what running an offense meant (and) what defending an SEC guard meant. That was the game when everything started slowing down. We started seeing more options and you're like, `It's not as hard as I thought it was.' It was definitely the second time we played Ole Miss that it started to slow down for me. I was really appreciative for that game.

QUESTION: Which is more strenuous - studying for a big test or preparing to face a high-ranked opponent? And why?
JASMINE: That's apples to oranges. Although we're at (Vanderbilt), where you get school and basketball, I feel preparing for a big opponent is just huge. ... There are just so many different aspects that go into it. And preparing for a big test is like `let me remember X, Y, Z.' You're just trying to pass a test with a good grade.

QUESTION: How does a routine practice at Vanderbilt compare to a routine practice in high school - or is there any comparison?
JASMINE: Practice in high school is a joke, now that I think back on it. I used to be in practice and think I (was) working hard. But I would still have my earrings in, I would wear a totally different color from my team. But basically college basketball is like a business. In practice, you all look the same, you do the same things, you all wear the same things. No earrings. No jewelry. It's all about business when you come to practice.

QUESTION: How do you usually pass the time on the bus during a long road trip?
JASMINE: I'm known as the eater. So I'll probably have a lot of snacks and then I'll sleep. It really just depends on what classes we're missing or if we're missing a test. If I'm not preparing for anything, you can catch me either eating or sleeping. Every time.


Favorite movie: Space Jam

Favorite fast-food place: Chick-fil-A

Favorite athlete (past or present): Cheryl Miller

Favorite vacation spot: Savannah, Ga.

Favorite celebrity: Kendrick Lamar

Favorite TV Show: Scandal

Favorite band/artist: Paramore and Erykah Badu

Favorite thing to do on an off day from practice: Sleep

Favorite book: Oh, The Places You Go (by Dr. Suess)

Favorite song: Everything is Everything (by Lauryn Hill)

Most famous person you've ever meet: Ken Griffey Jr.

Famous person you would most like to meet (past or present): Maya Angelou

What is your oddest talent: I can play the piano

My ultimate dream job: Personal fitness instructor on Biggest Loser



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