With the departure of Samardo Samuels and the status of freshman Gorgui Dieng in limbo, Terrence Jennings will have a chance to finally live up to his initial expectations.
Jennings, a 5 star recruit, was ranked as the 5th best center in the 2008 class, and the 18th best player overall. However, since arriving at Louisville, Jennings has yet to come close to reaching his potential. In two seasons, T.J. has only scored in double figures on six occasions and has yet to record double digit rebounds in a game. To his credit, Jennings has not had a great amount of playing time in the past two years. One reason for that is because of a couple of off the court issues, but most of all, it is because of Samardo Samuels. Bringing in two of the top 5 centers in the 2008 class was a great thing, but we never really had a chance to see Jennings and Samuels excel on the court at the same time. Jennings, is the more “true” center of the two, but neither player fit the power forward position in the Rick Pitino system.
With a very thin front court, and Peyton Siva at point guard, T.J. should have a big opportunity to showcase his skills. Louisville has had a lot of great guards in the past decade, but Siva is the first true point guard, the program has had in a very long time. Siva will make the players around him better, in-particular, Jennings. According to a former player who has been playing pick-up games with the team at the YUM center, Jennings and Siva have played well together this summer, and are starting to gel.
This team will need a big year from Jennings, without question. We know he has the talent and now that the opportunity is there, let’s just hope he can get the job done.