So far Jennings has had very modest numbers averaging 4.9 points and 3.0 assists in 17.3 minutes. Because of his modest start, some individuals are beginning to question Jennings move. Here's the Washington Times' Barker Davis with his doubts:
The long-term wisdom of his career choice remains questionable. Instead of enjoying a high-profile role at Arizona, where he would have served as the Wildcats' primary perimeter complement to versatile forward Chase Budinger, he's struggling to earn minutes for a 4-4 squad in the Italian League. As a result, his draft stock is falling.Davis tries to prove his statement that Jennings move remains questionable by referencing an anonymous NBA Scout:
"He began the season in the top 10 on everybody's board, but his slow start has everyone re-evaluating," an NBA scout said at the Old Spice Classic.
I think Davis and other doubters in the mainstream media are wrong to conclude Jennings made a mistake by playing in Europe. First of all, I never trust one random scout's opinions. From experience I know that if you talk to ten different scouts about a particular player, you might get ten different opinions. Next, check out every single respectable NBA Draft site and there is not one that has Jennings out of their top ten.
As well, by all accounts, the competition in Europe is much better than the NCAA. Jennings is playing in a very tough PROFESSIONAL system while not having to worry about keeping up with the rigors of college academics. And he's able to do this while making over $1 million in salary and endorsement money.
So let's weigh the options: Play in Europe and make $1 million and still get select as a lottery pick the next season or go to Arizona where the program is in turmoil and make no money?
And from everything that has been reported Arizona probably wasn't even a choice for Jennings because of his SAT scores. If that's true, Europe was basically Jennings only option.
The bottom line is barring some kind of injury there is no way that Jennings is not a top ten pick in this year's draft. And after Jennings proves that Europe won't hurt his draft stock, don't be surprised if you see tons of other preps bypass the NCAA in favor of a paid basketball internship in Europe.