Mid Valley Graduate Kenny Closing In On 2,000 Career Points At Misericordia
When Jason Kenny made the transition from Mid Valley to Misericordia University, he admitted not knowing how soon he’d see the court.
As it turns out, no one could keep him off of it.
“Coming in, I honestly didn’t know how soon I would play,” Kenny said. “I didn’t know who I’d be behind, but they lost a lot of seniors and I ended up getting a starting spot my freshman year.”
Kenny has been a stalwart in the Cougars’ lineup since Day 1. As a senior, he’s grown into the program’s second all-time scorer — behind current Misericordia coach Willie Chandler (2,898) — and is 35 points away from 2,000 for his career.
“I was just given a great opportunity,” Kenny said. “I’m playing locally so family members can come watch me. I’m glad I can give them something to come watch and look forward to.”
Neither the biggest nor most physical player on the floor, the 6-foot-4 guard said there’s one particular aspect that makes him such a dangerous scorer.
“My speed,” Kenny said. “I’m not really the strongest guy on the court, but my first step, I’m quick enough to get past my defender.”
Even so, Kenny has grown his game as his time in the blue and yellow wore on.
“I’ve been working a lot on my outside shooting this year,” he said. “I’m shooting in the mid 40s (percent). Last few years I’ve been shooting in the mid 30s. I really preach my shooting now more than my driving because everyone expects me to drive it.”
This season, Kenny is hitting a career-best 42.9 percent (36 for 84) on 3-pointers.
In his first three years at Misericordia, Kenny piled up accolades both individually and for his team.
The Cougars won the last two MAC Freedom championships and Kenny was named the conference’s Player of the Year. He was also named to D3hoops.com’s All-Atlantic Region first team and to the NABC Atlantic All-District team.
With success comes new challenges. Every team that steps on the court with Misericordia is going to put everything it has into knocking off the champs, with Kenny on the top of every scouting report.
“Coach tells us we have a target on us from winning the last two conference titles,” Kenny said, “and I’ll always get the other team’s best defender on me, face double and triple teams. I just need to stay composed, trust my teammates that they can get the job done, get them the ball when they’re open.”
While Kenny again leads the team in scoring with 22.2 points per game, he’s also handed out a team-best 63 assists, helping teammates Tony Harding (13.7), Noah Rivera (11.9) and Stone McCreary (10.3) to average double-figure scoring.
“I have 100-percent trust in all those guys,” Kenny said. “It takes a team effort to win games and win championships. I fully trust all those guys to score when they get the chance.”
Misericorida got off to a rough start this season in its quest for a third straight MAC Freedom title. The Cougars are 11-8, and 4-4 in the conference.
“Beginning of the year, we struggled a lot, lost a lot of games we shouldn’t have lost,” Kenny said. “We needed to pay more attention to detail. Little things that matter.”
The Cougars have turned things up recently. Even with a loss Monday to DeSales, Misericordia won six of its last eight games, including going 4-2 in conference games since the calendar turned over.
For Kenny, there’s still plenty of work that needs done, though, to get the team back to a championship level.
“I don’t think we’re playing our best basketball,” he said. “A lot needs to be better, a bunch of little things we need to fix.
“We only have a few games to figure it out, but we’re ready to take on the challenge.”
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