Jenkins leaning toward rival New Mexico

Updated: May 25, 2005, 8:55 PM ET
Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Point guard Josh Jenkins is leaving New Mexico State and could be headed to rival New Mexico.

The former Valley High School standout was told by new NMSU coach Reggie Theus that he didn't figure into the Aggies' future plans and his playing time likely would diminish after next season.

Jenkins and his stepfather, Hunter Greene, said they wanted to meet with New Mexico coach Ritchie McKay to discuss a possible transfer to New Mexico. Greene played at New Mexico in the mid 1980s.

Theus is trying to rebuild an NMSU program that finished 6-24 last season. He has been on an aggressive recruiting campaign this offseason and has revamped the Aggies' lineup with the addition of several recruits and transfers.

Theus said he told Jenkins he would be better off at another school. Jenkins will have three years of eligibility left, but will have to sit out next season if he transfers to another Division I school.

Jenkins, a freshman last season, started 21 games for the Aggies and averaged 10.1 points and a team-high 3.5 assists a game.

"As a freshman, I did well," Jenkins said. "I figured I'd be one of the few who stayed and tried to rebuild the program. I was working hard, but I guess the coach didn't like what he saw."

Jenkins, who averaged 26 points and 8.4 assists a game his senior year at Valley High School, was not recruited by New Mexico. But he says he has always wanted to play for the Lobos. He said he has already filed the paperwork required to transfer from New Mexico State.

New Mexico currently does not have a scholarship available for Jenkins and if he decided to join the Lobos, it would likely have to be as a walk-on.

Jenkins also said going to a junior college for one year is a possibility.

Jenkins said a major reason for his wanting to transfer to New Mexico is the fact his mother, Rita Santiago, has cancer. Santiago lives in Albuquerque.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press