NBA

Hawks draft Vandy's high-scoring John Jenkins

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ATLANTA (AP)

John Jenkins' reputation as a hard worker gave Hawks coach Larry Drew a pretty good guess how the Vanderbilt guard would celebrate being drafted by Atlanta.

Drew correctly predicted Jenkins would head to the gym for shooting practice after Thursday night's draft. Jenkins confirmed he was ''going straight to the gym.''

''It's not enough for me to get drafted,'' Jenkins said in a telephone interview. ''I want to be a great player in this league.''

Drew said Jenkins ''is the kind of kid who really works hard at trying to be the best.''

New Hawks general manager Danny Ferry selected Jenkins with the 23rd pick in the first round. The Hawks picked Virginia power forward Mike Scott at No. 43 overall in the second round.

Scott, 23, averaged 18 points and 8.3 rebounds as a senior.

Scott (6-8, 237) was a strong rebounder at Virginia. Scott lacks ideal size for an inside player in the NBA but ''has got the strength'' to play power forward, according to Ferry.

Scott led the Atlantic Coast Conference with his 56.3-percent shooting while ranking second in scoring and fifth in rebounds.

Jenkins (6-4, 220) led the Southeastern Conference in scoring two straight seasons, including his average of 19.9 points as a junior in the 2011-12 season. He made at least one 3-pointer in his last 60 games.

''He is if not the best shooter in the draft, he's top two,'' Drew said.

''This kid was off the radar. You talk about making shots, you talk about someone who in the game you have to defend at all times. This kid is certainly a guy who fits that profile.''

Ferry was named the Hawks' president of basketball operations and general manager on Monday. He scouted draft prospects in his former role as vice president of basketball operations for the Spurs.

''It has been a fast and furious four days for me as far as getting acclimated to what is going on,'' Ferry said.

Ferry said he now will focus on free agency and possible trades as he looks to fill out the roster.

Atlanta selected Jenkins one pick after Boston drafted Syracuse center Fab Melo, who had been seen as a possible Hawks pick.

Jenkins was a prominent prospect in the Hawks' draft plans. He was invited to the Hawks for two pre-draft workouts, a sign of obvious high-level interest.

The second visit, on Tuesday, was with Ferry in attendance.

''I like kids who can shoot,'' Ferry said. ''He definitely can do that. ... He can shoot, and shooting is a big part of the game.''

Jenkins said he made two visits to only one other team, Denver, so he thought he might be in Atlanta's plans.

''It was kind of funny because working out for them twice I kind of had an idea I might go to them,'' Jenkins said. ''I wasn't sure. I knew they needed a perimeter threat and I know I can fill that void.''

Jenkins will give the Hawks a much-needed 3-point threat. His 134 3-pointers last season tied the SEC record set by Vanderbilt's Shan Foster in the 2007-08 season.

Jenkins will play behind All-Star Joe Johnson but also could join Johnson and point guard Jeff Teague in three-guard lineups.

The Hawks expect Jenkins to fill the high-scoring role off the bench, much like former sixth man Jamal Crawford.

Drew said Jenkins doesn't slash to the basket like Crawford but is more of a pure shooter.

''This kid can go off the dribble but he can really (shoot) off screens,'' Drew said. ''It's just a matter of him getting just a little daylight to get the shot off. He has range.''

Atlanta hoped veteran forward Vladimir Radmanovic would provide a 3-point threat off the bench last season, but Radmanovic averaged only 4.5 points while making only 50 3-pointers. His playing time decreased through the season.

This was an important draft for Ferry and the Hawks, who have only six players under contract: Johnson, Teague, Al Horford, Josh Smith, Marvin Williams and backup center Zaza Pachulia.

Tagged: Hawks, Joe Johnson, Al Horford

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