Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Jackson's Resurgence

After a shaky start to the year, Lonnie Jackson has been on fire the past two games, racking up 22 and 23 points on the road against Virginia Tech and Wake Forrest respectively.  After watching Jackson excel on the Spanish road trip, Donahue has been consistently giving the sophomore starter's minutes, lauding his overall game.  A lot of people, including myself, questioned whether Jackson was a long-term answer for this team given his spotty shooting.  In several games this year he seemed to struggle with his shot, frequently seemed to be pressing, and showed no ability to put the ball on the floor.  Over the past two games Jackson has returned to the ACC player we thought he could be for parts of last year.

I think the jury is still out on whether Jackson will be a starter for this team for the next two-plus years.  If he can consistently give this team between 10 and 15 points, we could do a lot worse for our 5th starter.  BC is not the type of school which usually has five solid starters.  Even in our 2007 tournament run, where we nearly made the Sweet 16, our 5th starter was a freshman Tyler Roche, who averaged just 1.7 points per game.  We don't need a world beater as our 5th starter.  We simply need someone who can hit open shots and prevent double teams against Anderson.  Anything over and beyond that is a bonus.

Jackson's impressive range and accuracy from beyond the arc make double teams challenging for opposing defenses.  Opposing teams have to either guard Jackson wherever he is on the court or risk him shooting a three at a .385 clip.  While Jackson could work on quickening his release, he could make a killing as a spot-up shooter considering how Anderson, Clifford, Hanlan, and Rahon are progressing. 

The one thing about Jackson that typically goes unnoticed is his leadership.  He frequently directs traffic on the floor and seems to be the go-to leader when Clifford is on the bench, which has been more frequently lately.  

Again, I don't want to make too much of two ACC road games, but BC fans are beginning to see why Donahue has so much faith in Jackson, and his persistence in giving Jackson playing time is starting to pay off.

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