Bearcat of the Week: Justin Jackson


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By the numbers I could easily give this award to guys like Jaquon Parker who had a career high 28 points against Marquette, Dion Dixon who posted a solid 21 in the same game, or Yancy Gates who has dominated the boards in the last two games. But the BOTW award has to go to Justin Jackson this week if for anything being the most improved player over the past 6 or 7 games. In his first two seasons as a Bearcat JJ has displayed the energy and motor to excel against Big East teams. But the one thing holding him back has been his inability to control himself and he would frequently get into foul trouble. In effect, Mick Cronin was forced to sit him on the bench in most games.

But there’s been a change in Justin Jackson in the past few games. The junior is still playing with the ferocity of his first 2.5 years but he is making smarter decisions defensively and has much better body control. As a result Jackson has gone nuts recently tallying a solid 7 rebounds and 8 points against South Florida. But he was even more phenomenal Wednesday night against Marquette with 7 blocks in just 13 minutes of work. The only thing preventing him from getting more was a sore back in the 2nd half. I’m sure the Golden Eagles were thankful for that.

In his third year in the program, Jackson has evolved from a liability on defense into a dangerous weapon on both ends of the floor. And he’s getting hot at the right time as the Bearcats will be playing in the Big East tournament next week with the Big Dance a week later.