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Justin Jackson carved out a role as the hype man for Yancy Gates, the injector of energy, spontaneity and chaos into what could be, at times, a very stagnate team, not just offensively, but defensively as well. What will become of Jackson with an expanded role?
Justin Jackson has an MO, a well established one as well. He is the guy who bring the "energy." Last year he played just over 21 minutes per game, and produced a line of five points, four boards and one each of steals, blocks and assists. That was great, balanced production from a guy who played, somewhat, limited minutes.
But his role is going to change, he will play more minutes, be in the game in more crucial moments than at any other time in his career. Jackson has always been a bit of a mixed bag. He plays hard, he is the most versatile defender on the roster. Now that Dion Dixon has graduated, Jackson is probably the best athlete on the team. But if there is a knock, it would be on his basketball IQ which can be lacking. An example of that is the end of the Syracuse game. Simply catching the ball and dribbling for a couple steps ends the game. Jackson chose to dunk the ball. It was, an emphatic moment, but a decision that opened the door, however slightly for the Cuse.
What we, as Bearcat fans, are dying to know is whether an increased role for Jackson will lead to balancing out of the good and bad of Jackson, or just bigger quantities of both. That is the question of the season for Jackson. He does a lot of good things for this team, but what Jackson needs to work on this year is cutting out the bad ones. JJ is, by all accounts, poised for a big year.
What are you expecting out of Justin Jackson this year in a bigger role?