Jackson shines in Indianapolis

There might not have been a player who created a bigger buzz in Indianapolis than Demetrius Jackson.

Kind of a mystery man to several high profile head coaches was Demetrius Jackson. The Mishawaka (Ind.) Marian product plays at a small high school and for MBA Select on the AAU circuit. Because of that not many had seen him before July, but before long he was the talk of the tournament.

By the time Jackson was holding up the 17-and under gold division championship trophy, the buzz in Indianapolis was about how he was playing. An extraordinarily impressive Saturday and Sunday by Jackson led his team to the title, and it was keyed by an impressive shooting display.

"The first couple of games I don't think I could make a shot, but since then I have been feeling good," said Jackson. "Coach (Rod) Creech always has confidence in me and my team always has confidence in me. I just starting feeling good and the shots started going in."

Always known as an elite athlete who could get to the rim at will, Jackson is now adding a consistent jumper, and that has more and more coaches tracking him at games.

"Kansas and Louisville are the two new ones," said Jackson. "Other than that it is the same schools."

The schools that have been there for a while with Jackson are Butler, Notre Dame, Illinois, and Michigan State.

Kansas has been stepping things up with Jackson all summer long, and Jackson likes what he is hearing from them.

"I haven't visited Kansas, and I just started talking to their coaches this summer," Jackson explained. "They are a great school, a great program, real fun to watch, and I love their intensity and energy in Jayhawk Nation."

Also Head Coach Rick Pitino seemed to spend a lot of time tracking Jackson, and now the Cardinals are trying to become a factor.

"It is great," he said of the Louisville interest. "I am a big fan of Coach Pitino. He is a great coach and I love the way they play. Their style of offense is great with guards who control everything. It is a blessing to have interest coming from such a great coach and such a great school."

The school he is most familiar with is Notre Dame. Jackson lives roughly 10 minutes from the campus, and also has a good friend ready to attend the school as well.

"Notre Dame is a great school with a great coach," Jackson stated. "I love Coach (Mike) Brey and all of the coaches. It feels like home over there. I am comfortable around all of the coaches and all of the players. I don't know how else to describe it other than it feels like home. Also V.J. Beachem is my best friend and he is going there so that is a big factor as well."

Ever since the first day he got the job at Illinois, John Groce has made Jackson a priority at the point guard spot.

"At Illinois I love Coach Groce and Coach (Jamall) Walker," he said. "They have a great program, and they are starting to add new pieces. I love those guys."

Then there is Butler. The Bulldogs have a family connection with Jackson, and they are working hard to keep him in state.

"Butler is a great school," Jackson explained. "Coach (Brad) Stevens is probably one of the smartest people I have ever met. He is a great coach and runs a great program. My dad went to Butler, and we love Butler."

When it comes to a decision, nothing is set in stone for Jackson, but he does have a rough plan of how he wants to go about things.

"After July me and my family have talked about narrowing the list down and taking some visits and then making a decision," he explained.

Currently Jackson is seen as the No. 9 point guard in the country and the No. 43 player overall. Both of those could rise significantly if he can continue this kind of play through the rest of the summer.


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