Quentin Jackson offers a fairly illustrative example of why patience pays off when scouting young players. A reasonably good athlete last year at this time, Jackson’s athletic profile has risen dramatically over the past 12 months.
It’s not so much that his game has changed fundamentally, he’s simply better at it.
The 6-3 guard — who hails from North Carolina but preps in Virginia — always has loved to attack along the baseline, particularly from the right side. These days, even when players deduce correctly that he prefers to drive right (something he’ll need to balance), he’s still able to make aggressive slashes to the rim thanks to an explosive first step and sharp crossover dribble.
Jackson also has become a bouncy finisher who racks up dunks and draws fouls on big men who amble over from the help side. His mid-range jump shot also is effective, and he hopes to raise the lift and trajectory on his relatively flat three-point jumper.
“I have a squat workout that I’ve had for awhile now to help me become more explosive,” Jackson said. “I’ve been trying to get a more consistent three-point shot, that’s what most of the coaches have been saying. Continue to do the mid-range and attack the basket.”
An excellent student, Jackson has some non-basketball priorities to manage this summer as well.
”Things are good, I just finished up school recently and am working out and preparing to take the ACT on June 13.”
Jackson also possesses a solid command of the action on the court. It doesn’t hurt that his father, Quentin Sr., helped lead NC State to the 1987 ACC Tournament championship and also previously worked for the Wolfpack program in an administrative capacity.
But Quentin Jr. is determined to make his own name and recognizes that he has a lot to play for this summer.
”I’m just trying to prove that I should be up there with the best,” Jackson said. “Local stuff I try to dominate, and then we go out on circuit stuff with Adidas, I try to do my best out there, too.”
His recruitment exists at the border of the high- and mid-major level. Major conference programs have become more seriously involved, however, and based on his recent play that’s entirely to be expected.
”Some of the newest offers are Kansas State, Lehigh, Tennessee, Duquesne, and then I have Houston and some other schools,” Jackson said. “I’ve also heard from Providence recently, and LSU and Virginia Tech.”
Jackson added that he intends to set up some potential unofficial visits following the ACT next month.