“Obviously it’s hard because I’m going to miss these guys,” Jackson said. “I’m going to miss the coaches and I’m going to miss being here on campus. That part of it was hard. It wasn’t too hard because of how I played this year.”
“I think I put myself in a pretty decent position,” he added. “I can obviously still get better in a bunch of different area. I think I put myself in one of the best positions I could be in. I accomplished a lot while I was here winning a national championship and I just felt like ending it that way and moving along. I felt like it was the right time.”
Jackson, a native of Houston, had a breakout season, leading the Tar Heels to a National Championship, while averaging 18.3 points a game, up from 12.2 as a sophomore. He also contributed 4.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists a game.
“I will always say it’s the preparation that I put in,” Jackson said when asked what led to his big year. “That’s what gives me confidence. Last summer I got up Lord knows how many shots. I tried to get up as many shots. It felt like I had done it time and time before.”
“I had worked out in the past, but this past summer I made sure to not leave anything out there and get to the point where it feels like muscle memory. I had four or five games where I didn’t shoot the ball well, but outside of that it felt I felt like what I did in the offseason translated.”
One notable area of improvement over the course of Jackson’s career at North Carolina was his shooting. After averaging 30.4-percent from three as a freshman and 29.2 as a sophomore, Jackson shot 37-percent from three and hit 105 three-pointers on the season.
“Going to the combine last year the thing they said to get better at were shooting and getting stronger and working on my body,” Jackson said. “Obviously I have a bunch of improvement in both areas , but I feel like I got better in both of areas.”
Leaving Chapel Hill means Jackson is set to embark on a new journey, but he has lasting memories as a Tar Heel. Jackson said his favorite moment with a North Carolina jersey on came after their win over Gonzaga in the title game.
“Whenever I ran to go hug Kenny [Williams] after that buzzer went off,” Jackson said. “I was dead in that game towards the end. All the sudden a burst of energy came to me. That was probably the best moment I’ve had in basketball. He’s someone I’m really close with and obviously he’s hurt, but I told him before the game that he was going to be the first person I hug after the game.”
Jackson said he intends to get with his family next week and begin meeting with agents and put together a pre-draft plan.” “Me and my family will sit down next week and try to talk about that more as far as agents go,” he said. “That’s when we’ll have more of a schedule set up.”
Jackson is tracking as a potential lottery pick and Draft Express currently has him No. 13 in their Mock Draft.