Traveling Team: New Orleans Jazz

Dannton Jackson knows players. He was a prospect himself back in 1987 when he was the MVP of David and Dana Pump's first ever basketball camp. Now, the NAIA head coach skippers one of the nation's best traveling teams for his off season recreation.

Dannton Jackson, the head coach of the New Orleans Jazz is all about ball. He runs the traveling team program spring through summer and then gets back to work as the head coach at NAIA Xavier in Louisiana. It's gotta be hard leaving that kind of talent in July for someone else to coach in September, but Jackson defers because like we said, he's all about the ball.

Everybody loves to win, but Jackson uses the traveling team circuit to get his kids noticed. He's not about the trophies. Just ask him what he did with his second place trophy from a major tournament last year.

"That plaque is behind my refrigerator on the floor," Jackson said. "[Summer ball is] about people getting exposure to have their college paid for. We talk about that from day one. Nobody remembers who won the Big Time last year. We're not going to do anything crazy to win games. At the end of the day, it's about getting a scholarship so that you can go get an education."

Jackson has little to worry when it comes to scholarships because he's got himself a pair of guys who can write their own tickets in junior Tasmin Mitchell (pre-season No. 1 in 2005) and sophomore point guard Darryl Augustine.

"[Mitchell] wears No. 1 for a reason. He can play every position on the floor. He's smart and he's savvy and he does the small things as well as the big things and he doesn't make a whole lot of mistakes. He's strong. He's got great mid-range and can knock down the 3."

Yes he can and Mitchell was the co-MVP of the ABCD all-star game last July. With Mitchell and Augustine jockeying for position in the rankings in their respective classes, Jackson has little to worry about. ABCD Co-MVP last year …

"The good thing is that we've got two studs but they're very unselfish. We've got a group of seniors and a group of underclassmen. They're looking to see what's going on but they're looking to be led. We've got good people and they're unselfish so we've got a chance.

"They understand that in order to get some exposure you've got to win games. To do that you've got to win and if you don't win you go home."

Jackson's bunch doesn't plan any early departures from pool play.

New Orleans Jazz (New Orleans, La.)

Affiliation : adidas

Head Coach Dannton Jackson

Assistant Coach Anthony Roman

Top Prospect PF/SF Tasmin Mitchell (6-7/220, JR)

Projected Starters PF/SF Tasmin Mitchell (6-7/220, JR), PG Darryl Augustine (6-1/165, SOPH), C Cyrus McGowan (6-10/215, JR), SF Terry Martin (6-6/190, JR), SG Drew Meyerchik (6-1/175, JR)

Others SG/SF Dwight Lewis (6-6/185, JR), SF Brandon Dyson (6-5/175, SOPH), C Kenneth Cooper (6-10/230, JR), SG James Parlow (6-4/180, PREP)

Famous Alum Chris Duhon

First Tourney adidas Pearland Classic (April 9-11)

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