Jackson, the former Julian High (Ill.) coach, has started the Boys to Men Math and English Academy – a prep school out of Chicago.
Jackson's frontline reads 6-9, 6-9 and 6-8. That's not even including 6-foot-11 Xavier Crawford, a Bradley commit who transferred in from Mount Zion (N.C.) and 6-foot-6 Michael Glover, a Bronx native who may vie for a starting spot.
``Mac may be the most improved player in the country," Jackson said. "He's going to be able to show his versatility this year. He's shooting the three, putting it on the floor and is an animal down low."
The key will be the backcourt, which will likely consist of former Julian point guard Jeremiah Kelly, a 6-foot, 155-pound sophomore, and Brooklyn, N.Y., native Jamel Jackson, a 6-3 shooting guard who played at Lincoln.
``I think we can compete with anybody," Jackson said. "Our first five will be like everyone else's – good. But when you start getting to seven, eight, nine and 10, they are just as good as our starting five."
The bench should be fairly deep with 6-2 wing Darion Anderson, who put up big numbers at Carver High a year ago, and 6-6, 185-pound small forward Gerald January, a Georgia native, leading the way. Chris Childs' son, Jesse, is a well-built 6-2 senior point guard and another former Julian player, 6-6 ½ Maurese Jackson, should both vie for playing time as well. Guards Michael Tuitt (6-4) and Aaron Jackson (6-2) as well as 6-7 forward Shawn Hilliard will also figure into the equation.
``The one thing that prep school has never seen is full-court, man-to-man for 40 minutes," Jackson added. "That's how we played at Julian and that's how we're going to play here."