Ohio Point Guard Commits to CMU

The Central Michigan University men's basketball program has received a verbal commitment for its 2010 class from one of the top players in Ohio. That player talked about his decision with Chippewas Insider.

Junior point guard Derek Jackson of Cleveland Benedictine High School has verbally committed to Central Michigan University.

A 6-foot-1, 170-pounder, Jackson is averaging 18.7 points, seven assists, four rebounds and three steals per game this season. He is also shooting 54 percent from the field and 44 percent from beyond the three-point arc in leading Benedictine to a 6-3 record.

"I committed to CMU this afternoon," Jackson said. "I really like the coaching staff, (CMU head) coach (Ernie) Zeigler and (assistant) coach (Darren) Kohne.

"I have an opportunity to come in and play right away as a true freshman and I look forward to that," Jackson added.

Benedictine head coach Rob Stircula said the Chippewas are getting a great player and a super young man in Jackson.

"Central Michigan got a great kid," Stircula said. "Derek's an absolute steal for the Chippewas. He's been a starter for us since his freshman year. Derek has a high basketball IQ, he knows when to pass and when to shoot."

"I bring defense to the hardcourt first and foremost," Jackson said, "but my ability to shoot is the best part of my game."

Rated among the top 20 prep players in the state of Ohio this year, Jackson becomes the first recruit in CMU's 2010 recruiting class.

Stircula said in addition to CMU, Jackson had offers and interest from Ohio University, Kent State, Youngstown State, Eastern Michigan, Duquesne, Butler and James Madison.

Among the other standout players the Chippewas are recruiting for next year's class include Mount Pleasant (Mich.) High School shooting guard Trey Zeigler, the son of CMU head coach Ernie Zeigler, and center Corey Petros of Utica (Mich.) Eisenhower High School.

Jackson, who is good friends with Trey and plans to play AAU ball with him this summer on Team Detroit, said he will now do his best to get Trey to join him at CMU.

"I called Trey this afternoon after I committed and told him he should be next (to commit to CMU)," Jackson said. "He was laughing and said he's going to try and get it done."

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