In-Game Profile: Justin Jackson

There is more to Justin Jackson than the scowl across his face.

The mean face strikes again. Senior forward Justin Jackson from Cocoa Beach, Florida once again helps the Bearcats stay undefeated on the home court and undefeated in AAC play as they defeat the UCF Knights 69-51 Thursday night. Cincinnati (19-2, 7-0 American Athletic) is off to its best start since 2001-02, when it was in Conference USA. The Bearcats' winning streak is their longest since they opened last season with 12 wins.

And it's been mostly a matter of defense. The Bearcats have held their last 27 opponents under 70 points, the longest active streak in Division I.

Sean Kilpatrick seems to have reverted back his normal self by hitting outside jumpers and driving the ball into the paint and the Bearcats' offense has benefited from this. But the defense however, has been on the money and vicious. And #5 is the main staple for the suffocating defense. Jackson along with his 12 points and four steals matched his career high in blocks with 7, which puts him at 70 for the season which is third in Division I and he is averaging 3.5 blocks per game which is also tied for 7th overall in the NCAA.

In one play during the second half, Staphon Blair went up for a dunk, ready to slam the ball down with both hands. Justin Jackson wasn't going to let that happen.

"I was like, `Really?" Jackson said. "They're going to do that? I blocked it."

The forward slid in from the side and swatted the ball out of Blair's grip. He headed down the court and thrust out his lower lip a.k.a the Mean Face as the student section started chanting his name.

When asked how he felt about the student section chanting his name, he replied humbly,

"I didn't know that they were chanting my name. I was so focused on the game. But for the crowd to be chanting your name, especially for me it's an honor because you don't experience that every day."

However, when asked in the post-game interviews about only recording two rebounds, he dismissively but jokingly replied,

"I know, I know. I don't want to talk about that. But UCF did a great job of boxing out and grabbing rebounds and we knew that coming in, but we got the win and that's all that matters."

When asking Jackson's partner in crime Sean Kilpatrick about him recording seven blocks against UCF,

"Seven blocks doesn't surprise me from Justin. But blocking that dunk should be on SportsCenter's Top 10 plays," said Kilpatrick.


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