HOOPS RECRUITING: Tory Jackson In Mold Of A-Rob

Three years ago, Coach Billy Donovan struck gold when he left the friendly confines of Florida to recruit 1,131 miles away in Saginaw, Michigan. Saginaw is a hotbed for some of the best high school basketball in the country and it is where Donovan found current Gator star Anthony Roberson, the Southeastern Conference's leading scorer, just three years ago.

Point guard Tory Jackson, ranked number five in the nation at his position for the 2006 class, hails from Roberson's hometown and at 6-feet, 160-pounds, plays in the mold of Roberson.

"I averaged 30 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists," Jackson said. "Our main goal is to go to the state championship. We're only in regionals right now. We still have a couple of more games once get that win we'll go to the state championship which is our main goal."

Jackson hears the comparisons between himself and Roberson all the time. Both are lights out shooters, have great court vision and coincidentally have played on the same hardwood before.

"Yeah I watch [Anthony] all the time, we're real cool and we used to play for the same team," Jackson said. "I was younger at the time and he was a lot older than I was."

While Michigan is close to Saginaw and the expected leader when it comes decision time for Jackson, he hasn't taken any official visits. Florida's need of a point guard once Roberson leaves could prove to be a strong selling point for the Gators.

"I used to always see him [Roberson] play and I enjoy watching him play," Jackson said. "I don't know I like Florida a lot, but I'm not going to say that I'm going to follow in his footsteps just yet."

When pressed for a top five, Jackson said Georgia Tech, UF, Miami, Illinois and Michigan are solid, but the proximity of Ann Arbor makes Michigan the top choice at the moment.

"I've been going to some Michigan games but I don't expect to make my decision till November," Jackson said. "I haven't taken any of my visits yet so I'm looking forward to that."

While the Gators will have to close the cross country span of 1,131 miles, the combination of star guard Anthony Roberson and Billy Donovan's up-tempo style won't hurt the Gators chances come decision time.

"I like Coach Donovan and I think he is a great coach," Jackson said. "I like his style of playing because that's how I play all the time, up and down, I like to run and the Gators have improved a lot in my eyes."

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