Demetrius Jackson Still Considering Illini

The Fighting Illini were ecstatic to receive a commitment from 2013 point guard Jalen James. But they were on hand to check out MBA Select point guard Demetrius Jackson in St. Louis last weekend. He says the Illini are still very much in the mix, and he plans to visit soon.

Demetrius Jackson played spectacularly in front of Illinois assistant coach Jay Price, Indiana assistant Tim Buckley, and Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo last weekend in St. Louis. He went for 26 points, getting past his man at will in the MBA Select victory. Jackson has also demonstrated significant progress in his shot.

"I have always tried working on my three pointers. I feel like I have always had the potential to be a good shooter, but most of it is about transferring over from the practice court to game situations."

Jackson shared his biggest strength as a player.

"I am a good leader. At times I am too motivated. I try to help lead my team as the point guard. Other than that, I dig in on defense. Usually when there is a big situation, my coach will put the ball in my hands. I try to do the best I can to help my teammates win games."

Another strength is his athleticism. He has tight handles and can consistently beat his man off the bounce.

Like most ball players, Jackson looks forward to the July evaluation period.

"It has been going really great for me and my teammates. We have been working really hard, practicing and working on our skill sets. It has paid off. We continue to work hard every day. Although we haven't won some of the tournaments, we continue to work hard."

He enjoys displaying his skills in front of the high profile coaches sitting courtside.

"It is really neat because these are some of the best college basketball coaches ever. I am thankful and blessed. I continue to work hard every day, and I am not going to take it for granted."

He says many new schools including Iowa, Wisconsin, Virginia Tech, and Valparaiso have recently starting recruiting him. They join the big boys who have been on him for a while in Illinois, Notre Dame, Xavier, Michigan, Michigan State, and Indiana.

Illinois assistant coach Jay Price is the lead recruiter on Jackson for the Illini.

"Coach Price and I have talked a bit recently. I have also spoken with Coach Bruce Weber recently. They tried to get me up for the team camp, and we are trying to get up there for a tournament during the season. They have also talked about me getting up there in August to see the campus."

What is appealing about Illinois to him?

"They have a great program and great academics. I really like their student section and the atmosphere they have there."

With the recent commitment of 2013 point guard Jalen James, many have written off taking another point guard in the same class.

"They haven't really given me any kind of feedback on that. Jalen James is a good friend of mine. I am happy for him. I try not to worry about all the college stuff and play and have fun."

The fact they are still aggressively recruiting him shows they are serious about the possibility of taking another point in 2013, depending on how the situation plays out in 2012. Jackson says he wouldn't mind playing with James.

"We have become good friends really fast. We met at the Michigan Elite camp a little before he committed. He was motivating me. That is the type of people you want to be surrounded by."

Jackson, from Marion High School in Mishawaka, Indiana, is a legitimate high major prospect and will continue to gather interest from colleges in the Midwest.

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