Hoosiers' Rival Enters Fray for PG Jackson

Indiana Elite point guard Lewis Jackson already has offers from Indiana, Illinois, Gonzaga, and a host of others, but a new team has entered the picture as well for the 5-9 floor general from Decatur, Illinois...

Bloomington, Ind. – The options are becoming even more plentiful for 5-9, 165-pound point guard Lewis Jackson.

The Decatur (Ill.) Eisenhower H.S. floor general already had offers from Indiana, Gonzaga, USC, Illinois and UNLV, but now he's getting some additional interest from a couple of other Indiana schools. He added an offer from Butler this week, and he said Purdue and Coach Matt Painter have entered the recruiting fray as well.

"Purdue has been really hard on me lately, and they're actually coming down to my school (yesterday) to watch me work out," Jackson said.

It's understandable why so many are intrigued by the diminutive guard, who is the point guard on the Indiana Elite squad that is considered among the best AAU squads in the country this summer. Jackson is a jet quick point guard who thinks pass-first on offense and is tenacious on the defensive end.

He's put those skills on display during the past several months for Indiana Elite, which has played in front of some select college coaches at plenty of high-profile events. That's helped Jackson, in turn, draw interest from colleges both near and far.

"I figured this summer would be big for me," Jackson said. "I had a good showing last summer, but people wanted to see if I was consistent and could do it a second time."

He's done just that, and parlayed it into a handful of scholarship offers. One of those is from IU and Coach Kelvin Sampson, who offered Jackson earlier this spring. The Hoosiers are hoping to land Jackson as well as his AAU teammate, Tyler Zeller, in a 2008 recruiting class that already features a pair of top-50 players in Devin Ebanks and Bud Mackey.

"Tyler and I talk to each other and we have good chemistry, but at the end of the day we both know we have to make the best decision for us," Jackson said. "If that's us playing together, that's what we'll end up doing."

Jackson said he's looking for a school that offers him a chance to get a good education first and foremost, but also one that has a basketball program that can offer a chance to step in and contribute right away. He said his conversations with Sampson have made him feel comfortable that IU could offer both.

"When I sat down with coach Sampson, he explained their situation, and that's when it hit me that it could be a possibility," Jackson said. "He explained the point situation, the incoming players he's got and what he needed and how he wants to win. He wants kids that work hard and that know how to win."

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