This week most attention on Utah will be focused on big man Andrew Bogut, and that is probably not wrong. Bogut is one of the front-running candidates to be the top pick in the next NBA draft and extremely vital to the Utes. However, point guard Marc Jackson arguably plays a just as critical a role though he often slips in under the radar.
"Marc does what it takes to win," Giacoletti said, "he plays 35-40 minutes a game and runs the team the whole way."
Jackson is one of those players who can score when needed (23 points, 5-8 3 pt fg) but always runs the team and makes the correct decisions with the basketball. He has had double digits in assists three games this year and has that ability to pin point a pass. In Saturday's win over Oklahoma, Bogut struggled must of the game, so Marc stepped up with 17 big points.
But make no mistake, his primary job is to get the ball into Bogut and know where the big fella is at all times. Secondarily, Jackson's outside shooting serves notice to those who choose to slack off to double team Bogut.
Last year, when Giacoletti was hired to replace Rick Majerus, one of his first acts as head coach was to assure that Jackson could play one more season. A year earlier Jackson had quit the team because of heated and often public conflicts with Majerus. After quitting the team, he left school altogether. He got married, played pick up games and went to work.
Once Majerus was gone, Jackson was anxious to return to the team. He declined to say anything else about Majerus, but his eyes lit up when talking about the character and class he saw in Giacoletti upon first meeting the new Utes coach. "I've always tried to be a hard-nosed player and give my best effort," Jackson said. "It's one of those things that, if an opportunity comes back to you. You're not this young all your life."
Jackson is Utah's second leading scorer (10.7 ppg) and shoots a numbing 46% from three point range. He also gets to the free throw line a lot where he is known by his teammates as "Money," shooting over 85% from the charity stripe.