Jackson becomes a top Louisville target

Mishawaka, Ind., Marian point guard Demetrius Jackson has been the hot name on the University of Louisville recruiting front this week. See what Jackson had to say about the Cardinals after playing in an event in Louisville.

Louisville coach Rick Pitino cut his trip to the Nike Peach Jam short just to get back into town to watch Jackson, a 6-foot-1 point guard, play with his MBA Select 2013 team in the Bluegrass USA Classic at the Kentucky Fair & Exposition Center.

Pitino watched Jackson, a player he extended a scholarship offer towards last Monday, lead his team to a pair of victories on Saturday before losing on Sunday morning.

"It's all been a blessing, to have such great schools recruiting me," Jackson said. "I see the coaches over there during the games but I just try and play my game and play hard and show them why they're recruiting me.

"I just try to play the way I play and not try to do anything extra special."

On Sunday, Pitino was joined by Notre Dame coach Mike Brey, Kentucky coach John Calipari, Butler coach Brad Stevens and an Illinois assistant coach as the main cast watching Jackson, who finished with 20 points and six assists.

Butler, Notre Dame, Illinois, Kansas and U of L are among the schools with offers on the table, while Michigan State has been in the mix for a while.

Jackson said he's "really wide open," and noted Notre Dame is close to his home but that he "isn't sure where I want to go right now. It's wide open."

While he's not ready to cut his list down just yet, Jackson said he's not far off. He'll sit down with his family after next week's evaluation period and likely eliminate a few schools before making some visits.

U of L and Kansas were the two schools who offered after Jackson turned in such a tremendous performance at the adidas Invitational last weekend in Indianapolis.

But he said even coming late to the party that Louisville is in the hunt.

"They're in the mix," Jackson said of the Cardinals. "I've watched them on TV and am trying to build a relationship with the coaches. Coach Pitino is a great coach and he's a great guy and I really like his offense and how they play.

"But it's just a blessing to be recruited by such a great school and such a great coach. I'm just starting to get to know the staff and I like them a lot so far."

It was a different situation for Jackson, who played in Louisville during the same week he picked up an offer from U of L. He said he did several television interviews and noticed some U of L fans cheering him on.

"That was a true honor and this is a great state," Jackson said. "To have fans come out and watch us play and the coaches come, it's just a blessing for me."

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