Jackson, Oglesby Leaving MU Basketball

Marshall University men's basketball coach Donnie Jones announced on Tuesday Herd centers Jesse Oglesby, a junior from Lithonia, Ga., and Robbie Jackson, a sophomore from Aberdeen, Md.. have decided to pursue other opportunities in regards to their basketball careers and will transfer from Marshall. Both players were recruited by former Marshall head coach Ron Jirsa, who was fired last year.

Oglesby, 6-foot-10, 235-pound player, is a red-shirt junior in 2007-08 who appeared in 14 games with one start. "Wet Bird," as he was known to his teammates, averaged just 0.2 points and 0.6 rebounds for the season but was known for setting tough screens and playing defense. He was red-shirted as a freshman, then played in just eight games the following year coming off leg injuries. In 38 games over three seasons, Oglesby scored 10 points and pulled 14 rebounds. He was the first ever scholarship recipient at Martin Luther King High School in Lithonia, where he averaged 7.6 points, nine rebounds and four blocks per game and was the teams Defensive Player of the Year even though his 2003-04 season was cut short with a broken leg.

Jackson, a sophomore, played in 25 of 30 games this year and started five games. The 7-foot, 265-pound center averaged 2.4 points and 1.9 rebounds, although in Marshall's final five games he had no points and just three rebounds in limited action. Jackson shot 46 percent from the field (16-of-35) this year and 79 percent (27-of-34) at the free throw line, a huge improvement from his freshman year when he knocked down only 23-of-51 (45 percent).

Jackson pulled 47 rebounds this year, and finished with 120 for his two-year career. He also scored 132 points in 54 career games and ten career starts. He was signed out of Prince Avenue Prep in Picken, S.C., where he averaged 17 points, 15 rebounds and three blocks per game. He also played at Aberdeen H.S. in his hometown in Maryland, 2001-05, averaging 18 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks. He was a McDonald's All-American nominee.

Marshall's Robbie Jackson grabbed this rebound over UTEP's Tavaris Watts in the first half. For the second straight year, Jackson scored 12 points against the Miners, including two dunks, and added six rebounds. He scored 24 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in two games with UTEP. photo by Greg Perry/HI staff

Oglesby's best game had to be a ten-minute stint in the 2007 Conference USA Tournament game with UAB. He helped the Herd to a 53-52 win and scored four points with a rebound and a steal in the game with Tyler Wilkerson and other Herd big men on the bench with early foul trouble. Jackson seemed to explode when the opponent was UTEP. In 2006-07 in El Paso, Texas, Jackson had a career-best 12 points and eight rebounds against the Miners. This season, he again had 12 points, six rebounds and a block for the Herd.

While the players may look to transfer to schools closer to their hometowns, Jackson was also rumored to be looking at schools in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, a Division II league. Former Marshall head coach Greg White is the head coach at the University of Charleston, while former Herd assistant Brian Poore is the head coach at West Virginia State University.

"I'd like to thank Robbie and Jesse for their hard work and dedication to our basketball program this past year and I wish them nothing but good luck and success in their bright futures," Jones said.

Marshall will return three of its five regular starters next season, in Wilkerson (who will be a junior), senior Markel Humphrey and sophomore Tirrell Baines while adding three eligible transfers to the lineup along with those signed and yet to be signed to a National Letter of Intent. Others returning (at least for now) are (class for 2008-09) senior Darryl Merthie, sophomore Matt Walls, junior Adam Williams and sophomore walk-on Bruce Senior. Players who sat out as transfers this past season, but practiced every day against the starters, are sophomore Brandon Powell (from Florida), junior Chris Lutz (Purdue) and sophomore Octavius Spann (Georgetown).

Marshall's basketball staff has signed one player, 5-foot-10 point guard Damier Pitts from the national prep champions at Hargrave Military in Virginia, and has two commitments from the state of Florida. 6-foot-3 Combo guard Shaquille Johnson, from Lee H.S. in Jacksonville, and 6-foot-8 forward Kore White from the 5A State Championship team at Dillard High School. Sitting out as a prop this season is Marcus Goode, a 6-foot-10, 310-pound center, and Jones still would like to sign an additional big man to go with Pitts, Johnson and White for the signing class this spring.

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