In the Tigers' two preseason games, sophomore point guard Joe Jackson played 43 minutes and had 12 assists compared to just three turnovers. The 5-foot-11 guard played with the USA U-19 team this past summer and has vastly improved his decision-making, which was questionable — to put it kindly — last year.
A graduate of White Station High School in Memphis, Jackson finished as the second all-time scorer n the Shelby County-metro area with 3,451 career points. Last season, Jackson struggled with a steep learning curve as the floor general of the Tigers' offense and averaged 3.3 turnovers a game. Jackson seemed to come around in the postseason, being named the Conference USA tournament MVP as he propelled the Tigers to the NCAA tournament.
Entering the season opener against Belmont on Tuesday, Jackson said he's grasped the offense and that he's ready to pick up where he left off last season.
"In my youth years, all I did was score," he said. "When I came to college, I was struggling because I was trying to find a difference between the two. Now, I just play the game. If a guy is open, give it to him. I'm a natural-born scorer, I just have to implement passing into my game and be a pass-first player."