Many were not familiar with the name Tory Jackson prior to last season, but that wasn't the case for very long. The Saginaw Buena Vista star led his team to the Class C State title before turning in stellar summer performance on the AAU circuit as part of the Michigan Hurricanes. We had heard all season about the young man ripping things up at "BV", but it wasn't until his big time performance against Marques Johnson's Blessed IJN team at the Spiece Run N Slam tourney that he really shot up on the GBW radar.
After seeing him a few months later at the ABCD Camp in Teaneck New Jersey, GBW correspondent Andre Barthwell indicated that Jackson would undoubtedly have been one of the All-Star selections were it not for the state of Michigan rules that prohibit participation in such exhibitions.
Jackson's play over the past six months caught the attention of a number of schools. The Michigan State Spartans jumped up with the first offer and other prominent suitors, like Kentucky, made the trek to the Great Lake State to see him in action. Despite that, Jackson made no secret of the fact that he grew up a Michigan fan. His affection for the style of play in Ann arbor and the ability he would have to "boogey" in their system only enhanced his interest. Even so, his attention was a little more focused on other programs because he really hadn't heard much from the Wolverines at that point. That all seems to have changed now. Sources indicated recently that Michigan was very visible in the Saginaw area and that the heat was being turned up in the Jackson recruitment. The 5-10 170 lb. PG can score with the best of them (which he showed at the Spiece tourney), but can also get his teammates involved when he has scoring threats at his disposal (which he demonstrated at ABCD). That versatility combined with his toughness (he's also a football player) were probably key factors in moving him up the Michigan target list.
We chatted with Tory again this weekend to see where things stood, and the news was good for Michigan fans.
The last time we talked you said the top schools on your list were Florida, Michigan State, and Cal. Is that still the case at this point?
"No. I still have Florida on there, but I like Kentucky now for some reason. Cal is still there. I'm also hearing from Oklahoma but…. Michigan is looking good now."
What schools have offered you?
"Just Michigan State as far as I know."
You told me back in the spring that you hadn't been hearing a lot from Michigan up to that point. Has that changed?
"Yeah. Lately it has."
Have you been down to the campus before?
"I've been down to the campus for a football game."
Do you plan on making it down to any basketball games this season?
"Yeah, I'm going to go. I'm going to call ahead to find out what day and time."
Are you coming down this weekend for the intra-squad scrimmage?
"I hadn't heard about that yet, but if they invite I'd go. I'd love to come down."
For those people out there that haven't seen you play, how would you describe your game?
"Smooth like (Mike) Bibby. I can score, but I can lead a team too."
What part of your game do you think you need to improve upon the most?
I talked to Larry Wright recently. What do you think of his game?
"That's my man! He's real cool. He's not one of those guys that comes in after starring somewhere else and thinks he's all that. He's looking to earn what he gets. He's a threat on all counts. He can jump out the gym! Anything you ask him to do, he can do. "
Expect Jackson to be one of the recruits in attendance at the Maize and
Blue Scrimmage after the Michigan State game this weekend. GBW will have more
on TJ in the coming days. For all past stories on Jackson, check out the Basketball
Recruiting Primer (which will be updated shortly) on the left NAV bar at
the bottom of the screen.