CoachSpeak: Jackson on Joseph Strugg

Carver (AL) High School head basketball coach James Jackson talks about Mississippi State basketball commitment Joseph Strugg.

  • Name: Joseph Strugg
  • Classification: 2015
  • High School: Carver (AL) High School
  • Position: Forward/Center
  • HT: 6-foot-8, 210
  • Ranking: 3-Star
  • Schools Of Interest: Committed to Mississippi State.

  • "He is just a junior and he's growing everyday," said Jackson. "We have the most competitive practices because these guys are going after each other so hard and they are making each other better. When we had Craig Sword here it was the same way."

    Jackson is bringing Strugg along slowly on the offensive end.

    "Joseph has the role as our mid-range guy (shooting-wise)," said Jackson. "We are also working on him not just shooting the 12 to 15 foot mid-range shot but getting in the paint and just shooting over people,"

    One aspect of Strugg's game that is very unusual is how well he handles the ball. You simply don't see many big men who can handle the ball as well as him.

    "He can play as our three-guard because he can handle the ball so well," said Jackson. "We use Joseph out top sometimes when we feel like we have too much pressure on our guards. Joseph can pretty much beat them off the dribble because he handles the ball so well."

    There are two areas of Strugg's game that Jackson continues to work on.

    "The biggest thing with Joseph is we have to get him stronger," said Jackson. "And we have to get him to go harder on a more consistent basis. Once he does that then he's going to be something special"

    Strugg is a player that Jackson feels will really do well on the college level.

    "When (Mississippi State head) Coach (Rick) Ray gets him on campus he is going to get a kid who is hungry, who is ready to play and a kid who is willing to take on any challenge," said Jackson. "Joseph won't back away from anything."

    Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the website, the source for Mississippi State sports on sports network. You can contact him by emailing

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