Jackson Excited By UNC's Interest

Two years ago Pierre Jackson never would have expected to be in this position.

Jackson, a 5-foot-10, 175-pound point guard from Las Vegas, Nev., was lightly recruited out of high school, receiving interest from Cal State Bakersfield and Long Beach State. But issues with grades blocked his D-I opportunities and forced him to go the JuCo route.

Today, Jackson starts at Southern Idaho and is considered one of the top JuCo point guard prospects in the country. Instead of hoping for an offer from Long Beach State, he is fielding calls from Portland State, Nebraska, Iowa State, Rhode Island, UCLA and -- most recently -- North Carolina.

"I'm very excited," Jackson said. "All of the recruitment is overwhelming. I'm just very blessed and happy. I hope I can keep it up."

Carolina entered the picture shortly after point guard Larry Drew announced he was leaving the team. Carolina assistant coach C.B. McGrath contacted Jackson's coach asking if he was interested.

Since then Jackson hasn't spoken with anyone at North Carolina but said the staff called his coaches again recently asking for tape. The lack of direct contact hasn't tempered Jackson's enthusiasm, however, saying the Tar Heels would be one of his top choices if they offered.

"Carolina is just a great basketball school. It's a real big basketball school and it has a lot of history," Jackson said. "They have an up and coming team again, too. This past year they were down but they're coming back alive so that's good to see."

Growing up in Las Vegas, Jackson said he doesn't know a ton about Carolina but is impressed with what he has seen. Jackson said he watched the North Carolina/Duke game last week and said the team showed a lot of promise.

"It just showed how they were coming along," Jackson said. "That was a big game and they almost had it."

First and foremost Jackson is looking for a school that offers good academics but beyond that, he said he just wants to go to a school that wins.

"I really don't care how big or small the city is. I just want a good basketball city and a good basketball program," Jackson said. "I'm looking for a good program and Carolina is that."

Despite his size Jackson, is a big-time offensive player at the JuCo level averaging 17.3 points and 4.8 assists per game. Jackson uses his quickness and jumping ability to get to the rim and finish. Jackson said Carolina's fast break style fits him well.

"That's my game right there," Jackson said. "I like to push it and get as many points on the board as possible."

Looking at Carolina's lineup, Jackson said he sees himself as a good complement to Kendall Marshall.

"I think I can come in and give the team a little more scoring," Jackson said. "Kendall, he's a great player and he loves to pass. I can see that. I love to pass too but I think I can come in and give the team a little scoring."

With Marshall firmly positioned in the starting lineup, Jackson said he wouldn't mind coming off the bench.

"It would be great to go to a school where I could start," Jackson said. "But if I'm not able to start and I can come off the bench and contribute as much as I can and we're winning, I wouldn't mind it."

Jackson said he's focusing on school right now and hopes to take visits after the season. But until then he's waiting to see what direction his recruitment goes.

"I'm very excited," Jackson said. "I never though coming out of high school any of these schools would contact me. I'm just very blessed."

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