CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Justin Jackson isn't a freshman anymore. He closed his first year strong, put in the work in the offseason and is ready to assume a more prominent role.
"Just a mindset," he said as to why he made such strides late last season. "Before that I had put the time in and it wasn't clicking for me yet. Confidence wise I knew Coach had confidence in me and I that I just had another level of confidence and that really helped.
The biggest offseason priority was to add strength, but he aimed to improve his overall game.
"I've gotten a little better at ball handling," Jackson said. "Defensive wise it can be a skill but a lot of it is heart, I've been trying to focus on that, rebounding - some of the little things I didn't do as well as I should have last year, so we'll see how that goes."
Jackson doesn't hesitate when it comes to his role on this 2015-16 team and the most important contributions he can make to enable the Tar Heels to achieve their championship goals.
"I feel like I'm a scorer,” Jackson said. “Obviously the team has so many people that can score the ball but I feel like I'm one of the key guys that can score the ball for us. And then I think I should be big on rebounding on offense and defense this year."
Roy Williams acknowledges the improvement he's seen, but is waiting for Jackson to prove it in a game setting.
"He's played better in practice so far by 100 miles than he did last year at this time," the head coach said. "And I think he's more confident now. I want to see how it is when the lights are on."
For the rest of the interview, watch the above video.