Recruiting never sleeps - at least when it comes to Larry Brown and the SMU basketball staff.
SMU has been pursing 2017 point guard Jermaine Jackson Jr. since he was in eighth grade. Jackson Jr. attends Mt. Clemens (MI) where his father, former NBA player Jermaine Jackson Sr., is the head coach.
The 5-foot-5, 135-pounder has received offers from SMU, Detroit and Eastern Michigan after averaging 25 points per game last season.
Jackson Jr., who also plays for the Michigan Hurricanes AAU team, has met with Brown a few times including last week when the head coach flew to Detroit to watch him in action and remains interested in learning more about the Mustang program.
"He is very interested in SMU, but he is still very young," Jackson Sr. said. "He is still just in ninth grade and checking it out. He knows I played for Larry when I was in the NBA, so he asks me ‘dad, how was it when you played with him and against him?' I was telling him about it and he is very intrigued."
Jackson Sr. played for Brown when he was the head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers. The former NBA point guard says he remains in contact with his old coach and views him as somewhat of a mentor now.
"It was tough playing for him," Jackson Sr. said. "As a point guard, it's tough because he would have so many plays for me in the NBA. One day he will give you three plays and then tomorrow you got three different plays with four different options to it. It's just tough because playing for Larry Brown means you really have to be a student of the game."
Jackson Sr. says its too early to tell if his son has any favorites yet, but believes SMU would be a good fit because he would ‘absolutely love' for his son to learn under a Hall of Fame coach.
"I mean, he is the Michael Jordan of coaching," he said. "He has won a championship at all levels, and you can't deny that. For now, I just try and keep my son focused on doing what he has to do."
Jackson Jr. has been a 4.0 GPA student ever since elementary school. He also works with Michigan freshman point guard Derrick Walton Jr. and Los Angeles Clippers guard Willie Green to improve his game.
"Derrick Walton Jr. is his mentor," Jackson Sr. explained. "They work out together and Derrick demolishes him in one-on-one, so Jermaine gets pissed off and wants to play him back. That's his driving force. Also, when Willie Green comes home he works with him, so he is working with guards that really know how to play the game."
Jackson Jr. can score the basketball in multiple ways and has shown he is one of the quickest guards in the country with the basketball. He also has an incredibly high basketball IQ for a player his age.
"I think the biggest strength to his game is his court awareness," Jackson Sr. said. "For a ninth grader, he really knows how to run a team. When he plays open gym with me, he is playing against former pros and pros. He doesn't really play too much with guys his age and if he does play with high schools kids, they are all 11-12th graders. He has been doing that since 6th or 7th grade."
Oakland stopped by to watch Jackson Jr. play earlier in the week and he has also spoken with Louisville, Michigan and Toledo recently. For now, however, both Jackson Jr. and his father have one goal in mind for this season.
"He is worrying about rankings and I tell him you graduate in 2017, and no rankings ever got anybody a scholarship," Jackson Sr. said. "I told him just stay focused and win your daddy a state championship. That's what you do."
Jackson Says Brown Is 'Jordan Of Coaching'
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