Changing roles

College basketball can be a very fluid game. Players come and go, and roles are constantly changing. Texas Tech's Casey Jackson can tell you all about it. The senior has gone from a backup perimeter player to a starting post player, all in the course of one off-season. The switch has benefited Jackson, who has become a key component of the Lady Raiders' hopes for a Big Twelve Championship.

Casey Jackson has taken her new role and run with it. The senior has seen an increase of over five minutes per game, and she has doubled her scoring. Jackson is happy with the improvement. "I can't complain about it, but I'm really just doing what I can just to help the team," said Jackson. The reasons for the change are fairly simple. "Plenette left last year, she graduated, so we needed some people to step up," said Jackson. When Plenette Pierson graduated following last season, Head Coach Marsha Sharp needed someone to not only fill the spot on the court, but someone to fill the leadership void. Jackson was just the player because of what Coach Sharp calls her warrior mentality.

That mentality has allowed the 5'11" Jackson to not only survive, but thrive in the post despite being surrounded by much bigger players. Jackson did have some prior experience to make the transition earlier. "It wasn't really that hard, I played inside a lot in high school, so I kind of had a little experience there," said Jackson. That's not to say that the changes been insignificant. "I think it is different because I am so short and I play against a lot of taller people, but it's just something you got to work at," said Jackson. She knows exactly what she must do to make up for her height difference. "Positioning, blocking out, and just a lot of effort. You've got to put a lot of effort into out quicking them," said Jackson.

Jackson's focus right now is on the upcoming game with the Baylor. "We have to play well against Baylor tomorrow. We know they're going to come in here and try to beat us. They have a lot of momentum coming off of the Texas game," said Jackson. The post players will certainly face a tough challenge trying to defend the Baylor offense. "Their two leading scorers are both their four and their five players, so it's going to take a collective effort just to stop them and block them out," said Jackson. Baylor typically brings a physical game, just like Casey likes. "I like physical games, but sometimes they can kind of wear and tear on your body," said Jackson. "In the Big Twelve everybody is going to play physical, so you kind of expect that.


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