Now he’s in the midst of an unpredictable point guard shuffle for a decent Badgers team (14-6) who has surged to a 5-2 record in the best conference in America.
Take away the game-winning shot to push the Badgers to a 45-44 win on Saturday and Jackson was in a 6-of-25 (24 percent) shooting slump with six turnovers compared to only five assists over the past three games. Not exactly the numbers you want from the point guard position.
Prior to those recent woes from Jackson, he turned in a couple of beauties in Wisconsin’s wins over 12th ranked Illinois and 2nd ranked Indiana. In the two wins, he combined to shoot 8-for-17 (47 percent) and had head coach Bo Ryan thinking he had found a point guard.
Due to junior point guard Josh Gasser falling to a torn ACL before the season started, it has been Jackson and freshman George Marshall battling it out for lead guard position.
While Marshall has a higher upside on offense, he’s a huge liability on the defensive side of the ball. Jackson has racked up 20 steals through 20 games and is a little better defensively.
At this point in the season, Jackson appears to be the better option to start at point guard because of his confidence.
There’s no better example of Jackson’s confidence then when he dribbled 20 seconds off the clock, busted into the lane, executed a perfect shot fake which caused Minnesota’s super-senior Trevor Mbakwe to jump into the air and then he hit a soft jump-shot to keep the Badgers hopes for another conference title alive.
Following the game, he explained why he had no problem taking that shot.
“I don’t have any fear…you’ve got to want the ball and to help this team out. Every guy on our team wants the ball at the end of the game. I feel like if Ryan (Evans) was in that same situation he’d do the same thing, Sam (Dekker) would, [Jared Berggren] would, Mike (Bruesewitz) would–anybody would. Today it just went our way.”
Whether you like Jackson or not, he’s one entertaining player and the mystery of his development as a point guard will continue during his career at Madison.
Nick Grays is a senior writer at the Sports Bank where he covers the Wisconsin Badgers and Green Bay Packers. He also enjoys to share Fantasy Advice and pretend to be a Golf expert from time-to-time. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here or visit his blog Nick Knows Best. If social media is not your thing, shoot him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pictures obtained from wisconsin.scout.com and foxsportswisconsin.com
Quote obtained from UWBadgers.com