Joe, if you’ve known for so long, why didn’t you just say so earlier?
Seriously, on Friday Memphis White Station star Joe Jackson did exactly what many anticipated he would and committed to the hometown Tigers over Tennessee and Kansas. Ranked No. 17 in America, Jackson said he’s known where he wanted to go for a long time.
The guard told the Commercial Appeal: “I’ve been knowing since my 9th grade year. I’ve just been holding back. But now I’m ready.”
What does this mean for Josh Pastner’s Tigers? It means everything. After the departure of John Calipari, Pastner stepped into a pair of very large and imposing shoes. He’s answered the challenge by racking up three pledges in the Class of 2010, including two from likely McDonald’s All-Americans.
Will Barton, a Top 10 player, pledged with his brother Antonio, also a point guard. Jackson’s pledge insures Pastner not only will have offensive firepower to continue the Tigers’ tradition but he’ll have speed.
Jackson’s get-by-ability gave every major national point guard prospect problems. Some may be bigger, better shooters and a few, ranked higher but none could match his speed. As a defender, Jackson is a problem. He’ll guard full court and is tough to shake.
This is a biggie for the Tigers. The Memphis backcourt can score with the Barton Brothers and will hand over the keys to the offense to Jackson and we’re positive he knows exactly what to do with them.
“I’m very excited,” Barton said. “I’m ready to get on campus now so we can start recruiting early. I want to play for Memphis and be known as one of the best players to come out of Memphis.”