Sunday, March 20, 2005

Austin Jackson - Hoops or Beesball???


Well, his story has not changed publicly. Austin Jackson intends to try and play both minor league baseball and college hoops at GT. This article has a LOT of interesting stuff in it. For example, Jackson's desire to play both sports has hurt his draft position in baseball, as teams are leary to take a chance on him. However, if he hung up his high tops for good, it sounds like he would be a top 10 pick.

Also interesting is that the strength of GT's baseball program was a major factor in his decision to play hoops. For Jackson, it is a strong fall-back position. In addition, it was great to hear that he is really a high character, quality young man. It just seems that Coach Hewitt is attracting a lot of kids like that.

Most interesting were these comments from Peter Zaharis, GT's Assistant Coach, on Jarrett Jack:

At Georgia Tech, basketball assistant coach Peter Zaharis, who recruited Jackson, has braced for the possibility that a baseball team will throw enough money at his projected point guard to make Jackson forget about handing out assists.

"Jarrett Jack, our point guard, is a junior, but he has told us this could be his last season with us," Zaharis said. "Next season Austin could be competing with a sophomore to be our starting point guard. Either way it goes, we believe that because of his athleticism, Austin could play significant minutes right away.

"But that same athleticism could earn Austin a big enough bonus to play only baseball. There are no certainties in this business."

In case you are wondering, Coach Hewitt says that Jackson is the fastest player he has EVER recruited. Think Raymond Felton type quick. However, just like Zam Fredrick, Austin has really been playing the 2-guard spot for his school and has been relied on as a scorer. The PG position will be very interesting next season.

By the way, here is a VERY detailed article about Jackson that we linked to earlier in the year - very worth the read.