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6'10 JUCO Center Andre Jackson Commits to USF

One huge need for Coach Heath this year in recruiting was depth in our post position, and he got a big one in Lee College Center Andre Jackson. Originally at Southern Miss before transferring to Lee, the 6'10 295 lb Sophomore averaged 9.2 points and 6.0 rebounds as a freshman last season for the Running Rebels.

From Jackson's bio with Lee.

Jackson has unlimited potential. He is very active around the basket, and is a strong shot-blocking presence.

When was the last time we had a true center? Kentrell Gransberry? The guys from USFNation got a hold of Andre after his commitment, and Jackson talked about what he can bring to the Bulls.

“My best assets I believe is when I get in the post, I can use my body and my size to my advantage. I lost a lot of weight and I still have more to go. I want to keep working on my conditioning, my shot, and improve in my all around game.”

Both Adam Adkins and Greg Auman spoke with Lee Assistant Coach Marcus King about Andre and what he will bring to the Bulls in 2011.  From Auman's conversation with King,

"He’s not a finished product, but he’s not a project anymore. He’s one of the few people in college basketball that’s a true 5, a big low-post presence."

I can dig that. We will still have Toarlyn Fitzpatrick, Augustus Gilchrist, and Ron Anderson Jr. when Andre arrives, which should do nothing but help him in the transition from the JUCO ranks to Big East basketball.

It looked like Andre has a problem getting in shape, but while at Lee, he already has lost 40 pounds and is a completely different person than when he arrived. From Adkins' interview with King:

"We’ve encouraged him and helped him adapt to understand what work ethic it’s going to take for him to get to where he wants to get to. Once he’s started doing that, he’s done a complete 180 in everything – not just with his size and basketball ability but with his studying habits and paying attention to his academics."

All in all I like the pickup. Andre will provide some much needed depth at the post, and having a hoss underneath will let guys like Fitzy and Gilchrist roam around on the floor. Jackson will have two years left when he steps foot in Tampa next fall.