March 6, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Loyola Marymount Lions head coach Max Good watches against the Portland Pilots during the first half of the WCC Basketball Championships at Orleans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
LMU finished at the bottom of the conference last season, but people are still picking them as a team that could surprise some people in the WCC this upcoming season. How could this be, you ask? It is because Max Good and the Lions assembled one of the best recruiting classes in recent LMU history. Nino Jackson, a 6’2” guard from Ardmore, Okla., is the integral part of this recruiting class. This is the class that will be relied on to turn the LMU program around, and Jackson will be the one that will be asked to take over for star point guard Anthony Ireland. Before we get ahead of ourselves, here is a closer look at incoming freshman Nino Jackson.
High School Career
Throughout Jackson’s high school journey, he attended three different high schools. His freshman season he played at Northwest Classen, a school just outside out Oklahoma City. After that, he played at Ardmore high school, and eventually transferred to Kingdom Christian Academy in Columbus, Georgia to play his senior season. In 2010 he was the All-Ardmoreite player of the year, when he averaged 17.0 points per game. In 2010 and 2011, he helped lead Ardmore high school to the 5A state playoffs.
Due to some reported off the court issues, Jackson transferred to Kingdom Christian Academy. At KCA, Jackson was phenomenal. He led his team to the NACA Division III Championship, despite his team only having four players on the court for the final 4 minutes. Yes, you heard that right.
Impact at LMU
Jackson will be put in an interesting situation this season, considering the Lions backcourt consists of two experienced players. The chance of Jackson landing a starting job is pretty slim. However, Jackson is ultra-talented, and the LMU coaching staff cannot afford to have him sit out a season. Anthony Ireland and Jackson could be lethal together on the court, and that backcourt lineup is a definite possibility this season. Expect Jackson to play an integral role in the guard rotation.