Blue and Gold Illustrated

January 2014 Issue

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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D By Andrew Owens emetrius Jackson sees other McDonald's All-Americans lighting up the stat sheet and ESPN commentators speculating on their order in next June's NBA Draft, but the Notre Dame freshman is opting for baby steps with the Irish, and that's fine with him. Despite having graduated from nearby Marian High School in Mishawaka, Ind., just a few months ago, Jackson cracked the starting lineup for the first time in his career Dec. 1 against Cornell. Even though he isn't Through nine games, Jackson was averaging 7.8 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 0.4 steals in 23.9 minutes per contest. Since entering the starting lineup, Jackson has played at least 27 minutes in each of the four games and notched a career-high 33 minutes at Iowa Dec. 3 before repeating the performance a week later against Bryant. "I think for him, he never came — and that's the problem with being a McDonald's All-American, many of them think, 'Oh I'm supposed to leave in a year' — even though he was a McDonald's All-American, he looked at it as a long-term in college guy," Point Taken Demetrius Jackson has already demonstrated some of the skills that made him a McDonald's All-American posting stat lines like Duke forward Jabari Parker in the early going, Jackson doesn't want to be a so-called oneand-done player that leaves college after one season. "I want to be patient because it doesn't come overnight," Jackson said. "You have to work hard throughout the whole season and it will gradually come to you. Baby steps are a good thing, but I want to get better myself so I can be a great player." Head coach Mike Brey complimented that self-awareness and said he has been pleased with the contributions of Jackson during his first season. Brey said. "About a month ago, we were texting one night after he had a good practice and took care of the ball and he was vocal. I texted him, 'Little bit every day.' And he said, 'Coach, just taking baby steps.' Not many McDonald's All-Americans reply like that. Most say, 'Coach, I'm not getting enough shots. How come I'm not starting?' "He understands it's a long process and we're on the same page with him. Just because some of his teammates are putting on shows, I think he looked at himself slowly as a long-term guy, but if that explosion takes place soon,

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