Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Hours after losing out on Florida transfer Jonathan Mitchell, Seton Hall picked up a verbal commitment from 6-3, 195-pound shooting guard Jamel Jackson of Brooklyn.
Jackson is a freshman at Technical Career Institutes in Manhattan and will have three years of Division I eligibility remaining, beginning this season. The Pirates have one scholarship remaining.
“I always wanted to play in the Big East and that will be a good fit because I like the style of play they play with,” Jackson said Saturday night by phone.
The story was initially reported by the Seton Hall Trove messageboard, and I later spoke with Jackson on the phone after getting a tip from a Seton Hall source.
TCI head coach Pernell Hosier said Jackson verbally committed to Southern Mississippi out of Boys to Men prep in Chicago, but did not end up there. He also held offers this time around from St. John’s, Pittsburgh, Georgetown, Iowa State and Clemson, the coach said.
“He’s been offered by many, many other schools,” Hosier said by phone.
Jackson said he hopes to sign his National Letter of Intent on Monday. He would join 6-11 big man Melvyn “Big Mel” Oliver of Mississippi Elite Christian Academy and 6-foot point guard Jordan Theodore of Paterson Catholic in next year’s recruiting class.
Jackson was the 2005 New York Post Player of the Year out of Brooklyn Lincoln, where he played alongside Sebastian Telfair, now with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Jackson was also named the 2008 NJCAA Region XV Player of the Year, averaging 24.5 points per game.
A strong shooter, Jackson could help replace the departed Larry Davis, who transferred to Loyola Marymount.
“(Coach Bobby Gonzalez) is trying to bring me in as a two (shooting guard) and move Jeremy Hazell to the three,” Jackson said.
Still, Duquesne transfer Robert “Stix” Mitchell figures to get the bulk of the minutes at the three spot.
Hosier said Jackson shot 47 percent from the field last season, 50 percent from beyond the arc and about 80 percent from the line.
“He’s an excellent shooter,” Hosier said. “Jamel is probably one of the best shooters in the nation. His stats speak for themselves. He shot 50 percent from beyond the 3-point line.
“He can create his own shot off the dribble. He sees the floor very well, he passes very well. He’s a decent defender and I know Coach Gonzalez will work on him defensively. He can put the ball in the basket with the best of them.”
Hosier said Jackson is in the summer sesssion at TCI taking nine credits.
“When he’s done he’ll have over 30 credits with a 2.6-2.7 GPA,” the coach said. “Bobby and Derm (Player) already have his transcript from last semester.”
After leaving Lincoln in 2005, Jackson said he spent two years at Boys to Men Academy before spending this past season at TCI in Manhattan.
Jackson will add to a backcourt that includes Hazell, Theodore, Paul Gause and Eugene Harvey.
“This (school) was the main one I had in mind for a while,” Jackson said of Seton Hall.
Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.