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.
Last year after every practice at Technical Career Institutes in Manhattan, head coach Pernell Hosier would issue a challenge to shooting guard Jamel Jackson.
If Jackson could make a halfcourt shot, the team wouldn’t have to run.
If he missed it, the players ran.
“He made 50 out of 100,” Hosier said with a laugh over the phone.
The 6-foot-3, 202-pound Jackson shot 47 percent from the floor and 50 percent from 3-point range as a freshman, when he averaged 24.5 points a game. As a sophomore he averaged 21.5 points.
He once made 8 of 9 3’s and hit for a career-high 48 points against Sullivan College.
A former New York Post Player of the Year at Lincoln High School, Jackson is now at Seton Hall, where he continues to shoot the lights out.
Last week he and junior shooting guard Jeremy Hazell engaged in a 3-point contest, with Jackson making 18 of 25 and Hazell converting 15 of 25.
“He beat me,” Hazell, the second-leading scorer in the Big East last season, said at Tuesday’s media day.
On Monday, Jackson hit three of five from beyond the arc in a “secret scrimmage” against Fordham.
All of this is good news for Pirates fans. Real good.
If Hazell is being double-teamed and Jackson is on the floor, he can pass it to Jackson.
If Seton Hall faces a zone, both players present dangerous threats from downtown.
If Hazell is off one night, Jackson can pick him up.
“It’s a double sword,” Hosier said. “It stretches the opponents. In the past their only true shooter was Jeremy Hazell.
“If they have a post game this year and now everybody knows that Jeremy Hazell is the shooter, you put Jamel on the other side of it, it’s going to stretch the defense.”
The only adjustment for Jackson, Hosier said, will be learning how to come off the bench.
“For six years, he’s always been a starter,” Hosier said.
ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla recently challenged Hazell by saying, “Instead of scoring 22 points a game and your team winning 17 games, can you score 17 points a game while your team wins 22 games?”
All of this seems fine with Hazell, who now has some company when it comes to shooting.
“Some games I may score 30 and some games I will score 15,” he said. “It’s about winning.”
(Photo courtesy TCI Athletics)Follow Adam Zagoria on Twitter
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, 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.