Rick Jackson has been the anchor in the middle for the Syracuse Orange all season long, and his contributions are starting to be recognized. Jackson is one of thirty players across the country who have been named to the Naismith award midseason watch list, according to Patrick Stevens at D1scource. The Naismith award honors the most outstanding player in college basketball and was won by Evan Turner of Ohio St. last year. Johnson is one of five players from the Big East to make the list. They are:
The Big East is tied with the ACC and the Big Ten for most nominees on this list.
Jackson is averaging 13.1 ppg on 57% shooting and 11.4 rebounds per game this year. Jackson has increased his ppg in each of his four seasons in Syracuse, and his 13.1 ppg average is four points greater than his output from his junior season.
Without Jackson, the Syracuse wouldn't be nearly as strong as they are inside, and in a conference as physically demanding at the Big East, size and toughness mean everything.