March 13, 2007

Self impressed with Jackson's play

Had it not been for the play of Darnell Jackson in the Big 12 Tournament, especially against the Texas Longhorns, Kansas wouldn't have won its second straight postseason championship.

Despite not being much of a factor on offense, Jackson, the 6-foot-8, 250-pound forward from Oklahoma City, Okla., is starting to emerge as a big-time force on the defensive end of the court. During Monday's weekly press conference, Bill Self talked about Jackson and what he means to the Jayhawks.

"Darnell Jackson brings the same thing that the other guys bring to us," said Self. "Darnell is a very talented guy. When he's a physical presence and playing his best, he gives us something a lot of people don't have, and that's four legitimate big guys. A lot of high-major teams have three, but very few have four.

"He and Shady (Darrell Arthur) and Sasha Kaun and Julian Wright, that's four pretty good ones," he added. "The other thing is, you've got to get three of them playing well. It doesn't really matter which three. Well, Julian needs to, but he (Jackson) kind of creates a situation where there is a safety net. When he's playing well, he's as good as anybody we've got."

The numbers might not indicate it, but Jackson has had a solid junior campaign. During the regular season, the 6-foot-8, 250-pound forward from Oklahoma City, Okla., averaged 5.8-points, 4.7 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.3 blocks and 0.3 steals per game.

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