October 15, 2007

Jackson ready for big season

If there is one player who ended last season on a high note, it's senior forward Darnell Jackson. After serving a nine-game suspension at the beginning of the 2005-06 season, the 6-foot-8, 240-pound power forward came back strong, ready to show that he could be an impact player. Despite the disappointing loss to UCLA in the Elite Eight, the Oklahoma City-native left it all on the court and played as hard as anyone in the country. A summer of extensive workouts, conditioning, and the thirst for a National Championship has Jackson prepared for his final campaign as a Jayhawk.

When he committed to the University of Kansas in October of 2003, Jackson knew KU was the place he needed to be. Despite a No. 54 ranking in the class of 2004, the burley big man was relatively underrated and went unnoticed by many programs around the country.

Head coach Bill Self knew that Jackson fit the mold he was trying to form at KU. He knew that his first recruiting class at his new school needed a guy like Jackson; someone who loved contact, loved to rebound, and wasn't afraid to leave his heart on the court.

Over the past three seasons, not only has Jackson lived up to expectations, but has easily exceeded them. He has certainly played with hear and emotion, but not without great personal pain.

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