MID-MAJOR TOP RETURNING GUARDS: #4 – Jhivvan Jackson, UTSA

We’re continuing our top mid-major guard countdown today, and slotting in at #4 is Jhivvan Jackson, of the University of Texas at San Antonio. A rising senior, Jackson has been one of the most prolific scorers in the country regardless of conference, and he has only improved his numbers in each of his three seasons thus far. After 18.4 points per game his freshman year, Jackson improved that mark to 22.4 in his sophomore season, before shooting up to 26.8 points per game, ranking second in the country in the 2019-2020 season. 

Jackson played for a UTSA team that mustered just a 7-11 record in Conference-USA play, leading the team in scoring while ranking second in rebounds (5.6 rpg) and assists (2.4 apg). He recorded five double-doubles last season, scoring 30+ points on 12 occasions with a season-high of 45. Jackson notched some impressive performances against Power-5 competitions, including UTSA’s season opener at a very solid Oklahoma squad, when he dropped 24 points and 13 rebounds on the Sooners. Against Oregon State, Jackson posted a 28 point, 5 rebound, and 5 assist stat line, entering C-USA play on a hot streak that he kept alive for the majority of UTSA’s conference slate. One of his most impressive performances of the season came in a big home game against Louisiana Tech, who finished the year 13-5 in C-USA play and was one of three 20-win teams in the conference. Jackson put up a monster performance, scoring 37 points led by his 8-15 shooting from 3-point range. He also brought down five rebounds and dished out six assists to lead the Roadrunners to an upset victory. In his three chances against the top three teams in the conference  – North Texas, Louisiana Tech, and Western Kentucky – Jackson averaged just under 34 points. 

The scariest thing about Jackson’s prolific output in his junior season is that he was somewhat inconsistent from beyond the arc. As shown in some of his biggest games, when he was hitting long-range shots at a high rate, the UTSA standout was an absolute game-changer and one of the most lethal shooters in the country. In twelve games that Jackson shot the 3 at a 40% clip or better, he averaged over 32 points per game, so if he irons out some of his accuracy issues, he could be one of the best scorers in recent NCAA history. Last season, Markus Howard led the country with 27.8 points per game, and nobody has eclipsed 30.1 for a season since 1997. If Jackson returns for his senior season locked in from distance, he might light up Conference USA and single-handedly push UTSA back towards the top of the conference. 

Ultimately, Jackson’s steady improvement of three collegiate seasons and his prolific scoring ability, even when shooting at less efficient clips, landed him at #4 on our countdown of the best mid-major guards in the country.

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