Mid-Major Top Returning Guards: #2 – Loren Cristian Jackson, Akron

We are into the stretch run of our top mid-major guard countdown, as we continue our rankings with our #2 guard in Akron’s Loren Cristian Jackson. Jackson was the key cog behind Akron’s MAC-winning season last year, leading the team in points per game, assists, and three-point percentage. Entering his senior year, the Chicago product looks primed to be one of the best guards both in the MAC and in the country. 

Jackson’s averages of 19.8 points and 4.5 assists, along with his 43% shooting from three-point range, all ranked in the top-four in the MAC in the 2019-2020 season. His averages have improved in each of his three collegiate seasons, and he was one of the most efficient players in the country by Player Efficiency Rating, and he did it all while being an absolute workhorse for the Zips, averaging almost 35 minutes per game. 

Not only did Jackson post some superb averages, but he flashed his ability to have some big-time games, both against MAC-competition and Power-5 squads. In a road game at West Virginia, Jackson dropped 16 points and 6 assists on the Mountaineers, followed by a premier performance at #2 Louisville, where the rising senior notched a 20 point, 6 assist, 6 rebound effort, as Akron nearly stunned the Cardinals. Jackson got stronger as the season wore on, averaging nearly 24 points per game in the Zips’ final eight contests, highlighted by three efforts of 30+ points. In three games against the next two best teams in the MAC – Buffalo and Bowling Green – Jackson poured in 35, 35, and 28 points, helping lead Akron to a regular season conference title. And Jackson isn’t a one-trick pony, shooting 50% from inside the arc and an astounding 88% from the free-throw line, closing out numerous wins for the Zips at the charity stripe. 

Jackson has been an absolute beast for Akron, and if college basketball returns in full force, look for him to be one of the best guards in the country and leading the Zips to their first NCAA Tournament since 2013.

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