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Tuesday, January 18, 2011
BC's Jackson cops second ACC honor

By Jack McCluskey

For the second time this season, Reggie Jackson has been voted Atlantic Coast Conference player of the week (sharing the honor for the week ending Jan. 16 with Florida State’s Chris Singleton).

After averaging 25.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 5.0 assists in two games -- a 75-66 win over NC State at home and a 72-71 loss to Miami on the road -- the Eagles’ star guard is now among the leaders in seven offensive categories in ACC play.

The categories are scoring (23.0 points per game, second), field goal percentage (63.0, first), 3-point field goal percentage (55.6, third), assists (4.5 per game, tied for fourth), made 3-pointers (2.5 per game, fifth), free throw percentage (88.9, tied for eighth) and blocked shots (1.5 per game, tied for 10th).

Jackson had 29 points (on 9-for-13 shooting, including 3-for-6 from 3) against the Wolfpack and 22 points (on 7-for-16 shooting, including 3-for-7 from 3) against the Hurricanes. So for the week, Jackson shot 55.1 percent from the field, 46.1 percent from behind the 3-point line and 81.2 percent from the free throw line (13-for-16).

Those numbers hint at another aspect of Jackson’s impressive season to date: his consistency and efficiency.

Jackson has scored in double figures in all but one of the Eagles’ 18 games (finishing with nine points in 35 minutes played in a win over Holy Cross). He has made 124 field goals (tied for 20th in the nation) on just 226 attempts (tied for 93rd nationally). He’s one of the top 50 most accurate 3-point shooters in the country (46th, making 48.2 of his attempts).

Among players used in at least 24 percent of their team’s possessions, Jackson ranks fifth in offensive rating (a statistic developed by Dean Oliver to measure personal offensive efficiency, according to kenpom.com). Open that up to the entire country, and Jackson ranks 28th. He’s also in the top 25 nationally in effective field goal percentage (63.9, 25th), which takes into account the added value of the 3-point shot, and true shooting percentage (66.7, 25th), which takes free throws into account.

Add it all up, and Jackson is a major reason the Eagles (13-5, 3-1 ACC) are off to such a promising start.

And while the Virginia Cavaliers, BC’s next opponent, rank fourth in the ACC in scoring defense, allowing only 62.5 points per game, it’s a good bet that Jackson will have some success against them on Wednesday night too.

The Cavaliers allow opponents to shoot 44.1 percent from the field overall and 37.9 percent from long distance (both rank 11th of 12 teams in the ACC), which if you’re a Virginia fan is not encouraging considering BC ranks fourth in scoring offense (averaging 75.8 points per game), leads the conference in field goal percentage (48.4 percent) and is second in 3-point shooting percentage (39.5; only Duke is better at 40.8 percent).

So, when the ball goes up just after 7 p.m. at Conte Forum, Jackson & Co. will be taking aim, looking to bounce back from a tough loss to Miami and avoid their first losing streak in conference play and improve to 4-1 in the ACC.