There are times as writers and journalist when we're fortunate to do something that fits the bill and its personally meaningful as well. This is one of those times.
UC assistant basketball coach George Jackson is not only a great addition to the coaching staff he's a great asset that returns to our community. Most Cincinnatians know his story and his pedigree; 2 final four high school teams, scores of regional, district and league titles plus hall of fames to boot. But what makes him more valuable to this UC squad is his Big East experience.
George worked along side Louis Orr, a Big East legend at Syracuse and a successful but under appreciated coach at Seton Hall. They got more out of their talent night in and out than most teams in their league and when picked to finish near the bottom they won and won big; Even made it to the NCAA tournament several times. So how does that translate to UC this year? I'm glad you ask.
Experience in the Big East counts...period. Fouls aren't fouls in the Big East and you learn that in practice if you have coaches that know that. Home crowds are more than the ones we have here, you learn that. And you toss your knowledge in the hat with the other coaches on this squad and it becomes a wealth of Big East experience. What works against certain teams has been figured out by Mick and his staff but what if that doesn't work on a certain night? George may have one more idea and that could crack the code that night. I'm not making George the "cure all" by no means I'm just saying if you have 3 scientist, a fourth one might have the last piece of the puzzle.
I'm excited for UC basketball this year; as excited as sitting with the Big O, Oscar Robertson on game day and that's a treat. I think they'll do well this year and they have solid players coming back and more importantly players coming off the bench. In the Big East last year, UC's one's matched up well, but thier 2's didn't. Depth in power conferences count big time and UC finally has it. They even have depth at the coaching spot too. George adds to that depth and he adds something that you can't measure: Love for the game, the university and the city. You can't buy it and you can't deny it when it comes to Coach Jack.
Welcome home Coach Jackson, welcome home.