April 1, 2014
University of Cincinnati senior forward Justin Jackson was named a finalist for the Lefty Driesell Defensive Player of the Year Award presented by CollegeInsider.com.
Jackson, along with 24 other finalists, also was named to the 2014 Lefty Driesell Defensive All-America Team.
The 2013-14 American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year, Jackson ranks among the nation’s leaders in total blocks (11th at 99); blocks per game (20th at 2.91) and offensive rebounds (38th at 3.24 per game). He led the league in blocks per game, was second in offensive rebounds, fourth in rebounds (7.3) and seventh in steals (1.6).
Jackson also was named a District 25 Second Team All-American by the National Association of Basketball Coaches.
The native of Cocoa Beach, Fla., anchored a Cincinnati defense that finished among the nation’s leaders in scoring defense (fifth at 58.4 points allowed), turnover margin (17th at 3.2), field goal percentage defense (19th at .395), blocks per game (20th at 5.5) and steals per game (20th at 7.9).
Jackson recorded at least one block in 16 of 18 league contests and 31 of 34 games during the year. He blocked a career-high seven shots twice, at Memphis (Jan. 4) and against UCF (Jan. 23). He also registered at least one steal in all but three games on the year. He had a season-best five steals against SMU on Jan. 1.
Jackson’s 99 blocks during the 2013-14 campaign rank third for a single season at Cincinnati. His 219 career blocks rank fourth in school history.
Jackson was the first player in the nation to earn conference player of the week accolades for three consecutive weeks (Dec. 23 - Jan. 6). He averaged 15.3 points while shooting 61.9 percent from the field (39 of 63) to go with 9.7 rebounds, 4.3 blocks, 2.2 steals and 2.2 assists during the stretch.
Jackson helped guide Cincinnati to a 27-7 overall record, a 15-3 league mark, a share of the American’s regular-season championship and the school’s fourth consecutive NCAA tournament appearance. His 101 victories during his four-year career with the Bearcats are tied with teammate Sean Kilpatrick for second-most in school history (Steve Logan 111 from 1999-2002).
Other finalists include Cameron Ayers (Bucknell), Khem Birch (UNLV), Alec Brown (Green Bay), Rhamel Brown (Manhattan), Willie Cauley-Stein (Kentucky), Tekele Cotton (Wichita State), Aaron Craft (Ohio State), Scott Eatherton (Northeastern), Joel Embiid (Kansas), Jordair Jett (Saint Louis), Nick Johnson (Arizona), Du'Vaughn Maxwell (Hampton), K.J. McDaniels (Clemson), Daniel Miller (Georgia Tech), Chris Obekpa (St. John’s), Elfrid Payton (Louisiana Lafayette), Trevor Releford (Alabama), Marcus Smart (Oklahoma State), Kenneth Smith (Louisiana Tech), Corey Walden (Eastern Kentucky), Scottie Wilbekin (Florida), Kendall Williams (New Mexico), Briante Weber (VCU) and Patric Young (Florida).
The Lefty Driesell Award is named in honor of coaching legend Lefty Driesell, who is the only person to ever win 100 games at four different Division I schools. He is best known for his time at Maryland, leading the program to the National Invitational Tournament title in 1972 and its second-ever ACC Tournament Championship in 1984. He finished his career at Maryland with a 348-159 record and concluded his career with an impressive 786-394 mark.
The winner of the 2014 Driesell Award will be announced at the CollegeInsider.com Awards Banquet on April 4 in Dallas, Texas, site of the Division I Men's Basketball Championship.
Established in 2010, previous winners of the award include Mississippi State’s Jarvis Varnado (2010), Old Dominion’s Kent Bazemore (2011), Kentucky’s Anthony Davis (2012) and Stony Brook’s Tommy Brenton (2013).