Jackson latest UConn player to leave men's basketball program
Another member of the UConn basketball team is leaving the program.
Freshman Vance Jackson announced Tuesday on Twitter that he plans to transfer, making him the second Husky to go that route. Sophomore Steven Enoch, a reserve center, made his decision last week.
"It's hard for me to say that I will not continue my basketball career at the University of Connecticut," Jackson wrote. "After a bunch of prayers and thinking what's best for my career I have decided to transfer.
"Furthermore, I just want to thank the coaching staff for giving me the opportunity to play and as well my teammates for having my back and helping me thrive, you guys are my brothers for life. I've learned so much as a player on and off the court and I'm grateful for that. UConn will always be remembered and I'm proud to say I was a part of the program."
Jackson's loss is a significant one.
A 6-foot-8 forward, Jackson took advantage of his increased role due to the loss of three players to season-ending injuries. He averaged 8.1 points and became one of the American Athletic Conference's top 3-point shooters, converting a team-best 39.7 percent from beyond the arc. He also grabbed 3.8 rebounds in 32 games, including 21 starts.
"It's going to be sad for him to go," said Vance Jackson Sr., Vance's father, Tuesday. "It's nothing that we really wanted to do. We thought it was best for him."
Jackson Sr. said his son can do a lot more than he showed playing for the Huskies, but he didn't see anything changing for the better next season.
"Vance just knows he can do a lot more with the basketball," Vance Jackson Sr. said. "UConn is just more associated with guards and the guards create for everybody. ... I just feel like it's limiting his abilities by just sitting in the corner ready to shoot. They don't have a plan to change anything for him. Vance can get to the basket a lot. He just wasn't allowed to play like that."
"... He needs to be in a position to utilize his skill level."
His father stated the distance from home – Vance is from Los Angeles – wasn't a factor in the decision. Jackson Sr. said the recent departure of associate head coach Glen Miller was a disappointment because he was "somebody on the coaching staff that really had faith in Vance."
Vance Jackson Sr. described his son's relationship with Ollie this way:
"It was just more of a basketball relationship," he said. "Kevin Ollie is a good person and a great man. It's more what his vision was. ... I want Vance to be able to showcase what he can do. He can do a lot."
With the departure of Jackson and Enoch as well as losing three graduating players, the Huskies are left with six returning scholarship players next season, including Alterique Gilbert, Terry Larrier and Mamadou Diarra who missed the majority of the season with injuries.
They are bringing in four newcomers — 6-2 guard Makai Ashton-Langford, 6-8 forward Tyler Polley, 6-9 forward Josh Carlton and junior college transfer Eric Cobb, a 6-8 forward.
The Huskies experienced their first losing season in 30 years, finishing 16-17.
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