Sporting News Names Florida Tech’s Corbin Jackson Preseason All-American
By Florida Tech // September 29, 2015
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – The Florida Tech men’s basketball program has certainly received its fair share of attention in recent years, so much that Sporting News decided to add another Panther to its Preseason All-American list in 2015-16.
Etching his name alongside former teammates and 2014-15 honorees Chris Carter and Jermaine Jackson, forward Corbin Jackson has officially become Florida Tech’s third Preseason All-American in just the past two seasons.
“Whenever someone wins an honor or an accolade, it’s not just about the individual, it’s about the program and their teammates,” said head coach Billy Mims.
“It’s a great honor for Corbin, but it’s an even bigger honor for Florida Tech because it shows that our program is at level where the national media is taking notice.”
It’s certainly hard to not take notice of Jackson, the two-time reigning Sunshine State Conference Defensive Player of the Year, who stands 6-foot-6 and has a presence that’s immediately felt once he enters a room. His demeanor is what Mims believes makes him unique and sets him apart from most other players.
“He is the most athletic player in this league,” said Mims.
“I don’t think there’s another player in the SSC, and maybe not even in the country, that brings the energy and enthusiasm to the court night in and night out like Corbin Jackson does – it’s contagious.
“This is my 34th year on the sidelines and in all my career, both collegiately and professionally, I don’t know if I’ve ever coached a player that loves to play the game more than Corbin. Corbin practices every day like he’s on CBS playing for a national championship. As a coach, you can’t teach that. That’s something that’s innate in a person and it’s what drives him to be the best player he can possibly be.”
In his two seasons in Crimson and Gray since transferring from Carson-Newman, Jackson has averaged a combined 13.9 points, 10.5 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game.
Last year, he also saw his field goal percentage jump from 53.8% to 64.3%. Overall, the Second Team All-SSC selection ranked among the top-13 in NCAA Division II in seven statistical categories, including: total blocks (4th, 82), offensive rebounds per game (6th, 3.75), blocks per game (7th, 2.93), field goal percentage (7th, 64.5 percent), double-doubles (8th with 15), total rebounds (11th, 287) and rebounds per game (13th, 10.3).
Even against professional competition this summer during the Panthers’ tour in London, he posted nearly identical numbers.
Although the stats and physical frame are what jump out most, Jackson’s taken a much more mental approach to help improve his game.
“He’s gotten tremendously better in the mental side of the game,” Mims added. “He’s much more focused now than he was when he first got here, he’s much more mature. He always gives 125%, not 100%. He’s more mentally focused, he understands the game at a higher level now.”
Jackson, along with Barry’s Yunio Barrueta, are the only members of the SSC to be placed on any of Sporting News’ three All-American squads.
FIT will look to build on its fifth-place league finish from a year ago when the regular season opens in November.