Before Maryland Basketball plays their last non-conference game against the UMBC Retrievers, they lose Justin Jackson for the rest of the 2017-18 season with a torn labrum
Justin Jackson fought hard to play through pain for his team. Coming into the season, Maryland Basketball had high hopes for him and it was hard not to. He had a solid freshman season where he averaged 10.5 points per game, six rebounds per game, shot 43 percent from the field and behind the three-point line. He started 30 of 33 games last year.
According to Inside Maryland Sports’ Josh Stirn, Mark Turgeon admired Jackson’s toughness
"“It’s an old injury,” Turgeon said Thursday. “It happened before he came to Maryland, is what the doctors told me. He reaggravated it a lot this year. So he’s a tough sucker. A torn labrum is a pretty significant injury, painful, and he tried to play through it for his team.“All things considered, we just felt like [surgery] was the best thing for Justin.”"
Losing Justin Jackson, no doubt, is a huge loss for Maryland Basketball but they will be fine and there are three big reasons why:
1. Bruno Fernando and Darryl Morsell Can Produce in his absence
fernando and Morsell are two young players who will be able to fill the void of Jackson’s production because they can score the ball well and it has been well documented the energy and intensity that Fernando brings on both sides of the floor.
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2. Anthony Cowan Never Disappoints as Maryland Basketball’s Floor General
Cowan is averaging 15.6 points per game, 4.8 rebounds per game and 4.4 assists per game in his sophomore season and doesn’t shy away from attacking the rim as he has a high free throw percentage. Cowan like Jackson had a nice freshman season as the heir apparent to the point guard role behind Melo Trimble and he has only gotten better in the first half of the season.
3. The Big Men will have to step up Defensively and On the Glass
It may be hard to replace the eight rebounds per game average that Justin Jackson put up this year but Bruno Fernando, Michal Cekovsky, and others are going to have to pick up the slack there. That’s a big part of the game and determines often who wins games depending on who has the extra possessions.
Will it be hard to replace a player who is six-foot-seven with a seven-foot-three inch wingspan? Yes, however, Maryland basketball has the talent on the roster in order to do it. The next man up mentality applies here. For Jackson’s best interest, if surgery and rehab are necessary to be at 100 percent down the line, shutting him down was the right call.