Former CMU men's basketball standout finds home at MAC school

Junior guard Derek Jackson is back in the Mid-American Conference after being dismissed from the Central Michigan men's basketball program because of academics in 2012.

Jackson will join Rob Senderoff's team at Kent State and will be eligible to play immediately. Senderoff is in his third season as the head coach of the Golden Flashes after winning 20-plus games in his first two seasons.

"We're excited about Derek and Devin (Carter) coming and joining us," Senderoff said in a news release. "I think they'll be welcome additions to our program."

In his 2011-12 sophomore season, Jackson played in all 32 games for the Chippewas that season, starting in 31 of them.

He averaged 11.5 points per game that season, along with 2.3 rebounds and 1.81 steals a game. His 1.81 steals ranked third in the MAC and 68th in the nation. He had 58 steals that season, the third-most in a single season in CMU history, and his name is in the single-season record books for 66 made three-pointers in 2011-12, good for ninth all-time.

"Derek went to Benedictine High School and played with a number of Division I players," Senderoff said to KSU athletics. "Derek is sort of proven in this league, as he averaged 11 points per game as a sophomore at Central Michigan. They had a coaching change last year, and things didn't work out for him."

Jackson had originally planned to stay in Mount Pleasant following then-head coach Ernie Zeigler's firing and the hiring of Keno Davis as his replacement. But, due to academic reasons, he was dismissed from the team, along with Jevon Harden.

Following his dismissal, Jackson enrolled into Cuyahoga Community College in Parma, Ohio, but his name was not on the Tri-C roster.

Jackson, a native of Cleveland, played AAU basektball with Golden Flashes junior forward Mark Henniger and was a Second-Team All-Ohio honoree after his senior season at Benedictine.

According to Senderoff, Jackson made contact with the program through senior guard Randal Holt, and he has been to the Kent State campus numerous times throughout the year.

Senderoff is hoping Jackson can help replace Holt, who just finished his last season with the Golden Flashes.

"We need to replace some of our perimeter scoring punch, production and versatility," Senderoff said in a news release. "We knew we had our core of post players coming back, but, at the same time, we knew we needed to bring some guys in that we felt could help us on the perimeter, especially in scoring and being able to do multiple things on the floor. We believe the guys we are bringing in should help us replace Chris (Evans) and Randal (Holt), although that's tough to do."

KSU beat the Chippewas last season in the only meeting between the two schools at their home court, 87-72.


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