March 24, 2014 by Seth Rubinroit
By Seth Rubinroit
Inheriting an empty cupboard, Kevin O’Neill brought in four high school recruits as part of the 2010 recruiting class, his first at USC. Two players—Bryce Jones and Maurice Jones—were ranked in the ESPN 100. The other two—Garrett Jackson and Curtis Washington—had ESPN grades of 90 and 87, respectively.
Yet within two seasons, all four players had transferred.
“I can’t speak for anyone else,” Jackson said, “but [O’Neill] is a tough dude to play for.”
Jackson transferred from USC after his sophomore year, despite playing significant minutes towards the end of the season. He started USC’s final 14 games, averaging 10.8 points and 4.1 rebounds.
“There were a bunch of reasons [for transferring],” Jackson said, “but I am in the right spot now an that’s all that matters.”
Jackson, a 6-foot-7 forward, is now playing for Saint Mary’s in the West Coast Conference. Galen Central recently caught up with Jackson in Malibu after the Gaels defeated the Pepperdine Waves in overtime. Former USC teammate Eric Strangis was in the stands to support Jackson, who did not play in the game while recovering from a knee injury he suffered Christmas Day.
Jackson finished the season averaging 4.0 points and 3.6 rebounds per game. He has one more year of eligibility remaining.
“I am getting back in the flow of things, and I like the direction we are headed in,” Jackson said.