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Get to Know an Incoming Transfer: Providence’s Isaiah Jackson

Providence grabbed Isaiah Jackson in the summer of 2015 after George Mason made a coaching change. The Florida native will be eligible this season after sitting a year.

NCAA Basketball: George Mason at VCU Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Providence Friars have had success bringing in transfers in Ed Cooley’s time in Friartown. The two most notable were Wake Forest transfer Carson Desrosiers and NC State transfer Tyler Harris. Both Desrosiers and Harris came to Providence from the ACC and helped the Friars win the 2014 Big East Tournament title and make back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances for the first time in 25 years. Another transfer who has played a solid role on good Providence teams is Junior Lomomba. In short, Cooley and his staff have done a pretty good job identifying talented players looking for a new home and those new players returned the favor by being productive.

Isaiah Jackson had a very solid freshman season at George Mason in the Atlantic 10. He played through a toe injury and saw his minutes increase later in the season as it was clear the 2014-15 Patriots’ team wasn’t going anywhere, ultimately finishing with just 9 wins. Jackson was fourth on that team in scoring with 8.7 ppg and played in all 31 games, starting 23. There were 17 games in which he played at least 30 minutes, including one where he played all 40 minutes. He scored in double figures 15 times, including in 11 of the team’s final 14 games of the season. His best scoring output was 22 points on 7/11 shooting from the field at Wright State. His best rebounding output was 10 boards against VCU, including 5 offensive rips. After Paul Hewitt was fired in March of 2015, Jackson decided he wanted to transfer and picked Providence over Central Florida and Houston.

Jackson has spent the last year well by getting fully healthy from the toe injury he battled in the 2014-15 season and continuing to improve and develop his game. He tweeted out a few months ago that he was looking forward to showing off his hard work while sitting out the 2015-16 season, per NCAA transfer rules.

A source has informed me that Jackson has been in the gym virtually every day, even when back home in Florida and many days he does two workouts. Jackson does find himself in a fairly crowded portion of Providence’s roster, but he has experience playing at a fairly high level in the Atlantic 10 and has shown he can produce in the college game. At 6’6 and 225 lbs, Jackson has the size and versatility to be very dangerous for the Friars. His ability to straight-line drive to the rim and battle on the backboards should serve him well when competing with his teammates for minutes. Those are both things Cooley has shown he values.