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May 31, 2007

Jackson diary: The tricks of the trade

Former Texas Tech star Jarrius Jackson isn't one of the 64 players at the NBA's pre-draft camp this week in Orlando, but that doesn't mean the 6-foot-1, 185-pound point guard isn't on the league's radar.

Jackson, who has been sticking to a strict workout regimen with several other players in Chicago, has recently been contacted by a number of NBA teams about setting up individual workouts (which can't start until June 5).

Where will Jackson, who averaged 19.9 points a game last season and scored 2,221 points during his college career, be heading? Who is interested?

He addresses those questions and talks about the NBA lottery, working out with trainer Tim Grover and offers his thoughts on how former Texas star Kevin Durant will fare in the NBA in his latest Rivals.com diary.

You're working out with Tim Grover, who has trained Michael Jordan and a number of former and current NBA stars. What have you learned from him? "Grover teaches a lot of little things that I never knew coming out of college. We've worked a lot on trying to create space off the dribble to get my shot off and making sure I step into my shot. He's taught me a lot of little dribbling moves, particularly some stuff when I'm being guarded one-on-one on the perimeter. I feel like it's helped a lot. I've improved my game a lot."

You've been working out with and playing against some of the top players in college basketball, including Alando Tucker (Wisconsin), Thaddeus Young (Georgia Tech), Mustafa Shakur (Arizona) and Shaun Pruitt (Illinois). What have you learned from those guys?

"It's very interesting to see how everybody is a little different depending on the conference they came from and the style of play they are used to. The one thing they have in common is that just about everyone is very, very explosive. That is the one thing that really stands out when they go through drills and play pick-up games."

You've got some workouts scheduled with NBA teams coming up soon. Where will you be going and what do you expect?

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"I'm heading to Miami, Washington D.C., Golden State, Houston and Portland. My first workout is scheduled for June 10. A lot of the workouts will be devoted to individual stuff, and that is what we have been preparing for in the last few weeks. That gives me some confidence, but I'm a little nervous too just like everyone else."

Did you watch the NBA lottery last week? What kind of impact do you think Kevin Durant, who you played against twice in college, will make next season?

"Yes, it was the first time I'd actually watched the lottery. It was interesting. Obviously, I thought Boston would get a higher pick.

"I think Kevin will be a very good pro player. He's just an all-around good player. Nobody could stop him at the college level. He is the best guy I've ever played against."

What do you expect the biggest change to be from the college game to the NBA??

"I think it will be the pace of play. It might look the same speed or it might even look slow on TV, but it is much faster. Plus, you have the 24-second shot clock, which speeds things up even more. You have to be in good condition and focused all the time."

  • Jackson: Avoiding distractions

    More Draft Diaries: Acie Law IV | Glen Davis | Arron Afflalo

    To read more from Jackson in the days leading up to the NBA draft on June 28 return to Rivals.com

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