April 16, 2011
Lonnie Jackson, a 6-foot-4-inch guard from Valencia, Calif., will join Boston College and Coach Donahue's team this fall. In this Q&A, Jackson gives some insights to his game as he looks forward to arriving on campus on June 23.
Describe your game, your style of play. Can you assess your strengths and areas to work on?
I'm a smart player. I can shoot the ball and I'm really competitive. I really want to win, that's my main goal. I sacrifice for the team. I get after it on defense. At the end of the day, I just really want to win. I'm a really competitive person.
I think my biggest strength is my basketball IQ and my shot. My weakness is probably my strength and I have to work on my point-guard skills and develop more into a 1-2 guard, a combo guard. I need to tighten up my handle and learn how to run a team. In high school, I never really had to run a team because I was just scoring.
What can you tell me about your future BC teammates who are also from California? Have you played with or against any of them?
Kyle (Caudill) and Ryan (Anderson) were both on my (Double Pump) team my sophomore year, and I played with Kyle for my whole AAU career. Ryan is just like me. He wants to be the best. He's not satisfied with mediocrity. He can shoot the ball, he can post up. He's really versatile and I'm glad I can play with him. Kyle is a big guy. He's really smart, he can pass the ball and he has good post moves. I love when he and I are doing a pick-and-roll situation or I'm coming up from one of his pin downs because he knows what I'm going to do. He's always ready for the catch and we can play off each other really well because he understands the game like I do.
BC has had some very good players from California in the last 10 years (Jared Dudley, Sean Marshall, Craig Smith). Did their success influence your decision at all?
It didn't really impact my decision. It just showed me that it's possible to go from coast to coast and get it done. I remember being told that Jared Dudley was just a real fun guy. When he decided he wanted to make it to the next level, he really committed himself, and that's what I really admire about him. He just stuck to it because he wasn't one of the top players, he wasn't ranked high. That's kind of like me. Right now, I feel like I'm underrated. It shows me that it's possible. Right now, we're all on the same level once we go to college, there's no more rankings. We're all on the same platform. That's what I really like about Jared Dudley.
What do you know about Boston College and the city of Boston? Are you looking forward to spending a few years on the East Coast?
Honestly, I didn't know much when the coaches first started calling me. But I know Boston is a great college town. There are so many kids up there and so many colleges. That's what I really like about it. I also just like how the people of Boston have so much love for their sports teams - the Boston Celtics, Boston Red Sox and Patriots. It's a great sports town and I just really liked the feel of it when I was up there.
I know Boston College is a private school, a Jesuit college. I also like how BC is only 9,000 students, not that many people, so you develop relationships with people.
What other interests or hobbies do you have?
I really just hang out with my friends, go see movies, play video games. I don't have any other big hobbies.
Did you get a chance to watch BC on TV this past year? What appealed to you about Coach Donahue's style of play?
I got to watch a lot this year. Every time they were on ESPN I would record it. What appealed to me throughout the season was how, in Coach Donahue's style, they got up and down in their offense and how they let the guys play. Coach Donahue didn't always take them out. He just lets you play basketball. I also like how the offense allows you to make decisions on the court. And, probably the best thing, he really lets you shoot the ball. They were among the top schools in threes attempted, so that's what I really like about the system.
Who have been the biggest influences on your game, on your development?
My dad (Lance) has been my biggest influence. He's really taught me about the game and helped me with my shot, and my shot is the best asset to my game. He comes to the gym with me still to this day and works out with me. I also work out with Mike Penberthy. He was on the Los Angeles Lakers and he also played overseas. I also work out with (former Phoenix Suns guard) Rod Foster. It's a good mixture of people to work out with and they help me develop my game.