Coming in at number eight on our countdown is the junior guard for the Akron Zips, Antino Jackson. The 5’11”, 160-pounder from Houston has made a name for himself in the conference as he earned All-MAC Honorable Mention last season with 11.8 points per game, 3.5 assists per game, and an .815 free throw percentage. Stepping up his game this season will be critical for the Zips as they work to regain the MAC crown following the disappointing loss to the Buffalo Bulls in the MAC Tournament final a season ago.
Jackson had a great high school career before arriving in northeast Ohio as he was a 1,000+ point scorer at Cypress Springs (Tx.) and averaged 19.2 points, 4.7 assists, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.9 steals per game in his senior season at CSHS in 2013-14. You can see why Akron went after by watching his Hudl film below, where you can see his ability to finish at the rim, his lateral quickness to create space, and his shooting ability as well.
For Jackson to take the next step, he has to be a more efficient player due to his lack of height. He improved his free throw attempt to field goal attempt ratio (from .18 to .22) and his assist to turnover ratio (from 1.08 to 1.53), so he’s drawing fouls and getting to the line as well as making the most of offensive possessions. Also, his three point attempt to field goal attempt ratio dropped in his sophomore season (from .58 to .53), meaning he’s not just settling for threes and he’s trying to run the offense. With Jackson getting even more minutes this season, he could have a breakthrough season where he picks up some MAC accolades and helps carry Akron to and through the MAC Tournament in Cleveland.