The Texas A&M basketball program was never bad, but Aggie football was always the top priority in College Station. After a losing basketball season in Buzz Williams’ second year, national media virtually wrote off Texas A&M.
I’ll be the first to admit it — after a close call against Texas A&M-Kingsville in a preseason exhibition game, I believed this team to be even worse than last year, which is a tough feat. Seven games later and the narrative has done a complete 180.
The Aggies find themselves at 6-1 through seven games, a big difference from last year’s 8-10 finish. How have they done this? The emergence of impact players, and even more specifically, a returning impact player.
Texas A&M basketball G Quenton Jackson is having a breakout season, winning SEC Player of the Week
The storyline surrounding this team in the offseason had nothing to do with its existing players — quite the opposite is true. The Aggies brought in seven transfer players after losing eight to the portal following a disappointing year in 2020-21.
Still, a player who was already on the roster is stepping up as this team’s leader. That player is Quenton Jackson.
Jackson has been in College Station for two years and has seen gradual improvement. The Aggie guard finished with 8.8 points per game in his freshman season but had a long way to go shooting the ball. Jackson knocked down just 36.6% of his field goals and 24.4% of his three-pointers.
The next season, he took that step forward, converting on 47.1% of his shots and shooting well over 40% from beyond the arch. He was a very rare piece of consistent offense on a team that struggled to put the ball in the bucket.
In 2021, he’s taken yet another step forward, cementing himself as an early candidate for SEC Player of the Year. Jackson is averaging a career-high 13 points per game, knocking down 45.8% of his three-pointers. He has cut down on turnovers, averaging 0.8 less than last season, while generating a new career-high with 1.9 steals per game.
These numbers benefitted from a strong week from Jackson, where the Aggie guard averaged 16 points per game and a plethora of steals. This was good enough to earn him SEC Player of the Week honors.
Don’t look now, but the Aggie junior is turning into a certified college basketball star.