For the third-straight year, the Maryland Terrapins were selected to compete in the NCAA Tournament. This is the first time the Terps have made The Big Dance for three consecutive seasons since Hall of Famer Gary Williams led them to 11-straight from 1994 to 2004.

If Mark Turgeon’s Turtles are to make it out of the first weekend of the Tourney, they are going to need freshman forward Justin Jackson to pick up his level of play.

In last Friday night’s 72-64 loss to Northwestern in the Big Ten Tournament, Jackson scored only two points in 31 minutes of play. He was 1-for-4 from the field and missed his only free-throw attempt.

Since scoring 22 points and grabbing 12 boards in Maryland’s 77-71 win at Ohio State, Jackson has been stuck in a prolonged scoring slump. Over the Terps’ last 10 contests, he has scored in double figures only three times.

I’m not Dr. Phil , but Jackson seems to be suffering from a lack of confidence.

There is no denying the young man’s abilities on a basketball floor. Earlier in the season, he was playing so well that some Maryland fans were concerned that he may bolt for the NBA after only one year in College Park.

I don’t think that should be a worry any longer.

But if the Terps want their stay in the NCAA Tournament to last for a while, Justin Jackson has to be a positive factor for them. He has shown the skills before.

He needs to display those skills again. In a big way.


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