With the graduation of guards Jewuan Long and Donte Poole, and forward Ivan Aska, the Murray State Racers were going to need sophomore guard Zay Jackson to raise his production from a season ago.
The impact that Jackson may have on the reigning OVC champions is now in doubt thanks to an incident in a Walmart parking lot on Sunday.
According to WPSD-TV in Paducah, Kentucky, Jackson was arrested on two counts of first-degree assault on Sunday afternoon.
According to Murray Police, officers responded to an altercation in the Wal-Mart parking lot around 4p.m. Officers said Jackson assaulted two people with his vehicle. Both victims suffered apparent minor injuries.
To say the least this is bad news for a team coming off of a 31-2 campaign, and with point guard Isaiah Canaan and forward Ed Daniel returning the Racers are capable of repeating in the OVC.
But they need a third option to make up for the departures of Long, Poole and Aska, who combined to average 33.2 points per game in 2011-12.
Jackson averaged just 4.9 points and 2.3 assists per game last season, and his 18.4 minutes per game ranked second among the Racers’ reserves.
Murray State has six freshmen and six seniors on this season’s roster, so obviously Jackson would be an important figure both this season and in the future.
But that future likely became a bit more uncertain with this news.
Raphielle is also the assistant editor at CollegeHoops.net and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.
Tonight’s bubble action. This post will be updated as the games are completed.
Cincinnati at UCF, 7:00 p.m.
Pitt at No. 12 Miami, 7:00 p.m.
No. 25 Wichita State at Drake, 8:00 p.m.
Ole Miss at Florida, 9:00 p.m.
Georgia at No. 22 Kentucky, 9:00 p.m.
Arkansas at Mississippi State, 9:00 p.m.
GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 10 West Virginia at No. 6 Kansas, 7:00 p.m.
The last time these two teams got together, West Virginia actually knocked off Kansas in Morgantown. It was the third time in the last three seasons that WVU has beaten KU at home. So there’s some revenge at stake here. But there’s also the whole Big 12 title race, which West Virginia currently leads. If the Mountaineers win tonight, they’ll be up by two games on Kansas with the tie breaker and just seven games left to play. The Jayhawks regular season title streak could be over if that happens.
THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 8 Michigan State at No. 18 Purdue, 7:00 p.m.
We think the Spartans are back to their early season form after wins over Maryland (at home), Northwestern, Rutgers and Michigan. If Michigan State really wants to prove something to the college basketball world, they will go into West Lafayette tonight and get a win. Denzel Valentine vs. Raphael Davis will be fun.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR
- Pitt will pay a visit to No. 12 Miami in a game the Panthers could really use a win in. Pitt hasn’t been the most consistent team in the country and without adding a few quality wins they could be looking at the bubble.
- Duquesne will be paying a visit to No. 19 Dayton, who moved into a tie for first place in the Atlantic 10 thanks to VCU’s loss on Saturday.
- Georgia is right there on the bubble, and they will have a chance to try and push themselves into a better spot when they play at No. 22 Kentucky tonight.
- Creighton probably has to win out to have a shot of making the NCAA tournament, and that includes tonight, when they host No. 5 Xavier.
- No. 7 Virginia will be hosting Virginia Tech, who picked off the Wahoos in Blacksburg earlier this year.
THE REST OF THE TOP 25
- No. 1 Villanova at DePaul, 8:30 p.m.
- No. 25 Wichita State at Drake, 8:00 p.m.