By Tom Robinson
WILKES-BARRE – Jackson Danzig took on a major role in his introduction to college basketball.
Fresh off a state championship and all-state honors at Abington Heights, the former JB Hoops player ran the offense for his father Carl’s 20-win team at the University of Scranton.
In his second college season, the 6-foot-5 Danzig is attacking defenses from different angles.
Still listed on the roster as a guard, Jackson Danzig could be found in different spots over the course of a game.
“We moved him off the point,” Carl Danzig said. “We’re playing him on the wing and playing him inside now.
“He’s got some versatility; he’s big. If we get him on a guard, we can post him up.”
The emergence of senior co-captain Kyle DeVerna, last year’s Les Dickman Award winner as team Most Valuable Player and a starter in 54 of 55 games since the beginning of his sophomore season, led to the move making sense to coach Danzig.
“I think it’s a better fit for (Jackson),” coach Danzig said. “Last year, we kind of needed him to play the point. With the emergence of Kyle, over the summer, we told Kyle, ‘this is what is going to happen’.
“(DeVerna) put a lot of work in on it. He played a lot of point in high school and in AAU ball. He came in ready to take the reins and go.”
During a 3-1 start, which included Wednesday’s 91-62 rout at previously unbeaten Wilkes University, coach Danzig likes what the move has done for both players and his team as a whole.
“It has helped us,” he said. “It has helped Kyle and it has obviously helped Jack and other players.
“Now, we have a couple of point guards on the floor and they’re playing in their natural positions.”
Jackson Danzig’s scoring is up slightly, from 12.5 to 14.0 points per game, so far, without a major drop in his other production.
As a freshman, Jackson averaged 5.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.1 blocked shots in 33.8 minutes per game. In 31.5 minutes this season, he is at 4.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.0 steals and 0.8 blocked shots.
The third of Carl Danzig’s sons to play major roles on his teams at Scranton, following Ross and Ethan, Jackson is shooting 42.2 percent from the floor, 33.3 percent from 3-point range and 80.0 percent from the line.
Jackson had his season-high in scoring against Wilkes when he joined Matthew Mancuso, the team’s other captain, and Logan Bailey, another JB Hoops alum, with 19 points each. He broke out of an early-season, 3-point shooting slump by going 4-for-7 and also had his season-high of five assists.
Bailey was the Landmark Conference Rookie of the Year last season when he averaged 16.3 points per game. The redshirt sophomore from Scranton Prep is off to another strong start, averaging 15.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists.