Since taking over as head coach of the Texas Tech basketball program in April, Grant McCasland has been hard at work building his initial Red Raider roster but despite several wins on the recruiting trail, there was still a glaring problem with his team, a lack of size. That changed in a big way on Monday when McCasland hauled in one of the largest individuals left in the transfer portal.
Dishon Jackson, a 6-foot-10, 250-pound center who has had an interesting 18 months committed to Texas Tech with a social media post to bring the Red Raiders to within one scholarship player of filling the NCAA allotment of 13. He’s expected to back up Arizona State transfer Warren Washington, a dynamic center who joined McCasland’s program just a few weeks ago.
However, Jackson will need a waiver from the NCAA to be eligible this season. That’s because he’s already transferred once in his career…and that was actually this offseason.
After sitting out the past season with an undisclosed medical issue, the California native transferred from Washington State, where he had appeared in 49 games making 18 starts. Signing with Charlotte this spring, Jackson then decided to jump back into the portal when Ron Sanchez left his post as the 49ers head coach to return to Virginia to serve as an assistant under his former boss, Tony Bennett. One has to wonder if that move is a coach-in-waiting type of situation but what we know for sure is that it prompted Jackson to search for a new landing spot again.
Now, he’s decided to call Lubbock home and should he be able to take the floor next season, he could be an important cog for a Tech team that entered Monday with only one player over 6-foot-9 in the mix for 2023-24.
For his career, Jackson has averaged 6.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks per game. That includes a freshman season that saw him score 7.0 points and grab 4.3 boards per outing. He followed that up with a 6.0-point and 4.1-rebound per game campaign as a sophomore.
However, injuries have been a problem for Jackson, even outside of his year-long medical hiatus. He’s never appeared in more than 25 games nor made more than 13 starts in any season as a collegiate.
That doesn’t mean he can’t help this year’s Red Raiders though. After all, he’s had some impressive outings in his career.
Against USC in 2021, he posted a career-high 18 points to go along with 5 boards. That’s one of 13 double-digit games to his credit thus far.
Tech won’t ask Jackson to carry a heavy load so long as Washington remains healthy and stays out of foul trouble. But knowing that McCasland will be able to turn to a player of Jackson’s caliber and pedigree as another option for size is reassuring for Red Raider fans.
As a high school prospect, Jackson was a 4-star signee in the class of 2020. He was the No. 35 center in the nation and No. 22 overall player in California that year and he picked the Cougars over offers from Arizona, California, Nevada, and New Mexico.
Now, he’s ready to be a Red Raider where he could potentially spend three seasons thanks to last season’s medical redshirt and the eligibility-free 2020-21 season, which was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This is an intriguing player who comes with plenty of questions but who could also be a key component of what McCasland is able to do both this year and in years to come.