Demetrius Jackson to sit out

Notre Dame freshman Demetrius Jackson, who was not present when the Irish beat Clemson 68-64 on Tuesday, is taking some time off to focus on academics, the school announced.

"Demetrius had a great fall semester ... he just needs to improve his academic habits [this semester]," coach Mike Brey said.

Asked if Jackson was seeking to transfer from the school, Brey said, "Demetrius Jackson is very committed to Notre Dame."

Jackson's guardian and foster father, Dave Whitfield, agreed, telling WNDU-TV: "He is not transferring."

The 6-foot-1 guard from Mishawaka, Ind., has been struggling on the court, averaging 6.1 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.8 assists in just over 23 minutes a game. In his last three games, he's scored a total of five points, logging only 11 minutes each against top-ranked Syracuse and North Carolina.

The Fighting Irish (13-12, 4-8 Atlantic Coast Conference) avoided falling below .500 for the first time this late in the season since finishing 14-16 during the 1998-99 season in John MacLeod's last year as coach.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.