Brad Jackson is no spring chicken. At age 60, he's a 27-year veteran of Western Washington, where he won 518 games. He doesn't fit the profile of the young, "sexy" assistant coach brought in to help a program revitalize its system, but in many ways that's exactly what he's expected to do at Washington, where he was hired by coach Lorenzo Romar this offseason.
According to the Seattle Times' Percy Allen, Jackson's main contributions this season will be twofold. The first is installation of his trademark high-post offense, experience that "has made him perfectly qualified to help coach Lorenzo Romar install the read-and-react scheme" at Washington this season. His second responsibility will be scouting.
As it happens, the first team he was required to scout was ... you guessed it, Western Washington, who the Huskies will take on Wednesday night. From the story:
"It meant that I probably didn't have to study as hard," he joked when discussing Washington's exhibition at 7 p.m. Wednesday against his former team, Western Washington. [...] Jackson acknowledged it's been surreal scouting against players he recruited, coached and led to a 31-5 record last season, resulting in a Division II national title. He also knows the Vikings, who return three starters, won't be pushovers like they were in their last game against Washington, a 105-85 Huskies victory in 2008.
"I do not think it will be a situation where they are intimidated or going to be holding back," Jackson said.
"Hey, Brad, where's the scouting report for Western Washington?" "In my brain, coach. It's in my brain."
In any case, it will be interesting to see if Jackson's influence -- or that of former Arizona State assistant Lamont Smith, the other hire Romar made this offseason -- shows any tangible gain on the floor throughout the season. Arguably, Washington's lack of offensive structure last season was its ultimate undoing; too often, UW's possessions turned into pure isolations, or relied on one of a handful of athletic forwards getting an offensive rebound and making a play around the rim. It worked well enough to earn the Huskies the Pac-12 title, but not well enough to get them into the NCAA tournament -- the first time in the expanded tournament era a power-six regular-season champ accomplished that dubious feat. So maybe a little high-low, fundamental, old-school hoops structure is just what the doctor ordered.