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BOYS BASKETBALL PREVIEW: Jermaine Jackson takes over at Mount Clemens

Coach: Jermaine Jackson

Last year’s record: 10-2 MAC Gold; 15-6 overall

Outlook: There’s a new kid in town, and he will not score a point, grab a single rebound, or dish off for even one assist for the Bathers.

That new kid is former University of Detroit Mercy star Jermaine Jackson, the rookie coach at Mount Clemens.

“When I tell the kids to do something, it is not something I have not done myself,” said Jackson. “I’d never tell them to do something I would not do. If they’re running two or three miles, I’m running with them. I’m out on the court with them, too, a 36-year-old man with the kids. We are creating a bond, between people, between player-and-coach, and as a team.”

Jackson, a Detroit Finney grad, played for the legendary Perry Watson at UDM. He also had a short career in the NBA, as well as stints in the CBA, Europe and Israel.

“I try to model myself after Perry Watson, my college coach,” said Jackson. “When we first talked, we talked about everything but basketball. I believe you have to build a relationship with your players first. It’s very important because these kids have lives off the court, too.

“I feel really great about this team. As long as our team is clicking and doing good things in February, I will feel good about the season. Everybody feels optimistic before the season actually starts. Everybody has a chance to win it all now. But how will you respond to controversy? How will you work through injuries? There is an awful lot that goes on during a basketball season,” continued Jackson.

A couple of reasons to feel very good about the upcoming season are returning guards Jeremy Landers and TaRayle Cates.

“Jeremy Landers is a senior guard and he is a smart basketball player. He knows how to pick his spots and how to get open,” said Jackson. “TaRayle Cates is our junior point guard. We have given him the keys to the car. He will run the show for us. We’re teaching him how to distribute the ball and make everyone better. He has to know when to pick his spots.”

There are plenty of good players on the team. Jackson figures there are at least 10 who play well.

“We have 10 who can go. I don’t want to sound arrogant about it, but we have some talented players,” said the rookie coach.

Also included among those is Dorian Armstrong, a 6-4 forward who Jackson calls “Mr. Everything.”

“Dorian can play any position on the floor; from number one to number five,” said the Mount Clemens coach.

Even though Jackson is new to the program, he realizes the MAC Gold is not as easy league to traverse. Lurking are teams like New Haven, which has most everyone back from a 21-4 campaign that included district and regional championships.

“I’m not looking any other teams, I am looking at us. We’re going to have to be willing to outwork anybody. We have to be mentally tough. When you buy your ticket to see a Mount Clemens game, you will get your money’s worth,” he said.

Last Updated: 11/29/2012 4:36:48 PM EST

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