Two transfers hope to elevate ASU men’s basketball to new heights this season


Marreon Jackson and DJ Horne hope to place ASU atop the Pac-12 conference this season thanks to their past NCAA experience

Graduate student of the guard Marreon Jackson and second DJ Horne, both transfers, hope to elevate men’s basketball offense Sun Devil throughout the 2021-22 season using their past NCAA experience.

Jackson, who was transferred from the University of Toledo and was the 2020-21 MAC Player of the Year, made his debut on Tuesday against the University of Portland alongside Illinois State University Horne transfer.

Jackson has compiled a total of 1,817 career points and 574 assists in four years with the Rockets. He played a total of 26 minutes against the Pilots on Tuesday, going 1-7 and two points.

“Toledo made me the player I am today. They have been patient with me, ”Jackson said. “I was little, and I wasn’t that strong. They really helped transform my game into what it is now. They shaped me.

Horne averaged 15.1 points, 2.7 assists and 3.7 rebounds per game last season with the Redbirds. He is the fourth transfer head coach Bobby hurley brought this offseason for the Sun Devils.

Horne was part of the 2018-19 MVC All-Freshman in Illinois and became the fifth on the team to enter the transfer portal since the team finished 7-18 last season.

“When I left high school, I was not recruited heavily. The state of Illinois was my first offer, so it kind of stuck with me, ”Horne said. “It’s been a good two years there.”

Horne and Jackson are two of four transfers to join ASU. The Sun Devils only have three stock players returning from last year’s roster – the junior forward Jalen graham, forward graduate student Kimani laurent, and second ahead Marcus Bagley – and has 10 new scholarship players this season.

The backcourt definitely complements each other, Jackson said. “There is no ego, and I think we all contribute something different. Everyone knows what the team needs and it will be a big thing this year with us, with so many new guys, ”he said.

Horne attributes his shared East Coast roots to the team’s added chemistry.

“We (the guards) are all from the east coast,” Horne said. “A lot of the things we’re used to there are the same. The culture of the east coast is different from the west coast, which makes things a lot easier. “

Horne and Jackson both joined the Sun Devils in hopes of improving their game and their careers.

“Just the knowledge that he (Hurley) can teach me the game,” said Horne. “Like I said, him being at Duke, playing for Coach K and playing in the NBA. He’s been at the top level before. Playing for someone like that, you can’t get better than that.

The Sun Devils played in their first exhibition game on November 1, beating the University of Saint Catherine by a score of 108-41.

Of the 26 assists recorded by ASU in the match, junior redshirt Luther Muhammad and Jackson had the most assists on the team, with five apiece.

“When you have a guy with the experience and the tenacity of Marreon, it’s obviously an advantage when you retool a team like we are doing this year,” assistant coach Joel justus noted. “I think we’re extremely excited with the way he’s trained, how he’s trained, how he’s played and how he’s leading. So for us, I don’t think there is anything other than positive vibes and excitement when you think of Marreon.

Horne also put in a big performance with 15 points against Saint Katherine and had 11 points with three field goals in five attempts against Portland on Tuesday.

“He’s an explosive offensive player. He can score the ball at three levels. He’s a guy who can step into the paint, break down defense and distribute, ”Justus said. But he’s also going to be a guy who is going to put pressure on the offense, on the defensive side of the field. So again another guy who has a high engine similar to Marreon where they play hard and fast at both ends of the ground.

Last season, the Sun Devils finished 11-14 overall, going 7-10 in conference. The team finished down in the Pac-12 Conference and failed to make the NCAA tournament.

“We have a really good team this year,” said Jackson. “They had a rough year last year, and I hope the fans don’t think there’s going to be a repeat of that, especially with my presence here.”

The Sun Devils will continue to play out of conference on November 11 against the University of California, Riverside 6:30 p.m. MST at Tempe.

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