Photo courtesy Austin Perryman/MSU Athletics
Mississippi State University women's basketball team may lose talent as its seniors graduate, but head coach Vic Schaefer has done a great job replacing that talent. One of his biggest recruiting coups was landing the first McDonald's All-American to sign with the Bulldogs out of high school.
Freshman forward Rickea Jackson was the Gatorade Michigan Player of the Year for 2018 and 2019. She was the Michigan Player of the Year in 2019, 2019 Michigan Miss Basketball, All-Michigan First Team and 2019 USA Today All-USA Second Team.
Jackson finished her high school career as the all-time leading scorer in Detroit Edison Public School Academy history with 1,771 points. She averaged 22 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.5 steals per game as a senior.
The Detroit, Mich., native, has dropped off by much in her freshman season with MSU. She is leading the team in scoring with 15 points per game.
Jackson is third on the team in rebounding with 4.8 per game. She has scored double-digit points in 21 of the games she has played.
The forward has played in 28 games and started 24 games. She has scored 15 or more points in 15 of the games she has played this season.
Jackson exploded for a career-high 34 points against Auburn University on Thursday, Feb. 20. She went 14-of-22 from the field to help the Bulldogs rally from 14 points down to win 92-85.
The 34 points scored by Jackson was tied for the second most ever scored by a freshman in MSU history. It is the most points scored by a freshman in the SEC this season.
Her efforts against Auburn earned her SEC Freshman of the Week honors. She has won the honor three times this season.
Jackson is seventh in the SEC in scoring. She is seventh in the conference in field goal percentage at 47.9 percent.
MSU and Jackson battle the University of Arkansas on Thursday, Feb. 27, with tipoff at 8 p.m. on the SEC Network. The Bulldogs finish the regular season against the University of Mississippi on Sunday, March 1, with tipoff at 1:40 p.m. on the SEC Network Plus.
The Bulldogs are currently 23-5 overall and 11-3 in conference play. MSU is a lock to make the NCAA Tournament even before the SEC Tournament. MSU is playing for better seeding in the NCAA Tournament.