Mississippi State's Rickea Jackson, a star in the SEC basketball world, announced her shocking decision to transfer from the program on Monday night.
Although the Bulldogs have struggled since former head coach Vic Schaefer left the team, Jackson remained one of the program's shining stars. She has received numerous honors across the SEC and stood out statistically among all of Mississippi State's players. Just this season, Jackson was projected to be a First Team All-SEC athlete by conference coaches.
During her time in maroon and white, Jackson was one of the top contributors on the court. The 6-foot-2 junior out of Detroit, Michigan, started her college career in the fall of 2019. Despite being one of the youngest on the team, Jackson was a tremendous asset. She finished the season ranked fifth among all SEC players with 16.5 points per game and had eight games of 20-plus points-- the most by any freshman. She was named to both the SEC All-Freshman Team and the Second Team All-SEC.
The 2020-2021 season was most certainly a difficult year for the Bulldogs. The team had to adapt to a new coach and fell from its position as a national powerhouse as the weeks went by. Nevertheless, Jackson continued to shine on the court. As a sophomore, she averaged 14.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game. She started the season ranked as the No. 13 player in the country by ESPN and was on watchlists for the Naismith Trophy, Wade Trophy and Wooden Award.
This season has not been easy for MSU, but the team has continued to improve under interim head coach Doug Novak. Through 15 games played, Jackson has averaged a career-best 20.3 points per game-- with 40 coming against McNeese State on Dec. 1-- and 6.8 rebounds per game. She has also accounted for 23 blocks, 16 assists and 13 steals this season.
At this point, Jackson's future remains unclear. She certainly has the talent to play at a powerhouse school in any conference that she chooses. Hopefully, Jackson will continue to grow as a player but will always remember the success she had while at Mississippi State.