Senior Day salute
The Texas-Texas Tech basketball game on Saturday, Feb. 24 marks the final regular season home game for the two seniors on the Texas roster -- 6-3 forward Tiffany Jackson and 6-2 forward Katrina Robinson.
Both players entered the Texas program for the 2003-04 season, and although their playing paths were different, both have ended up having the 2006-07 campaign as their final collegiate seasons.
Jackson was inserted into the starting lineup as a freshman, while Robinson took a redshirt season during her "true" freshman campaign. Because Robinson has been on track academically all four years, she will graduate with her degree in sociology this May; because of her graduation track, Robinson decided this summer to forego a possible fifth-year of basketball and have this season be her last in the burnt orange and white.
"I'm really glad to have come into UT with Tiffany, and now be able to finish out my career with her, despite missing that one year. I set my mind to finish up my classes in four years, and I am really excited that I'll graduate this May and start my 'real' life," noted Robinson, who is a two-time member of the Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll. "I have only one class left for my major, which I am currently taking, and my plan is to return home to the Dallas area and begin a teaching career."
When asked why she chose teaching as a profession, Robinson quickly noted, "I want to teach math and science at the high school level, although I know that will be a challenge. I really think I can be a good role model for this age group. I grew up in the area, went to one of the top universities in the country, and I am proud of that and want to show these kids that anything is possible. I think I have a lot to offer, based on my experiences."
Entering the Texas Tech game, Robinson has played in 69 career games with 13 starts. This includes seeing action in 21 games to date this year with two starting assignments. Robinson is shooting a career-best 50 percent from the floor this year, and is third on the team in blocks with 18.
Jackson, who is majoring in ethnic studies, will be remembered for her incredible versatility on the hardwood and as one of the all-time best to wear the Texas uniform. The All-America and All-Big 12 forward currently is in the running for the three National Player of the Year awards (the State Farm Margaret Wade Trophy, the Wooden Award and the Naismith Award), marking the third consecutive year that Jackson has been mentioned among the elite for these post-season honors.
Jackson's athleticism and versatility and competitive nature will long be recalled, yet what she will remember most are the fans and the support for the Longhorns program.
"When I think of my time at Texas, I will remember the wonderful and supportive fans that are here, supporting and encouraging us," Jackson said. "I've been amazed at how supportive they are, at home and on the road. I want to thank them for making us feel really special."
As for her future, Jackson sums it up in three words -- keep on playing. The WNBA head coaches and scouts have been watching her intently since she arrived on the Forty Acres. Both WNBA and European pro basketball are in Jackson's future.
The record-setting performances from Jackson in her standout career are numerous.
Jackson is on track to become the FIRST player in UT's 33-year history to lead the team in scoring all four of her seasons, and is on track to become just the second person in Texas history to lead the squad in steals all four years (joining Nekeshia Henderson who did that from 1991-1995).
Here is a list of other outstanding career notes by Jackson:
· With 1,000 career rebounds, reaching that number last game against Oklahoma State, Tiffany becomes just the FOURTH person in UT basketball history to pull down 1,000-plus rebounds ... She also is only the sixth player among all-time Big 12 performers to reach 1,000 career rebounds ...
· With 306 career steals, Jackson ranks No. 3 in all-time Texas thefts, and also ranks No. 5 among all-time Big 12 players in career steals ... Jackson is nine steals shy of the No. 4 spot, held by Baylor's Sophia Young who had 315 from 2003-06 ...
· Jackson is No. 3 in Texas blocks as well (175) ...
· Jackson has 1,860 points to rank No. 5 in all-time Texas scoring (she is 123 points shy of the No. 4 spot) ...
· With her 1,860 points and 1,000 rebounds, Jackson is the first player in UT's history to collect more than 1,800 points and pull down 1,000-plus rebounds ... The next closest is Retha Swindell, who played from 1975-70 and finished her career with 1,795 points and a school-record 1,759 rebounds.