Forwards look to fill hole in post

Kim Kaiser

Grimm, however, does not feel pressure to fill in for Jackson.

“I don’t think it’s called pressure,” he said. “It’s an incredible opportunity and you have to make the best of it.”

During the preseason, Grimm, who can play at either the center or power forward position, saw his first start in the game against the Nicaraguan National Team in Costa Rica. Playing at center he finished the game with 9 points and 5 rebounds.

“I just want to do whatever I can for the team, be it rebounding, making a defensive stop or scoring a point,” he said.

Although he only played a handful of minutes last year, Grimm contributed when he could with 16 rebounds in 27 games.

Over the summer he toured Italy with the NACEL All-Star Team with sophomore Karon Bradley. Grimm averaged 9.2 points and 9.2 rebounds in the six-game stint.

“A lot of good things came from it — I was able to expand my game,” Grimm said. “The European game is different. You’ve got 7-foot guys on the perimeter. It got my game out to the perimeter and helped tremendously.”

Grimm knew right away that Jackson was going to be good for the team.

“That first day of practice I knew he was the real deal,” Grimm said.

Jackson, who signed with Marquette after being released from a commitment to Georgia as a result of a coaching change, has been described by many as Dennis Rodman-like because of his defensive abilities and his desire to go after rebounds.

Last season, while at South Plains Junior College, Jackson averaged 7.8 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocked shots per game. Jackson racked up a team-best 55 blocked shots in the 2002-’03 season and shot 62.1 percent from the floor

“Marcus, just looking at him you can tell he’s got a lot of strength,” Grimm said. “He’s going to help us out so much.”

Jackson suffered from a left ankle injury and was unable to play during the preseason. However, he made an appearance in the team’s season opener on Nov. 13 against St. John’s. During his 14 minutes of play, Jackson picked up 3 rebounds, had one blocked shot and went one-for-one from the field.