Nick Jacobson ranks 13th in the Mountain West Conference in scoring (12.8 ppg) and sixth in three-point percentage (43.8).
Feb. 14, 2003
By Jesse Christensen, Sports Information Student Assistant
When you're a basketball junky, it only makes sense to find someone that shares the same love and passion for the game as you. It just so happens that Runnin' Ute Nick Jacobson did just that. Amazingly enough, the 6-4, 200-pound junior found his bride on the same court he torches opponents night after night.
Jacobson caught the eye of former Ute All-American Amy Ewert during his recruiting trip as a freshman. The rest, as they say, is history. The couple was married on May 31, 2002. "What can I say, she is great," remarks Nick. "Amy is a lot of help. She understands a lot of the things I'm going through being a former player herself. She understands my schedule and the time restraints I have to deal with. I can't say enough about her"
"We clicked from day one," says Amy. "Nick is a special kind of guy. He is an extremely thoughtful and understanding individual. As a player, I think he is a great all-around player that plays great defense. He is a leader of the team that brings a thorough knowledge of the game that most people don't realize. He's quiet at first, but hides a great personality and sense of humor."
Although a little soft-spoken off the court, Jacobson has made some serious noise around the Mountain West Conference on the court. In the past two seasons, he was named the MWC Freshman of the Year in 2001, and third team all-MWC and second-team NABC All-District 13 in 2002. Though he has always been around the game-his dad's a coach and all of his siblings play-the Fargo, N.D., native cites his dedication and work ethic as the keys to his success.
"I work extremely hard on my game," says Jacobson. "I've tried to learn from every game and pick up skills from the former players of the team. Trying to learn from game to game has been my main approach. I work really hard in the off-season preparing for the following season."
The hard work is obviously paying off, as the junior assassin is on pace to break several Ute career records. As of Feb. 14, Jacobson ranked third in career three-pointers made (161) and fifth in attempts (378). His 42.6 career three-point percentage would rank fourth all-time at Utah. With a year and a third of eligibility and only 46 more threes needed to surpass legendary Keith Van Horn for the top spot, one can only image how good this player's finish will be.
"I don't really think about the record much," says Jacobson, humbly. "It's one of those things that I don't concern myself with because I don't want the focus to be taken off the team's success. I try just to focus on my game of shooting and defense, but I'm more concerned with winning."
Jacobson has been a consistent shooter and scorer throughout his career at Utah, as he ranked 23rd in the nation and third in the MWC in three-point fields goal percentage (44.4) as a sophomore. Twenty-two games into this season, he is the team's top scorer averaging just-under 13 points per game.
Opposing conference coaches dread the lethal shooting ability of Jacobson and scheme defensive plans on how to stop the hardnosed shooter. The problem is, that Jacobson is still finding ways to get his shots.
"Nick is obviously a very good shooter and someone who has worked hard on his game," states Ute Coach Rick Majerus. "Nick is well on his way to becoming a good defender, but he must rebound the ball much better and learn to get out and run the floor. We're anticipating continued improvement in his overall game, particularly his ball handling and passing skills. He's certainly worked very hard, and is someone who is capable of becoming an Academic All-American."
Tenacious defense may not be the first thing that comes to mind when analyzing Jacobson's game, but maybe it should be. The steadfast shooting guard prides himself not only on his great scoring ability, but also on his defensive presence.
"I can defend, and I feel I'm a good defender," remarks Jacobson. "There is no comparison from my freshman year to my junior year on how I've improved defensively. I've set out to prove I can defend and I think I'm doing that. Team wise, I'm not a weak spot on the defensive end and I'm proud of how far I've come."
"For better or for worse" are vows Jacobson has taken to heart not only in his relationship with Amy, but also in his quest of becoming the best all-round player he can become.
"I'm going to do whatever it takes to win," replies Jacobson. "It takes a lot of experience and hard work to become the best and I've done everything I can. I have no regrets and I'm willing to accept whatever comes my way."
Should Jacobson and Utes continue on their current path, postsason accolades, a conference championship and games deep into March could be coming in the immediate future.