Jacobson riding high through final season

It will be his last trip to Provo after a sensational five-year career, but U senior Nick Jacobson is just acting like it is another Utah-BYU game.

“I have to stay level-headed and make sure I go up there and play my game,” Jacobson said. “I know how big the game is and that it’s my last, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to change the way I play.”

In his final season, Jacobson has been nothing short of the team’s senior leader. He leads the team in scoring with 16.3 points per game and is also shooting 44 percent from the three-point line.

He has been instrumental in many of the Utes’ wins, especially the previous matchup with BYU, where he finished with 21 points.

Most of the points he does score have been in the second half, where the teams needs a large push in order to win the game.

Even in the loss to Air Force, Jacobson had five points in the waning moments of the game to set the Utes up for victory.

But with the ups and downs the team has had this season, how has Jacobson coped with a team that is still struggling to be consistent?

“I have had a lot of fun this season,” Jacobson said. “Every team has their ups and downs, and we are not finished yet. I think we can learn from what happened and do better in the upcoming games.”

One of the downs that Jacobson may be referring to was the loss of coach Majerus due to heart problems.

“There are things I have faced this year that I have not had control over and you just have to deal with them and keep fighting,” Jacobson said. “Even though we have had disappointing losses, we can’t get down yet.”

Even though Jacobson has been a great shooter throughout his career at the U, this season he has developed his game in order to mold to what the coaches wanted him to bring to the team. Instead of just being a set shooter, he has also learned to play with the ball and create his own shot.

“This season, the coaches wanted me to be more of a scorer, and I had to adapt to create my own shot,” Jacobson said. “Many teams are really trying hard to guard me off the ball, and I have had to learn to take the ball and create shots.”

But at points through the season, Jacobson has had his horrible nights, which every shooter goes through.

His three-for-17 effort to Wyoming was disappointing, but he has redeemed himself in following games.

“If we lose, I am disappointed because I feel we should be winning all these close games,” Jacobson said.

Now, the Utes are fighting to keep second place and need Air Force to lose a couple games in order for Utah to capture a share of the title.

“I don’t want to be in this position, but this is where we are and all we can focus on is winning the game Monday against BYU,” Jacobson said. “You never know what will happen with Air Force, but we just need to win our game and who knows what will happen.”

Regardless of what happens, Jacobson has handled the pressure of losing, the emotion of losing his coach and having a team that is not able to control its own destiny for the conference title.

Not only has he handled it, but he has done it professionally and is only looking ahead to what this team can do.

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