Throughout the 2022-23 basketball season, Colorado State freshman guard Taviontae Jackson will share his viewpoints on the team’s performance in recent games, preview upcoming games, and more. Learn more here on how to contribute to RamNation’s NIL fund for Tavi, fellow basketball NIL partner John Tonje, and other student athlete partners.
First, how is your foot doing, and when do you think you can be back on the court?
My foot is doing fine. I’m taking it day by day and doing what I can to be able to get back out there. The injury happened at practice — I don’t know if it was from when I jumped or landed but I was going up for a layup. I think I should be back after break for sure.
You probably haven’t had to watch many games from the bench during your career. How tough has it been to not be able to help out your team the past two games?
It definitely has been tough not being able to go out and play, you know, just thinking about the impact I could’ve made during the games. It definitely sucks.
Sometimes when unable to play, watching from the bench gives you a different perspective. Anything in particular you’ve learned during your two games out of the lineup?
I’ve learned how much more I have to talk when I’m out there because of what can happen (negatively) when you don’t communicate. But, I actually learn better when I’m out there.
In your absence, the team got a great road win at St. Mary’s. What were some of the takeaways of your team’s performance in that game?
Man, our toughness showed for sure. That was definitely No. 1 — just playing as a team and staying together, making sure we were sound, all that good stuff. Baylor Hebb came up big that game with his intensity. It was a special game for him for sure.
Wednesday night, despite an inspired defensive effort, the team had a rough shooting night and could not beat USC on a neutral court in Phoenix. From your vantage point, what went wrong?
We just needed a little more talk on the court, as the communication wasn’t at its best. We also weren’t hitting shots, but that possibly could’ve messed with us on the defensive end as well. We’ve just got to make sure we stay sound throughout the whole game.
The team has had several rough shooting nights in recent weeks. When that is happening, what can you do to break out of it?
We have to bring the intensity even more, and make sure we always talk to each other and keep our heads in the game. If your shots do not fall, make something happen on the defensive end. Never put your head down. Keep going.
You have now wrapped up the non-conference schedule, finishing with an 8-5 record. League play will be a challenge this year with six teams in the top 60 of the NET Rankings and no pushovers. It will be your first run through Mountain West Conference play. What have coaches/teammates told you about the challenges ahead?
They really haven’t talked about it, but they know what this team can do. They know what we are capable of. If we play the way we know we can play, we are going to be just fine throughout conference play. We just need to be us.
Overall, how has your experience been at CSU been over the last four months or so?
My experience here at CSU has been great. I’ve met great people. Been to some good food spots. It might be a little different out here than back home for sure, but I feel comfortable out here in Fort Collins. This is my first time actually being in snow too, and I love it, honestly.
You get a few days off for Christmas. How will you spend the time?
I’ll just be with the family really. I can’t really do much with this foot injury so I’ll definitely be at home with the fam most of the time.
Merry Christmas to you and your family!
About our student athlete
Tavi is a true freshman out of Las Vegas, Nev. and has immediately integrated himself as an impact player. He is a currently a major in Communications and also has an interest in Business. You can read all his “Ram Hoops Scoop” features here.