Jackson Danzig seeks to add Landmark title to résumé
Feb. 25—Jackson Danzig has accomplished much during his basketball career at the University of Scranton.
Two-time Landmark Conference first-team all-star. Ranked in several categories in the program's record book, including career points (1,710, 11th), assists (399, 9th) and 3-point field goals (199, 5th).
One thing, however, is absent from his résumé: a Landmark Conference championship. He's lost twice in the final and twice in the semifinals.
The graduate student from Abington Heights gets another opportunity when the Royals host Juniata College in the title game Saturday at 4:30 p.m. at the John Long Center. It is the nightcap of a doubleheader that features the Scranton women against Elizabethtown College in the Landmark women's final at 2 p.m.
Three other local teams also are vying for titles on the road. In the Colonial States Athletic Conference championship games, Keystone College men are at Cairn, and Clarks Summit University women are at Notre Dame of Maryland. Meanwhile, Lackawanna College men are in the NJCAA Region 19 Division II final at Raritan Valley Community College.
Jackson's older brothers won Landmark championships at Scranton — three for Ross, two for Ethan.
"They jest with me and poke fun about it," Jackson said.
Jackson received a fifth season to his career when the NCAA granted student-athletes impacted in 2020-21 by the COVID-19 pandemic an extra year of eligibility. He is trying to make it last as long as possible, too. He leads the Royals with 20.1 points, but is averaging 24.3 points in his last seven games.
He's done while playing through an assortment of injuries, including sprains in both ankles, a quad injury, a heart contusion, shoulder pain and bursitis in both elbows.
"This year is a bonus year. Who would have thought something positive came out of COVID," said Royals head coach Carl Danzig, also Jackson's father. "It's been an amazing journey. Obviously, it's been very awesome to be able to coach my three sons. What's really been great has been all the players who have surrounded my sons over the course of the last 13 years. They've truly been blessed with some fabulous individuals and friendships they've all made."
When the Royals knocked off Catholic in the semifinals Wednesday, it was Carl Danzig's 400th career win. Jackson said it was awesome to be a part of that, especially since Ross was on the team for career win No. 200 in 2012, and Ethan on the squad in 2017 for No. 300.
"The only time growing up my dad wanted to coach us was Little League baseball. He never wanted anything to do with us in basketball until college," Jackson said. "He chose to let us all walk our own path. I know he's really grateful we all chose to put our paths under his guidance and wing. He's a great dad and an even better coach. It's everything I expected it to be."
Scranton (19-7) is seeking its eighth Landmark crown, but first since 2017. Juniata (17-9), which upset top-seeded Susquehanna in the semifinals, has never won a Landmark title, finishing runner-up four times — including twice to the Royals (2008, 2012). The teams split their regular-season meetings, each winning on its home court.
As for the Lady Royals, they are bidding for their eighth straight Landmark championship and 10th overall. In the conference's 16-year existence, they have appeared in all but one final (2012).
The Lady Royals (26-0) are ranked No. 3 in both the WBCA and d3hoops.com NCAA Division III Top 25 polls. Elizabethtown (22-3) is 18th in the WBCA poll and looking for its first Landmark title.
Keystone men are in the conference championship game for the first time since back-to-back appearances in 2012 and 2013. The Giants (14-13) seek their first title against Wilson (18-8), which is the defending conference champ and has won 11 straight games. The Phoenix took both regular-season meetings with Keystone.
Clarks Summit (19-9) returns to the women's final and looks to repeat as league champion against top-seeded Notre Dame (22-4), who defeated the Lady Defenders twice during the regular season.
Lackawanna (18-10) advanced to the final after a 92-88 overtime win over Essex Community College in the semifinals. The Falcons split their two regular-season meetings with Raritan Valley (18-10), each winning on its home court.
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