And not even necessarily as a basketball player.
Jett scored 19 of his 25 points in the second half, including the game-winning basket with 4 seconds left, and No. 13 Saint Louis extended its school-record winning streak to 16 games with a 65-63 victory over La Salle on Saturday.
“This is no exaggeration,” Giannini said. “If he doesn’t have a career in the NBA, I think he could in the NFL, if his 40 time is good enough. And I’m not joking about that. His strength and his mental toughness and his physicality are at the highest level you can find on a basketball court.”
Dwayne Evans added 14 points to help the Billikens (22-2, 9-0 Atlantic 10) improve to 9-0 on the road - the best undefeated road record in the country.
Jerrell Wright matched his career high with 21 points for La Salle (12-11, 4-5), which has lost five of six. Steve Zack finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds, and Tyreek Duren added 14 points for the Explorers.
After Duren tied the game at 63 with a driving layup with 33 seconds left, the Billikens held for one shot and isolated Jett at the top of the key. Deceptively quick at 215 pounds, Jett dribbled by his man and hit a tough layup in traffic.
“He wouldn’t have it in his hand if we didn’t feel good about it,” Saint Louis coach Jim Crews said. “We feel good about the pieces around him, too. He ended up driving the ball most of the time down the stretch, but Jordair’s a great passer. There was an opening, so he took advantage. If there wasn’t, he was going to make a pass.”
La Salle’s Tyrone Garland missed the potential game-winner from halfcourt at the buzzer.
Trying to beat their first ranked opponent of the season, the Explorers had the home crowd thinking about an upset when Duren drilled a 3-pointer with 1:15 left to tie the game at 61, capping a 7-0 run.
Jett responded by slicing through the entire La Salle defense and finishing a drive to put the Billikens ahead 63-61 with under a minute left.
Last season around this time, the Explorers defeated two straight Top 25 teams in Butler and VCU, which helped them earn the program’s first NCAA tournament berth since 1992.
But Jett thwarted the Explorers’ upset bid this time.
With La Salle leading 43-41 early in the second half, Jett scored 15 of the Billikens’ next 18 points to push Saint Louis to a 59-54 lead with 5:38 left.
“What we really needed was one stop,” Duren said. “We couldn’t really get a stop down the stretch.”