Josh Jackson, a five star wing who plays his high school ball at Prolific Prep in California, has announced his commitment to the University of Kansas for the 2016-2017 season.
A consensus top three recruit, Jackson was the highest ranked talent available on the board. Jackson’s final three schools were Arizona, Michigan State and Jayhawks.
Jackson becomes the highest rated player to commit to Kansas since #1 overall recruit Andrew Wiggins committed in 2013. Wiggins and Jackson are actually very similar players, so head coach Bill Self’s scheme will benefit Jackson, much as it did Wiggins.
The Michigan native will join a roster that was strong enough to contend for a national championship next year before his signing. He’ll join a roster that has strong guard play in Frank Mason and DeVonte’ Graham. The only other player who can play on the edge for Kansas is Svi Mykhailiuk, who has been all bark and no bite in his two years on campus. Up front, Kansas will have to rely on unproven talents like Landen Lucas and sophomores Cheick Diallo (assuming he doesn’t hire an agent for the NBA draft) and Carlton Bragg.
Jackson’s commitment will give Kansas the number six overall class for 2016. Joining him in Lawrence will be big men Udoka Azubuike and Mitch Lightfoot.
Jackson is a fantastic athlete with a quick first step when driving to the basket. He can get by his defenders with ease and once he gets to the rim he can power down vicious dunks and put opposing big men on posters. His creativity is something that can get overlooked, but he has enough to finish around the rim and draw contact. His creativity also includes his willingness to find open teammates on the drive.
Jackson’s length, lateral movement and foot speed should also make him a plus defender on the perimeter. He can also raise up from the weak side to block shots emphatically.
Where Jackson will need to improve is in his jump shot and strength. As typically seen with high-flyers coming out of high school, their shot usually lags behind. While Jackson’s form looks solid, the results just aren’t there for him on a consistent enough basis for him to be a true threat from three point range.
Despite standing 6’7″, Jackson only weighs around 200 pounds. He will get pushed around inside until he adds some muscle, but it seems as though the wiry Jackson has some natural strength, which will only get you so far at the games highest level.
Jackson has all the raw tools to become a star at the NBA level. His athleticism and length have put him way ahead of most high school level players and he’ll go to a great teacher in Bill Self to help him hone his skills to be the next big thing. But don’t expect Jackson to stick around Kansas for more than one year, where the NBA will likely be calling in 2017.
Cover Photo via MaxPreps