Kelly Kline/Under Armour

Mother of elite recruit Josh Jackson: ‘Josh hasn’t been recruited by anyone’


The most interesting recruitment in the country probably belongs to Josh Jackson, a top five talent in the Class of 2016.

Let’s start with what we don’t know, like where he will be playing his high school ball next season. Jackson spent last season dominating the competition for Consortium, a high school in Detroit. But he announced — via a youtube channel that was created by his mother for the AAU team, 1 Nation, that she started for Jackson as well — last month that he will be transferring this season, heading to play for a high school team in California where he will face tougher competition than he did in Michigan.

We just don’t know what high school it is going to be yet, just like we don’t know if Jackson — who was held back in the eighth grade but is old enough to be in the Class of 2015 — will end up reclassifying and enrolling in college early.

That’s one of the biggest rumors on the grassroots hoops circuit, although his mother told that the rumors are false and that her son will spend two more seasons at the high school level.

That’s not the only thing that Apples Jones said at the Under Armor Association Finals this week. She also said that her son is not being recruited by anyone.


“People assume that Josh is being recruited by every college coach that you may see at his games, and it’s actually not true,” she told the Herald-Leader. “Yes, we’re aware that they’re watching him. But they don’t communicate with us. We don’t communicate with them. So, to me, it’s not like he’s being recruited.

“I’ve never been told by one coach that they’ve offered my son (a scholarship). I read that stuff, but that’s what other people say. As far as we’re concerned, Josh hasn’t been recruited by anyone.”

Let’s ignore, for a second, the fact that Jackson has already gone on visits to colleges, Jackson is currently ranked No. 1 in the class of 2016. I find it very hard to believe that no one is recruiting him, especially when you consider that, as of June 15th, coaches were finally allowed to call him.

To be honest, I’m not sure what the deal is here. But I do hope that parents of elite high school athletes realize that their behavior will affect how their child will get recruited. If bringing in a certain kid means having to deal with a crazy mom or dad for one or two or however many years, it may not make the effort to get him onto campus worth it.

Louisville backcourt struggles in first scrimmage

Quentin Snider, Jerian Grant
Associated Press
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While a few teams did manage to hold special events for the official start of practice this weekend, most simply went about their business with drills and conditioning. One team that was the exception to all of this was Louisville, which held the first of its two intersquad scrimmages on Saturday. The Cardinals had a head start of sorts on the season, as they played six exhibition games in Puerto Rico this summer.

One hope heading into Saturday’s scrimmage was that guards Trey Lewis and Quentin Snider would have better chemistry than they did in Puerto Rico. But according to Jeff Greer of the Louisville Courier-Journal, that remains a work in progress for the Cleveland State transfer (Lewis) and rising sophomore (Snider).

They struggled in Puerto Rico, and they struggled again in Saturday’s Red-White scrimmage, the first public intrasquad practice since August. They played one half of the game together, paired with the presumed starting lineup with Mangok Mathiang out with an eye injury, a group that also included Damion Lee, Jaylen Johnson and Chinanu Onuaku.

That team lost the first half by 13 points to a younger group of Louisville players, and Lewis and Snider combined for eight points on 3-of-12 shooting, five turnovers, five steals, four assists and three rebounds.

“I thought (Snider) and (Lewis) did not play well together,” U of L coach Rick Pitino said. “They’ve got to get used to that. Neither guy made other guys better. That’s what they need to learn to do.”

As Greer also noted in his story the Cardinals have in recent years employed backcourt tandems in which both guards are capable of making plays for themselves and others. On the 2013 national champion team Peyton Siva and Russ Smith led the way, with Smith being joined by Terry Rozier or Chris Jones the following season and Rozier/Jones being the grouping last season before the latter was dismissed from the team.

Once Jones was dismissed Snider saw more time on the court, and his development was one of the keys for a Louisville team that fell one win short of the Final Four. Louisville needs him to take another step forward heading into the 2015-16 season, because even with Lewis’ experience at the Division I level Snider has more experience playing in Pitino’s system.

But while Saturday’s scrimmage didn’t go as well as anyone involved hoped, there’s still plenty of time for Louisville to work out the kinks before they open the season November 13 against Samford.

Knee injury sidelines Memphis assistant

Toronto Raptors vs Charlotte Hornets
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With practices beginning this weekend, not only are players looking to avoid the injury bug but their coaches are as well. And in the case of Memphis, the Tigers won’t have one of their assistants on the court for a little while due to a knee injury.

Assistant coach Damon Stoudamire, who returned to Josh Pastner’s staff this summer after a two-year stint at Arizona, suffered the injury during a recent workout according to L. Jason Smith of the Memphis Commercial-Appeal. And Stoudamire will require surgery, which will put him on the shelf for a little bit.

“He was working out himself and I think he thought he was in his rookie year,” Pastner said. “We think he’s got a torn meniscus, which will require surgery and put him out for a couple of days.”

Stoudamire isn’t the only assistant coach working through pain either. Syracuse’s Mike Hopkins, who is also Jim Boeheim’s heir apparent as head coach, suffered a neck injury body surfing during a family vacation last month. Hopkins spent some time in a neck brace while putting players through workouts as a result of the injury.

As for the Tigers, they’ll have a mixture of experience on the perimeter and youth in the front court as they look to get back to the NCAA tournament after missing out last season. Among the newcomers are talented forwards Dedric and K.J. Lawson, with experienced guards such as Kedren Johnson, Trahson Burrell and Ricky Tarrant (grad transfer from Alabama) expected to be key contributors on the perimeter.