Freshman phenom production under Bill Self has been something of a contentious topic. Many fault the coach, who has won one national title and 12-straight Big 12 championships, for not developing one-and-done talent to their fullest potential during their single-season stays in Lawrence. Cliff Alexander and Cheick Diallo are Exhibit 1-A and 1-B for this argument in recent years.
Whatever outside criticism there is (Andrew Wiggins did go No. 1 overall just 2 years ago, after all), Self isn’t shying away from hyping the latest freshman with big expectations to come to KU. When asked who the greatest athlete of all-time is at the school’s annual Tradition Night last week, Self had a simple, if tongue-and-cheek, response.
With others answering with the likes of Michael Jordan and Muhammed Ali, it’s pretty fair to say Self was playing to the crowd with the answer, but it’s still telling that he was willing to deliver such a sound bite, even if it was before a welcoming audience. Self didn’t try to seriously depress expectations for Wiggins, a player Jackson is often compared to, and it looks like he won’t for Jackson as well.
Jackson, though, won’t have the burden Wiggins had as there’s one of the country’s best backcourts in Frank Mason II and Devonte Graham to help shoulder the workload for the Jayhawks.
Josh Jackson mixtape from the Under Armour Elite 24 (VIDEO)
Detroit native Josh Jackson is in a battle for the No. 1 spot in the Class of 2016 and he’s coming off of another MVP performance at the Under Armour Elite 24. The 6-foot-7 Jackson shooting guard has elite level skill as a scorer, rebounder and defender and has a chance to be an immediate impact at the college level.
Arizona, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Maryland, Michigan State, North Carolina, N.C. State and UCLA are some of the schools currently in the running for Jackson.
Here’s a mixtape of Jackson from the last two Elite 24 games, from NextUp Recruits.
Josh Jackson, Harry Giles stay at top of new Rivals150 Class of 2016 national rankings
Rivals unveiled its new Class of 2016 national rankings in the latest Rivals150 and the top four players are staying the same. Detroit wing Josh Jackson, North Carolina forward Harry Giles, St. Louis wing Jayson Tatum (Duke) and North Carolina point guard Dennis Smith remain the top four players in the class while Texas native De’Angelo Fox moves up to the No. 5 spot.
Jackson and Giles have battled for the No. 1 spot hard the past few months and national analysts seem split on who to put at No. 1. Fox also made a late push to dethrone Smith as the No. 1 point guard. This national Class of 2016 is considered by many to be one of the most talented classes of the last 20 years.
The group has a strong crop of point guards, as noted by Rivals national recruiting analyst Eric Bossi. Of the top 60 players in the 2016 class, seventeen players are point guards, which will really help college basketball when those players enter.
The 10th annual Under Armour Elite 24 took place last Saturday at Pier 2 at the Brooklyn Bridge Park with Team Do Be Doo defeating Team EZ Pass, 111-110.
While Nike’s coinciding showcase took elite prospects such as Harry Giles and Duke-commit Jayson Tatum to the Bahamas, the Elite 24 was still a star-studded event with the nation’s top recruit, Josh Jackson, who won the slam dunk contest the night before, sharing MVP honors with Edrice ‘Bam’ Adebayo, Billy Preston and Frank Jackson.
Josh Jackson, rated the top player in the Class of 2016 by Rivals, won the Under Armour Elite 24 Dunk Contest on Friday night at Pier 2 in Brooklyn with an off-the-backboard, between-the-legs dunk for his second perfect score of the night. Jackson defeated Baylor commit Mark Vital in the finals.
The 6-foot-7 Jackson added to an impressive summer. In July, the rising high school senior started on USA Basketball U19 team that won the FIBA World Championships in Greece. After averaging 19.2 points per game for 1 Nation in the Under Armour Association, Jackson broke the scoring record at the Big Strick Classic with a 50-point performance earlier this month.
Jackson will look to build on Friday night’s showing on Saturday night in the 10th annual Under Armour Elite 24.
The Big Strick Classic has become one of the most underrated national all-star games during the year as the game always features a collection of some of the most talented players in the country. Dedicated to the memory of late streetball legend John “Franchise” Strickland, the Big Strick Classic pits a team of players from the New York Tri-State area against Team USA.
During Saturday’s contest, Detroit native Josh Jackson put Team USA on his back with a 50-point performance in a 159-137 event. Jackson dropping a 50 spot in a glorified streetball all-star game isn’t the purest form of hitting that magical scoring number, but he still had to play top competition and hit tough shots.
Next Up Recruits was there to document Jackson going for 50 points and they have video of it below. The 6-foot-7 small forward is considered the No. 1 prospect in the country, according to Rivals.