Kansas is in the mix to land the top recruit in the 2016 high school class, shooting guard Josh Jackson. Jackson is expected to make an announcement in the next week or so, and many experts and fans are confident in the Jayhawks’ chances of landing the five-star wing. Many KU fans are already comparing Jackson to the other No. 1 recruit Bill Self has landed – Andrew Wiggins, three years ago.
Back in 2013, Andrew Wiggins’ recruitment was very quiet. No “crystal ball” could fully predict where the elite wing was heading. Florida State was thought to be the favorite to land him until a late surge from the Jayhawks ultimately proved to be the difference, and Wiggins committed to Kansas late in the signing period.
Want to find a similar situation? Take a look at Josh Jackson, the 2016 overall number one recruit. Although his recruitment has been quiet, there is nothing soft about Jackson’s game. The six-foot-seven shooting guard from Detroit, MI has stirred the recruiting world. After many speculated that Michigan State would be Jackson’s choice, the interest quickly shifted to the Jayhawks. With the absence of Wayne Selden Jr. for the 2016-17 season, Kansas is left with a gap in the shooting guard position. Josh Jackson could easily fill the void for the Jayhawks. Kind of like Andrew Wiggins following the departure of Ben McLemore in 2013, right?
It’s hard not to compare Josh Jackson to Andrew Wiggins. The two looked the same coming out of high school, dominating on all cylinders. In the McDonald’s All-American game, Wiggins and Jackson both posted 19 points apiece, three years apart. Both have rocked the ‘fro, and both have trashed opponents with star-studded performances. Oh, and the two have serious hops. Andrew Wiggins showed his 40-inch vertical during the NBA combine. Jackson made noise in the McDAAG dunk contest, fitting his whole wrist inside of the iron for an astonishing finish to his dunk. You could compare the two for days.
As Kansas re-collects from its heartbreaking loss to Villanova, the team begins to fit together the 2016 puzzle. With both point guards returning for the Jayhawks in Devonte’ Graham and Frank Mason, Kansas just needs to add a shooting guard to lock down a superb backcourt. Expect Josh Jackson to be Andrew Wiggins v. 2.0, as his athleticism will out-power opponents. Throw the ball within five feet of the goal, and Jackson will take care of the rest. With his long wingspan, he can throw it down with authority. Wanting more SportsCenter Top 10 action? You’ve got it. Josh Jackson is ready to make your eyes drop.
We’ve covered the ‘fro, the dunks, and even the McDonald’s All American game. Let us let off of the burgers and learn more about Jackson. He is actually a lot like Cheick Diallo in many ways. High energy and productivity are a staple of the way he performs. Having a motor is great, but unlike many guards, Jackson can rebound. Playing well on all platforms of the game will serve him well at the college level. Andrew Wiggins could show up when the rest of the team couldn’t. Remember when Wiggins dropped 41 in a loss in Morgantown? Well, Josh Jackson has the ability to do that too. If you are looking for a freshman that can defend, rebound, and score, you are in for a treat with Josh Jackson.
For months, Kansas and Arizona have been neck and neck with Jackson’s recruitment. Only until recently did Michigan State gain interest from Jackson. He is currently down to those three schools: Kansas, Arizona, and Michigan State. The Jayhawks are considered to be the favorite as of now for Jackson, but his recruiting has shown nothing but indecisive figures. If Kansas were to land Josh Jackson, it would add stability to this year’s class. The Jayhawks’ incoming class, consisting of center Udoka Azubuike and forward Mitch Lightfoot, is currently 43rd in recruiting for 2016. Should KU pick up a commitment from Josh Jackson, it’d jump into the top 15. Many expect Jackson to commit after the Nike Hoop Summit, which is this weekend.
Andrew Wiggins is a household name – and he was only with the Jayhawks for one season. Expect Josh Jackson to become a household name after his freshman season. If you aren’t totally convinced on his abilities, just watch a few of his mixtapes. There would be no speculation on if he would be lust or bust. The kid can flat out ball, and expect some fireworks if Kansas does end up landing him.