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Friday, August 5, 2016

KU’s Josh Jackson continues to be a hot commodity on NBA Draft boards

Blue Team guard Josh Jackson scoops a shot under Red Team guard Devonte Graham during the Bill Self basketball camp alumni scrimmage, Wednesday, June 8, 2016 at the Horejsi Athletic Center.

Blue Team guard Josh Jackson scoops a shot under Red Team guard Devonte Graham during the Bill Self basketball camp alumni scrimmage, Wednesday, June 8, 2016 at the Horejsi Athletic Center.

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ESPN.com’s Chad Ford on Thursday released his updated look at the 2017 NBA Draft class.

Sitting at the top was none other than Kansas freshman Josh Jackson, the No. 1 overall recruit in the 2016 class and a sure-fire Top 5 pick according to most mock drafts.

While Jackson’s status as a potential top pick in the 2017 NBA Draft does not qualify as breaking news, it comes with some interesting tidbits from NBA scouts who spoke to Ford.

Here’s Ford’s breakdown of the 6-foot-8 forward from Detroit who figures to be in Lawrence only for the 2016-17 season.

“There is no consensus No. 1 pick among NBA scouts right now, but it does appear that Jackson is the slight favorite,” Ford wrote. “His combination of elite athleticism, competitiveness and feel for the game make him a match-up nightmare on both sides of the court. One scout referred to him as a higher-energy Andrew Wiggins, while another went with a more offensively polished Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. His inconsistent jump shot is his biggest weakness at this stage.”

Ford also listed KU sophomore Carlton Bragg at No. 19 on his list, saying: “Most of the NBA scouts that watched Kansas in practice last year swore that Bragg was the best NBA prospect on the team. That will clearly change with Jackson joining the fray at KU, but Bragg’s versatility, defensive potential and overall activity make him a very solid prospect. Scouts were impressed with him at Adidas Nations and said that he seems to have grown an inch or two.”

Junior guard Devonte’ Graham did not crack Ford’s Top 35, but his recent play at the Adidas Nations showcase has opened eyes elsewhere.

DraftExpress.com’s most recent update, which is dated July 31 and has Jackson going No. 5 overall, slotted Graham as a first-rounder at No. 29. It marked the first time that Graham had cracked the first round on DraftExpress.com’s 2017 mock draft.

Bragg was not listed in either the first or second round, but junior Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk was slotted in the first round at No. 27.

More trimming: PJ Washington, a 6-foot-7 power forward from Las Vegas’ Findlay Prep recently included Kansas while trimming his list of finalists to eight. Arizona, Kentucky, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Texas, UCLA and UNLV are the other seven on Washington’s list. Rivals.com’s Eric Bossi predicts that Washington will sign with Kentucky and adds, “If there was a lunch pail award for consistently bringing it on both ends of the floor and being reliable, Washington would win it.” In addition to Washington, 6-5 shooting guard Chaundee Brown, the 64th ranked player in the Class of 2017, announced on Twitter that he would reveal his final four schools sometime Saturday. The four-star prospect from Orlando’s First Academy received an offer from KU in early July and said then that he hoped to visit Kansas for a second time sometime this fall.

TV times: According to KU’s official schedule, non-conference games against Stanford (Dec. 3) and Nebraska (Dec. 10) — both Saturdays — will be televised by ESPN. Tip time for the showdown with the Cardinal is set for 2:30 p.m., while KU will renew its rivalry with the Cornhuskers at 2:15 p.m. Both games will be played in Lawrence. KU’s only non-conference games away from home during the 2016-17 season are: Nov. 11 vs. Indiana in Honolulu; Nov. 15 vs. Duke in New York City; Nov. 21-22 at the CBE Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City, Mo.; Dec. 17 vs. Davidson at the Jayhawk Shootout in KCMO; Dec. 22 at UNLV; and Jan. 28 vs. Kentucky in Lexington. The Big 12 portion of KU’s schedule has not yet been released but could be out any day.

Comments

Suzi Marshall 1 year, 4 months ago

Until the draft boards and the NBA figures out a way to recognize the 'off-shore' draft and stash factor, these things are meaningless past the top 5. In the most recent draft, I think there was some kid (from UW maybe) who was a projected lottery that had to sit in the Green Room until the very end of the 1st round or perhaps even early second.

You have to count on around 15 1st round guys being the 'draft-n-stash' category. That said, If I'm Graham and projected for the 1st round after the NBA camps...farewell KU, which means Self & Co needs to light a fire to get some elite perimeter players, asap. It would be ashamed to have two elite bigs like Az and Ayton but no guards, other than Newman and Vick.

After watching the aggressive Svi play in the U20 FIBA, I'm convinced he'll go in the first round, maybe even a lottery.

Jay Scott 1 year, 4 months ago

If I had to bet I would say Graham is back. He isn't an exceptional athlete, just a very good basketball player. Could he be a good NBA player? Yes. But he isn't an eye popping physical specimen. The NBA seems to like that, unless you're a Euro player....

Robert Brock 1 year, 4 months ago

It is sad that everybody drools about the NBA and yawns at college basketball.

Jay Scott 1 year, 4 months ago

Robert is auditioning for the King Chicken Little spot already.

Have you seen the NCAA tournament ratings Robert? Conference tournament ratings? Tried to buy tickets for NCAA games? Have you seen ESPN Big Monday ratings? Nobody is yawning at college hoops.

Robert Brock 1 year, 4 months ago

The NCAA Tournament is successful but that is a short, concentrated portion of the season.

My fear is that college ball is starting to look more and more like NBA trash with ever-shortened shot clock and rule changes to conform to NBA-style ball (the goofy halo where defense is not allowed). And, if you watch ESPN, they are always talking about a player's qualities in light of his NBA readiness and whether he is a one-and-done etc. Nowadays, the young guys seem embarrassed to return for another year of school as if there is something wrong with them.

If I seem old school...well, I am. I started watching games at AFH in 1957. My family contributed money to KU athletics and I grew up loving college basketball. Still do, notwithstanding the fact that the game is not changing for the better, IMO.

Jay Scott 1 year, 4 months ago

I'm sure if they televised competitive MCAT/LSAT competitions between undergrad teams of Jayhawks vs Kentucky/Texas whoever there would be analysis based on the competitors long term future as litigators or surgeons.

Change is inevitable. Hating change is hating life.

Steve Macy 1 year, 4 months ago

Out of all the critiques and opinions on Jackson, they one I want to be true is aggressiveness. I feel that we/KU gets a lot of great players who defer too much. Call me crazy, a lot of people do, I just want one to come in a say, give me the damn ball. RCJH

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