Why Josh Jackson thinks KU is "the best team in the country"


The Jayhawks come together in a huddle at the start of practice on Thursday, March 16, 2017 at BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The Jayhawks come together in a huddle at the start of practice on Thursday, March 16, 2017 at BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. by Nick Krug

With a bright NBA future waiting just around the corner, Kansas freshman Josh Jackson enters his first — and likely last — NCAA Tournament in an enviable position.

Jackson, who for the first time since March 4 will be back in the lineup with the Jayhawks at 5:50 p.m. tonight in Round 1 against No. 16 seed UC Davis at the BOK Center, said Thursday that he feels like he’s a part of “the best team in the country right now.”

When asked to explain why, the 6-foot-8 guard from Detroit pointed to a number of reasons.

“I feel like we got the best guards,” Jackson began. “I feel like we have things that some teams just don’t have. Like, in (senior forward) Landen (Lucas), we’ve got a really good glue guy who does so many things that don’t show up in the stat book. I feel like we all just care so much and want to win more than anything. So I feel like we’re all gonna do whatever we need to do in order to make that happen.”

Jackson, of course, is better equipped than most players on his team — or any other team for that matter — to deliver those things in a number of different areas. But instead of taxing himself by worrying about the stakes and the stage, Jackson said he planned to treat his NCAA Tournament debut like any of the 31 games he played in that came before it.

“It’s exciting,” Jackson said. “And I’ve just gotta maintain my composure and stay focused and just remember it’s a game and just come out and play like I would any other game.”

Doing that won’t be easy. Jackson said he had been waiting for this moment since he was a kid, growing up rooting for Michigan State and watching the NCAA Tournament on television each year.

So now that he’s here, how has the experience lived up to his expectations?

“So far, it is everything I thought it would be,” Jackson said. “I think it’s gonna get a lot more exciting as it goes on. It’s also gonna get a lot harder, but that makes it more fun.”


Suzi Marshall 1 year, 2 months ago

Totally agree with Jackson but would add a qualifier that our starting line-up is the country's best. The five guys we start have unparalleled skill, desire, chemistry, intelligence and experience. When Self goest to the bench....

Ben Kane 1 year, 2 months ago

if we play 40 minutes of intense D i don't think anybody can beat us. we haven't come close to that in any game this year though.

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