Monday, April 11, 2016

Can KU corral another No. 1-and-done today?

West forward Josh Jackson, from Justin-Siena in Napa, Calif., dunks against the East team during the McDonald's All-American boys basketball game, Wednesday, March 30, 2016, in Chicago. The West beat the East 114-107.

West forward Josh Jackson, from Justin-Siena in Napa, Calif., dunks against the East team during the McDonald's All-American boys basketball game, Wednesday, March 30, 2016, in Chicago. The West beat the East 114-107.


Today, for the second time in four years, Kansas University’s basketball program is in position to land a commitment from the country’s No. 1-rated high school player.

The Jayhawks — who plucked Andrew Wiggins from the top of the prospect list in 2013 — today will learn if they’ve beaten out Michigan State and Arizona for Josh Jackson, a 6-foot-7 senior shooting guard from Prolific Prep High in Napa, Calif.

Jackson, who is originally from Detroit, told reporters at Saturday’s Nike Hoop Summit in Portland that he would travel to Michigan on Sunday, inform his family members of his choice sometime today, then post his decision on Twitter. As of Sunday night, there was no news conference planned and no details as to the time of Jackson’s Twitter announcement.

If Jackson selects Kansas, he would immediately take over for Wayne Selden Jr. on the wing and be all but guaranteed 30 or more minutes a game for his one-and-done college season.

For the past couple of weeks, recruiting analysts have listed KU as the leader for Jackson. Website, which offers predictions on individual prospects, lists KU as having a 68 percent chance to land Jackson. Michigan State stands at 18 percent and Arizona 14 percent.

“Kansas is my pick. I think he likes the small forward career of Andrew Wiggins and how well Wayne Selden has progressed,” Reggie Rankin of, told USA Today.

Detroit Free Press writer Joe Rexrode, who covers Michigan State, also goes with KU.

“I should predict Arizona, because that’s the only thing I can’t see Jackson saying when he finally utters his choice. And I’m not very good at predicting these things,” Rexrode told USA Today. “I’ve heard compelling reasons in the past few weeks for both Michigan State and Kansas. I believe that at one point he was set, or close to set, on MSU. But I am going with Kansas, the choice that will please his mother.”

There has been a rumor going around that Jackson’s mom, Apples Jones, prefers KU over MSU and ’Zona. She and her son were in Allen Fieldhouse for the KU-Texas game on Jan. 23. Jones, who grew up in Detroit, played basketball for two years at Allen County Community College in Kansas before competing a season at UTEP.

So what type of a player is Jackson, who averaged 26.9 points, 13.1 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game last season at Prolific Prep?

“Has a KG motor,” ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla tweeted, comparing Jackson’s energy on the court to that of Kevin Garnett.

Analyst Jerry Meyer tweeted this while watching a Nike Hoop Summit scrimmage on Thursday: “Jackson goes between the legs in the lane past a good defender right into a vicious dunk off two feet. Made it look way too easy.”

Jackson had seven points and four rebounds in Team USA’s 101-67 victory over World Select team on Saturday. He scored 19 points in the McDonald’s All-America game and emerged as co-MVP with Duke’s Frank Jackson.

“Jackson is a tough and athletic forward who is a fearless competitor. He has established himself as a tenacious rebounder and he plays with a never ending motor,” reads’s “scouting report” of Jackson.

“Comfortable and confident in both a fast-paced game or a grind-it-out affair Jackson displays versatility and his productivity level is at a double-double clip. Explosive with the ball in his hands or with his vertical bounce, he displays excellent body control to match his athletic ability. He also is a great decision-maker when being pressured and plays with a solid basketball IQ which enhances his assist game.

“Jackson has the toughness and quickness to be a multiple position defender. He already utilizes his physical tools to protect the rim with his shot blocking prowess and is a high steal guy anticipating passing lanes.”

His weaknesses according to the ESPN profile: “Jackson needs to become more efficient with the use of a dribble move and become consistent behind the arc without sacrificing his inside game. Currently he is shooting a poor percentage from the free throw line — a statistic that must improve as he grows in the game. He has triple-double potential if he stays in attack mode at all times and not choose to blend into the game at times.”

ESPN’s bottom line: “Jackson is a versatile wing that is tough, competes and has an excellent motor and feel for the game. His explosiveness is elite and he is the ultimate finisher. When he adds a consistent perimeter jumper and as he continues to learn the game his development takes a huge leap forward.”

Jackson is listed as ESPN analyst Chad Ford’s No. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.

“There’s no real consensus among NBA scouts about who should be the 2017 No. 1 pick, but Jackson was the player mentioned most often among the scouts with whom I spoke,” Ford wrote on Sunday. “It doesn’t take long to see why. He’s a long, explosive wing who plays with an elite motor and competitiveness on both ends of the floor. He’s aggressive without ever being selfish. He can be a relentless driver to the basket, excellent passer (he might even be able to play a little point guard) and defender of at least three positions on the floor.

“His jump shot is his biggest weakness right now. If it isn’t broken, it needs a lot of work. He can also be overly competitive at times (think Marcus Smart), which can get him and his team into trouble. But no one wants to win more than him. He’s like Michael Kidd-Gilchrist with a more refined offensive game.

“He has narrowed down his school choices to Kansas, Arizona and Michigan State, with most folks here thinking he’ll likely pick Kansas. If he does, he should be a perfect fit in Lawrence, and I think he’ll have the best chance of hearing his name called first in June 2017. I don’t think there’s a player in this class with more upside.”


Dirk Medema 6 years, 4 months ago

It was interesting to see Ferguson go off for 7 - 3's in the World game. What's the possibility of both coming to KU and starting along side Frank, so that Graham and Svi would both be massively capable subs? And that's without even thinking about Vick's development (or Tyler).

I wonder if we'd see much of 4 guard line-ups?

Andy Hess 6 years, 4 months ago

As great as that would be, Ferguson is not planning on sharing spotlight with Jackson, so I doubt he chooses KU if we get Josh Jackson today.

Gerry Butler 6 years, 4 months ago

Absolutly no chance of landing both. If Josh ends up here then no chance on Ferguson. Both play the same position. Chances are looking like Ferguson ends up at Arizona from things I have been seeing

Yonatan Negash 6 years, 4 months ago

Welcome to the Jayhawks family Mr. Jackson

Steve Zimmerman 6 years, 4 months ago

====== Josh Jackson Retweeted Kysre Gondrezick ‏@KysreRae 1h1 hour ago @j_josh11 will be announcing at 5:30 Pacific/8:30 Eastern time. ====== Let's hope our wish come true. I'm quite skeptical when it comes to recruits prediction magic ball..

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 4 months ago

What makes you think that Jackson will be guaranteed +30 minutes at the wing? There is a guy named Svet Mykailiuk at that position. We saw what happened to Diallo when Landen Lucas stepped up to put him on the bench. I'm also expecting Jackson to start but he's going to need to earn it, like everyone else.

Glen Miller 6 years, 4 months ago

Diallo is raw and has been playing for only a few years. Jackson is advanced (for a high schooler) and has been playing much longer. His basic knowledge has long since been molded and he will know from playing for so long where to be on the court and some of his angles. He obviously will learn a bunch, as any freshman would...... but comparing a very young to basketball and raw Diallo to Jackson just isn't a fair assessment and not very accurate in my estimation.

Gerry Butler 6 years, 4 months ago

ummm, Josh Jackson is not a Cheick Diallo. WAY more advanced skill wise. Day and night difference between the two. First let us get Josh to commit then we can worry about how much playing time Josh gets.IF he signs he will step right in from the word go

Kyle Cornish 6 years, 4 months ago

We don't even now for sure if Svi is coming back.

Mike Riches 6 years, 4 months ago

I agree, but Jackson is much more advanced than Diallo. I like Svi (a lot) but I would expect Jackson to start ahead of him from day 1. The real question in my mind is whether Jackson's decision affects whether or not Svi stays at Kansas. Of course none of this matters if Jackson tweets MSU this afternoon...

Waylon Cook 6 years, 4 months ago

Allen county? Or was it iola at one time?

Tony Bandle 6 years, 4 months ago

Supposedly, Mom wants him to get out of Michigan but Arizona is too far. Also, Bill really impressed her with his position that Josh would have too earn a spot. [This of course was before Wayne and Brannen had decided to leave.]

Neither the Wildcats nor the Spartans can offer the playing time nor the current COY.

No news conference, no hat dance....announce on Twitter...I like this kid ALREADY..

Colby Hebert 6 years, 4 months ago

I hope he picks Kansas but either way, I wish him well. He seems like a good kid.

Robert Brock 6 years, 4 months ago

If Jackson picks the Hawks, it would allow Coach Self to put some interesting combos on the court - including some time with Graham running the point with Svi at the 2, Jackson at the 3, and Frank Mason getting some deserved rest. Mason has taken a beating from overuse the last two seasons.

Jay Scott 6 years, 4 months ago

Frank plays the same number of minutes as most starting PGs.

That said, Nova showed that spreading minutes out just a touch allowed them to be fresher and more aggressive without fear of fouls.

A lineup of Jackson, Svi, Mason and Graham likely would mean about 30 mins each.

Mike Riches 6 years, 4 months ago

You don't think Vick could crack the lineup with 10-15 minutes?

Jay Scott 6 years, 4 months ago

I don't think he'd get that much. A few minutes here and there as fouls, injuries and blowouts dictate. He's good but those four are better.

John Randall 6 years, 3 months ago

The beating Frank takes is from HOW he plays – not from how much he plays.

Jonathan Allison 6 years, 4 months ago

"Frank plays the same number of minutes as most starting PGs."

That is surprising if true. I'm not going to gather that information myself, but would like to see the numbers that back it up.

Frank does also play defense at a very high level, and attacks the paint and hits the deck with regularity. Not to mention that he rebounds very aggressively for a guard.

Mike Riches 6 years, 4 months ago

It is hard to compare Frank's minutes to other point guards because he does take such a beating. The eye test definitely reveals that Frank could be better off late with fewer minutes throughout the season.

Alan Mills 6 years, 4 months ago

"...and become consistent behind the arc without sacrificing his inside game. Currently he is shooting a poor percentage from the free throw line — a statistic that must improve as he grows in the game."

“His jump shot is his biggest weakness right now. If it isn’t broken, it needs a lot of work."

Yet another perimeter player with a suspect or inconsistent shot, especially from behind the 3-point line. When will Kansas recruit someone like, it seems, every other team has...that lock-down shooter. Jeff Gueldner must be the last shooter of that caliber the wear a Kansas uniform! Having an entire stable of guards with inconsistent shooting from behind the line has been the #1 factor in Kansas' losses in the NCAA tournament over the last several years! If everyone else can find those shooters, why can't Kansas?

Jay Scott 6 years, 4 months ago

Didn't read the season 3 pt shooting numbers for Kansas? Second in the nation.

Shannon Gustafson 6 years, 4 months ago

We had 6 players last year who shot over 40% from 3. We were one of the top perimeter shooting teams in the country.

Mike Greer 6 years, 4 months ago

Alas, only one showed up for the game against 'Nova. Thus the reluctance to depend so heavily on the 3 point shot.

Jay Scott 6 years, 4 months ago

Anything can happen with any coach and any team in a one game situation.

Thus my reluctance to base my expectations on NCAA tournament success.

Mike Greer 6 years, 4 months ago

Reluctance to depend heavily on the 3 is a Self induced philosophy, and one with which I agree. I also agree that a one game tournament is not a very good indicator, but there are certainly those who disagree and believe it's the holly grail.

Aaron Paisley 6 years, 4 months ago

This post makes no sense because of how ridiculously flawed it is. 35% from 3 is more efficient than 50% from 2.

John Randall 6 years, 3 months ago

Yeah – HCBS should out looking for guys like Chalmers, Reed, Greene, Wiggins . . . instead of the trash he keeps bringing in.

Richard Joseph III 6 years, 3 months ago

Jeff Boschee will always be my favorite shooter.

Harlan Hobbs 6 years, 4 months ago

Arizona already has three 5-star players competing for playing time at positions similar to Josh's and Terrance's. They are Kobi Simmons, Alonzo Trier (returning as a sophomore), and another recruit, Rawlee Adkins (? sp.). Therefore, if Josh declares for KU, that wouldn't rule out Ferguson at KU, although I am not predicting it.

They have indicated a desire to play together, but I would think that available playing time is probably at the top of the list for both. Then again, as almost sure OAD's, maybe they wouldn't care that much. Playing time competition certainly doesn't seem to stop Kentucky from getting most of the players they want.

As for Svi, my guess is that his decision will hinge heavily on what Josh does. He has to know that, even though he is a very good player and I really like him, he is not a Josh Jackson. Let's face it, Josh may be the best high school player in the country, just like Andrew Wiggins was.

I do think that Svi would only get better by competing with Josh, and can you imagine what it would be like if Svi could rise to Josh's level. Wow! However, Svi has a really viable alternative by playing professional ball in Europe while developing his skills further for hopefully the NBA.

First things first. Let's hope we get good news from Josh, and then we can deal with any potential "fallout", if there is any.

Mike Greer 6 years, 4 months ago

Whatever happened to heart? Several have posted that Svi would likely leave if Jackson comes to KU, but why would he just quit and walk away, and why would that decision depend on another player and not be HIS decision? I've never gotten any better by walking away from a challenge, does this work for other people and not me? If you want to be the best you have to compete with the best, look how that worked out for TRob. I guess if your not willing to compete, then leaving the program is the best move, but have some heart and give it your best effort. No two players have the identical skills, work on what you can do the other guy can't.

RJ King 6 years, 4 months ago

Here you go Jonathan. I chose recognizable guards (point, combo and shooting) from quality programs and coaches. They are ranked in order of most minutes. As you can (hopefully) see from the picture, Mason sits at #190 - although there are about 20 forwards on the big list, so maybe more like #170.

Here is the link:

Jay Scott 6 years, 4 months ago

Thanks RJ....youre the best... I seem to recall that you're of the gentler sex.. You're not between the ages of 45-50, 5'5, redheaded (a la Diane Lane)... just a little crazy...

Scratch that... There's already one of those at my address..

Always appreciate what you post.

Jonathan Allison 6 years, 4 months ago

Very interesting. I would have thought that based on Bill Self's perceived reluctance to trust his bench, that Frank Mason would have ranked far higher.

This is probably just the KU homer in my speaking now, but I still maintain my qualitative assessment that Frank plays harder and takes much more of a beating than many of the other PGs on that list. Which of the 190 or so players ahead of Frank in MPG, probably less than 1/3 play PG as much as Mason does. Many of the guards listed are wings (as are many of the forwards listed). Also would note that Frank had perfect attendance for KU this season. He didn't miss any games for any reason.

RJ King 6 years, 4 months ago

Yes, you're right there are several wings in that list. I also agree that an eye test indicates Frank might have to work harder for his production. Obviously very different, but I am reminded of the great distance swimmer Janet Evans. At her small stature, who knows how many extra strokes it took for her to cover the same distance as her competitors.

Ryan Patti 6 years, 4 months ago

A little off-topic but does anyone know any non-conference opponents? I know we play Siena, Indiana (Armed Forces Classic), Duke (Champions Classic), Georgetown, and @UNLV. I also heard rumors about us playing on Pearl Harbor Day in Hawaii but I'm not sure if that's true. Why would we go to Hawaii twice in a month?

Aaron Paisley 6 years, 4 months ago

Indiana is the Pearl Harbor game. KU is also playing 2 of 3 out of Georgia, UAB, and George Washington in the CBE in KC. The rest of the non conference schedule will be announced in the summer at some point.

Dale Rogers 6 years, 4 months ago

The more I read about Jackson the more I think Paul Pierce.

Mallory Briggans 6 years, 4 months ago

jackson will announce his decision tonight ......@ 7:30........

DaNeille Dani Davis 6 years, 3 months ago

I still do not like the one and dones. They never seem to get in the flow of the offense and make it run very well. Just like this year, we had our best year in the past few years due to the experience we had. When Wiggins was on the team, we were very inconsistent as he was inconsistent. I will take Svi, Mason, Graham, Coleby and Lucas to make us a great team.

Jay Scott 6 years, 3 months ago

Bragg might also get a few minutes next season......

Jackson will too I hope.

Aaron Paisley 6 years, 3 months ago

Wiggins was on a team with nothing but other freshmen, sophomores, and a lone senior in his first and only year at KU. They weren't inconsistent, they were young and not a great team.

Joseph Bullock 6 years, 3 months ago

Ryan P, I heard KU and Georgetown have agreed to discontinue playing, due to scheduling conflicts (cough cough-LOL)! I think there were 2 more games they were scheduled to play. But I'm not 100% sure that is accurate!

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