Status: UK signee
Power forward | 6-9 | 205
School: Waterford Mott
One of the top post defenders in all of high school basketball, Jackson has the kind of skill set that should get him on the floor immediately at Kentucky.
John Calipari likes athletic players with a defensive instincts, and Jackson is just that. He was one of the top shot-blockers on the Nike circuit during his last summer of travel ball and is a smart, high-IQ defender in the post with good timing and quick-twitch athleticism around the basket.
Jackson chose Kentucky over fellow finalists Alabama and Syracuse, and there should be plenty of available minutes for a player of his caliber in Kentucky’s 2020-21 frontcourt, especially with the departures of Nick Richards and EJ Montgomery.
The Detroit-area native continues to work on his jump shot and fine-tune other offensive skills. Jackson’s high school coach, David McGlown, says he’s more of a complete player than he’s been given credit for, and he continues to improve.
“In some circles of basketball, he’s known as an elite defensive player. He is that, but he’s also got more to his game,” he said. “He can get the ball off the rim, take it full court, throw a no-look pass. He can shoot the ball. As long as he keeps developing, he’ll be very good at the next level.”
Jackson averaged 11.0 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.7 blocked shots per game during the Nike regular season in the spring, cementing himself as one of the best defensive prospects in all of high school basketball.
“This is your prototypical run-and-jump power forward. He’s got a lean body. He’s got quick instincts. He’s quick off his feet. He’s a very good leaper. I think his best value is with his ability to protect the rim and his rebounding — he’s a pogo stick. The areas for improvement would be fine-tuning his offense and really polishing that up and developing some scoring moves around the basket. But, right now, his biggest value is being a rim-protector, a rebounder and a lob catcher.”
-Recruiting analyst Evan Daniels