Vincent Edward Mendoza
One of the most coveted prospects in any class and possibly one of the most heralded recruits in recent memory is number 1 overall ranked prospect in the class of 2016, Josh Jackson. The 6’8 210 pound swingman can really fill up the stat sheet where he flirts with a triple double nearly every time he steps out on the court. College coaches have been well aware of what Jackson can do and that is why he has since cut his list down to 9 schools that include Arizona, UK, UNC, NC State, KU, MSU, UCLA, Duke and Louisville.
With this group of top tier programs vying for the most coveted player in the class of 2016, PGU caught up with Jackson’s AAU coach Terrence Robinson of 1Nation to talk more about how Jackson’s game has developed over the years, his recruitment process and what kind of players fans can expect when at the next level.
Every summer a player has the opportunity to further develop his game and implement certain nuances that they are practicing and with Josh that is no different says Robinson, “offensively Josh is always looking to add different dimensions to his game. His jump shot and getting separation from a defender on his jumper is a big thing. He has way more game than what he shows-he can really take his game to another level-he has the ability to do that.”
Continuing on offense, PGU asked where Jackson is most comfortable on the basketball court, “Basically whatever is clicking. If Josh is making his jumper the defense is going to be in for a long day. Josh likes to give different looks and what we always talk about is being unstoppable.”
Coach Robinson describes Jackson’s game as “unstoppable” because “there is no scouting report for the way that he plays his game. Josh isn’t selfish” he says, “He just plays basketball.”
One thing that stands out to coach Robinson is Jackson’s defensive abilities on the court. “His biggest separation is his defense. He plays hard and he is a dog out there. He doesn’t coast on the court, he puts forth a lot of effort and really likes to play defense.”
Jackson is not considered by analysts to be a one-way player and Jackson takes pride on defensive end. “He doesn’t care about getting dunked on. With his size and foot speed sometimes he get switched on bigger defenders and he’s just looking to compete.”
When PGU discussed where Jackson would fit into a position at the college level it wasn’t difficult for Robinson to talk about those points in reference to Jackson. “I see him as being a basketball player. Off the rebound he can push it and pass it out in transition. He can really play anywhere except maybe the 5. He’s a 6’8 wing player and he can really go because he is so unselfish.”
“Josh doesn’t have bad games because even if he’s not shooting the ball well he can still rebound and assist, he can impact the game in so many ways. He is such a great leader because when his teammates see him diving for loose balls on the court it makes every one raise their level of play because if they see him doing those things they can as well.”
Since cutting his list down to 9 schools in March PGU discussed what were some of things that stood out to Josh when selecting those schools. “All of them have their own special things about them. Whoever can turn him into a professional and make sure that he is an outstanding student and the integrity of the school itself. Players that are currently there has a lot to do with his decision because he wants to compete and wants to win.”
“Josh is looking for a coach that can develop his players. Just because players get drafted into the NBA-that’s a great accomplishment but are those players being developed to actually stay in the NBA? Development is going to play a deciding factor in his decision.”
As far as Arizona goes, “he likes the style of play-his game can fit into their system well.” Pasternack has been the lead recruiter with Jackson; however, Robinson gives a little insight about the Arizona coaching staff providing “from what I’ve seen they are all involved with Josh.”
Finally, when PGU asked what kind of player collegiate fans can be looking forward to getting with Josh he replied simply, “He just has the mentality to want to be good. A player that plays with a lot of effort especially defensively and the ultimate team player. Those are the things that make him #1. He’s a complete basketball player.”
Josh Jackson will visit the Arizona campus this upcoming weekend and stay tuned as PGU will have updates on the recruiting trip and more insight on the recruitment of the #1 overall player in the class of 2016.