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Isaiah Jackson picks Kentucky: Highlights and scouting report

The five-star big man picked Kentucky after a tight battle with Alabama.


One of the most sought after frontcourt players in the class of 2020 is officially off of the board.

Five-star power forward Isaiah Jackson has committed to the Kentucky Wildcats. He made the announcement Saturday at a ceremony. The other finalists were the Syracuse Orange and Alabama Crimson Tide.

Jackson also signed his NLI and is now officially a Wildcat.

247 Sports ranks Jackson as the third-best player in the class of 2020 and the 25th best player in America. Rivals ranks him 24th overall, while ESPN has him ranked 22nd.

At 6-9 and 200 pounds, Jackson possesses a wiry, lanky frame. Despite not being very muscular, he makes up for it with his elite athleticism. The Michigan native is bouncy around the rim and is considered one of the best finishers in the paint in his class.

Jackson’s overall offensive game is still thought to be a work in progress, but it continues to show signs of improvement and he has great potential on the defensive end. There is little doubt that he will be an impact addition to the SEC in 2020.

For what it’s worth, predicts that Jackson will be selected #21 in the 2021 draft and provides Amare Stoudemire as the closest player comparison. If you’re looking for a comparison to a recent Kentucky player, Marcus Lee is probably the closest comparison.

On November 5th, Jackson announced that he would be committing on the 16th with his final schools being Kentucky, Alabama, and Syracuse. For the most part, Jackson’s commitment was eerily quiet throughout its entirety despite it being a pretty clear cut race between Kentucky and Alabama at it’s culmination.

Coming into the week, Alabama was viewed as the slight favorite, but there was no movement in 247’s crystal ball predictions until decision day came, which is when the Wildcats started picking up buzz.

Jackson now joins a stacked Kentucky 2020 class that includes Terrence Clarke, BJ Boston, Devin Askew, Lance Ware and Cam’Ron Fletcher, good enough for the No. 1 overall recruiting class as the fall signing period wraps up.

Even with the commitment of Jackson to go with Ware in the frontcourt, John Calipari is will still place a major emphasis on another five-star big man Greg Brown, who is considering the Cats. UK has been heavily involved with Brown for quite some time, and recently, there was some positive updates in his recruitment. It will be interesting to see how the Jackson commitment affects Brown, if at all.

But even if Kentucky doesn’t add another big, the duo of Ware and Jackson in the frontcourt has world of potential, and we could see both players in Lexington for multiple seasons.

Here is the ESPN scouting report of Jackson:

Strengths: Isaiah is a long athletic power forward who has skill and bounce to his game. Isaiah is a very good athlete that can run and jump with the best of them. He also is a capable shooter from three off the catch and shoot and can finish at the rim off the pick and roll or in transition. He plays with some energy and can really put the ball in the basket. His long wing span allows him to effect shots on the defensive end.

Weaknesses: Isaiah will have to grow into his body and work on his strength to keep playing at a high level. He has a great frame to put on some weight and muscle. He also will have to become a consistent shooter from the perimeter because right now his game is in the paint.

Bottom Line: Isaiah is a high major recruit and has a big upside. He is a good athlete that is still somewhat raw and hasn’t totally figured out his game yet. Expect some big improvement over the next year or so.

Jerry Meyer of 247 Sports, one of the best basketball scouts in the business, thinks Jackson is a future first-round pick with an NBA comparison of Timberwolves big man Jordan Bell.

Adequate length but very slender for a four man. Tremendous athlete. Fast and a high riser. Has an extremely quick second jump and the instincts and timing of a top-notch shot blocker. Not considered a skilled offensive player but his skill level is steadily improving. Motor, athleticism and potential project him as a first round pick.

Now, check out some highlights of the newest Wildcat in action:

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