One thing you can say with certainty - John Calipari has secured one of the top recruiting classes in the country for 2020.
There remains speculation that he’s not done yet and that more players could be added to the mix. Regardless if there are any more additions, it is definitive that some talented players will be making their way to Lexington next year.
The 2020 class is headlined by guys like BJ Boston, Terrence Clarke, and Devin Askew. But there is another name that many folks may be sleeping on.
Isaiah Jackson is a 6-9 200 pound power forward that could find himself making an immediate impact next season for the Cats.
Ben Roberts of the Herald-Leader published a terrific article that outlined the difference that Jackson is making on his newly joined high school team. It has some great quotes from his coach, David McGlown, and provides some great insight on Jackson’s attitude and ever improving skillset.
When Jackson arrives on campus, he may not boast the most impressive skills on the offense end. Known for his extreme athleticism and ability to finish at the rim, there is sure to be a some growing pains as he attempts to polish his game. But with the likely departure of Nick Richards, and the possibility of EJ Montgomery leaving as well, it could open up a perfect scenario for Jackson to find his niche on next year’s team.
His coach at Waterford Mott High School seems to agree. Here is what Coach McGlown told Ben Roberts.
“He’ll be great down at Kentucky, It will go back to that team with Anthony Davis and those guys.” McGlown said. “I think Anthony Davis only shot the ball eight or nine times a game. He’s that type of player. He’s not worried about his stats. All he wants to do is win. So all those other guys — if they want to shoot — he’ll let them shoot, and he’ll just go do his job and help out.”
Those comments will come as refreshing news for Wildcat fans considering the struggles that is year’s team is having to find continuity among themselves. If you remain under the impression that Boston, Clarke, Askew, and other possible returners can handle the bulk of the scoring next season, then it really opens up a defined role for Isaiah Jackson.
That is not say that he will not be a threat on the offensive end. Roberts’ article details the work that he is putting in everyday to become a better shooter and more of a threat to score the basketball besides on lob plays.
Jackson also has the skills and reputation of a tremendous rim protector. As a college freshman, blocking shots and protecting the rim may very well be the way he makes his presence felt.
Moral of the story? Don’t sleep on Isaiah Jackson.
The general consensus seems to be that Kentucky still needs to add more frontcourt pieces to the next season’s roster, and they probably do, but don’t let that take away from a five-star power forward like Isaiah Jackson who is committed to wearing the blue and white. 247sports ranks him as the 27th best player in America for a reason.