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Isaiah Jackson to Pacers in 2021 NBA Draft

Jackson is off to Washington to begin his NBA career.

UK Athletics

Isaiah Jackson just had his NBA dream realized.

With the 22nd overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, Jackson was selected by the Washington Wizards, then was traded to the Indiana Pacers. The pick was originally held by the Los Angeles Lakers.

Jackson extends the Kentucky Wildcats’ streak of having a first-round pick in every draft under the watch of John Calipari, who continues to establish himself as the GOAT when it comes to getting his guys to the pros.

A freshman forward from Pontiac (MI), Jackson averaged 8.4 points and 6.6 rebounds in 25 games (18 starts). Over his last seven outings, Jackson recorded 13.3 points and 6.9 boards per game and reached double-figure scoring in all but the last contest.

The 6-foot-10 Jackson recorded two double-doubles on the season, both of which came over the last seven games. He shot 63.3% from the floor during that span.

The most impressive part of Jackson’s game was easily his shot-blocking, as he swatted 65 shots this season to lead the nation’s No. 3 shot-blocking team. He led the SEC with 2.6 blocks a game and ranks 15th nationally (through games on March 14th).

Although Jackson’s final block numbers did not rank as high as Kentucky’s elite shot blockers because of the shortened season, his defensive metrics did. His block percentage of 12.7% ranked eighth nationally, which compares favorably to Kentucky’s three single-season blocked shots leaders in Anthony Davis (13.8% in 2011-12), Nerlens Noel (13.2% in 2012-13) and Willie Cauley-Stein (12.3% in 2013-14).

Jackson’s 5.0 blocks per 40 minutes was also on par with Davis (5.8) and Noel (5.5) to pace one of the best defensive teams in the country.

In addition to his season-long defensive dominance, Jackson emerged offensively down the stretch. He notched 18 points and 11 rebounds against Auburn, posted 16 points and seven boards in the thrashing at No. 19Tennessee, and totaled 13 points with 10 rebounds in Kentucky’s 92-64 regular-season finale win over South Carolina.

Best of luck to Jackson as he begins his NBA career in Indiana!

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