Five-star Ian Jackson weighing school, classification options
Class of 2024 guard Ian Jackson has continued to make his case for being the No. 1 player in the class so far this spring. He’s been playing at the 17U level for New York Wiz Kids on the Adidas 3SSB Circuit, and has had a fantastic start to the grassroots season.
Jackson spoke with Rivals about his recruitment, possible reclassification and potential pro options.
IN HIS OWN WORDS
Programs recruiting him the hardest: “UCLA, Oregon, Kentucky, Duke, Kansas, Syracuse and UConn. Syracuse, UConn and Kentucky are the schools who have reached out the hardest right now. They’re who I hear from the most often.”
UCLA: “The coaching staff, the few talks we’ve had have been great talks. I like how they run their program; they have a strict program. They have a bunch of hard-working guys, the coaches told me. It’s just a great place to be and they have a family mentality, treating everyone the same.”
Oregon: “The assistant coach (Chuck Martin) and I are from the same area. He grew up where I’ve grown up, around the New York, Bronx area, so we have a lot to relate to.”
Kentucky: “Coach (Orlando) Antigua, he’s been very hands on and has come to the majority of my games this season. He came to open runs to watch me play, and he’s been to a lot of games. He’s been in contact with me and he calls my coaches to check on me and see how I am. He’s just been very connected with me, really.”
Duke: “Duke, it’s been very brief. They told me what they like about my game. I haven’t had a chance to talk to them, really, but what they’ve said to my coaches are things that I’ve really liked. I feel like if I went there, it would be helpful to my game.”
Kansas: “They’re really excited. They called me and told me that they feel like I’m a player that could bring them another national championship. They think I could really thrive in their system and become a pro.”
Syracuse: “Their coaches have been in contact with me. One of their coaches (Allen Griffin) is another one that’s from around the same area as me. He grew up in the Bronx, a New York native. He’s been telling me that he feels like I can come in there and play through my mistakes, typical freshman mistakes in college, and just grow from it. They wouldn’t put me on a short leash and pull me every time I make a mistake, and just let me play.”
UConn: “Coach Kimani (Young) is another one that’s from the city. Just him understanding the type of player that I am, and knowing how to put me in spots and where I like to be on the floor, and spots I like to get to the best. I could really thrive and be the best at my game. Running in transition, getting stops on defense, just him understanding me as a person and as a player, that’s a big aspect for me.”
Possible reclass: “Yeah, that can be possible. I feel like I’d have a decision made by the end of my junior year, going into AAU. If I feel like I’m ready to reclass up and take the next step and go to college, I’ll make the decision then.”
Pro options: “The G-League is definitely something that I’m open to, and Overtime, they’ve both reached out. Their experience is something that’s definitely different than the college experience. You’d be jumping straight into being a pro and not really going to school. It’s definitely something that I’m open to. I definitely won’t turn it down because I don’t know how my opinion on it will change in the next couple of years. Right now, I’m still going to go to college, but the G-League, Overtime and different routes are things I’m definitely open to, they have pros to it also.”
Jackson is someone that we’ll be taking a long look at for the No. 1 spot in the updated 2024 rankings. He has all of the tools and is more physically advanced than some of his peers.
Kentucky and UConn seem to have the best relationship with him early on, with Syracuse in the mix as well. The pro routes loom large, but Jackson is also a player that could do extremely well for himself in the NIL era of college basketball.