Saturday, December 20, 2014

Tarkanian: Jacksons explode
Rivals.com Basketball Recruiting Analysis


THE RIVALS150: 2015 | 2016
LAS VEGAS -- Day 2 of the Tarkanian Classic was a statement day if your last name was Jackson and you are in the class of 2016. Elite wing Josh Jackson is making it clear he wants his top ranking in the class back while four-star combo guard Frank Jackson spoke loud and clear about how legit he is as a prospect with a 54-point outburst. Five-star senior Stephen Zimmerman continued to put on a show and discussed his recruitment for the first time in a while.
Jackson looking to reclaim top spot
Josh Jackson poured in 27 points on Thursday.
It is still early and there are still plenty of games to play and more players to see at the top of the very talented class of 2016. However, if the rankings were redone today, there is no question that Napa (Calif.) Prolific Prep's Josh Jackson would move from No. 3 back into the No. 1 slot that he held between the summers of 2013 and 2014.
In a word, the 6-foot-7 shooting guard is scintillating and he showed the full arsenal of drives, passes, mid-range shots, post game and open court play during a 27-point outing on Thursday night.
A nuclear athlete who flies through the air and has absurd quickness and end-to-end speed, Jackson has been the best transition player in the country -- regardless of class -- for a bit now. However, his upgraded feel for the game in a half-court setting, his passing ability and the fact that he can be just as good defensively as he is a scorer make him a complete package. What is most scary is that for as skilled and talented as Jackson is, he is still somewhat raw and not yet making the tipoff-to-buzzer difference he's eventually going to make.
With his crowd-pleasing dunks, hustle and an easy smile, Jackson is a player who has true star power and his future is ridiculously bright. Athletically, he is similar to Andrew Wiggins and he has similar size, but he is a better ball-handler and more naturally aggressive scorer (though like Wiggins, he could be even more aggressive there).
The class of 2016 is going to be a lot of fun to watch develop here over the next year and a half and Jackson is a big part of that.
Zimmerman still unsure of decision
Stephen Zimmerman has taken five official visits.
Since beginning a string of official visits that took him to Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky, UCLA and UNLV, the nation's No. 10 senior Stephen Zimmerman hasn't spoken much about his recruitment.
After an impressive performance for tournament host Bishop Gorman in a win over Aurora (Colo.) Overland, Zimmerman discussed his official visits in the video above. The main takeaway is that he will wait until after his high school season to make a decision and that taking the official visits and getting to know each staff and campus has only made his decision more difficult.
From a playing standpoint, there's not much left to say about Zimmerman. He backs up his status each time he takes the floor, he is in the best physical condition of his career and he remains as highly skilled as any big man in the senior class.
Lone Peak junior can play
Frank Jackson exploded for 54 points.
It isn't like Highland (Utah) Lone Peak combo guard Frank Jackson is some kind of secret. The 6-foot-2 junior who recently opened up his recruitment after an early commitment to BYU (who had their full staff watching him, so did Utah) is ranked No. 31 overall in the class of 2016. But, he probably doesn't have the notoriety that he should.
On Thursday, Jackson was masterful as he hit deep threes, pull-up jumper after pull-up jumper and used his strength and athleticism to get to the rim during an eye-popping 54-point effort.
Wired to score, Jackson is a complete player on the offensive end who keeps the flow of the game moving. While he is a scorer first, he does so without ever taking bad shots and he is a very good passer and creator for others off the dribble. He locks up defensively and is the kind of kid who will be a very solid college player.
"I really try to involve my teammates as much as I can," Jackson told Rivals.com. "That's what I thought I did. I still had 54 but team basketball is very important to me."
A native of the Washington D.C. area who moved to Utah four years ago, Jackson said that he backed off his BYU commitment because he wanted to see what else is out there and wanted to take another look around. In addition to BYU and Utah, he has offers from Arizona and Arizona State while UCLA, Stanford and Duke have gotten involved as well.
More Thursday notes
Rivals150 point guard Sedrick Barefield didn't have his best summer in 2014. On Thursday, the SMU-bound floor general looked back in form as he pumped in 30 points for Corona (Calif.) Centennial. The No. 126 player in the class of 2015, Barefield has leaned up some (he had gotten almost too strong and it was limiting his movement) and it has resulted in returned quickness to help him get by defenders. On top of that, Barefield had the jumper working at a high level. Pretty clearly, he is a guy who got in the gym and did a serious assessment of what was and wasn't working with his game and he has improved since July.
Because Bishop Gorman features five-star senior big men Zimmerman and Chase Jeter, junior four-star power forward Zach Collins has to come off the bench. At pretty much any other high school in America, the 6-foot-10 four man would be the focal point of the offense, but at Gorman, he plays his role and he plays it well. Collins can shoot, has a big frame that is filling out and he is very mobile. Gorman plays some possessions with him, Jeter and Zimmerman together and the ground they cover on the bottom of a 2-3 zone is something you don't often see on the high school level.
He didn't have his strongest game on Thursday, but 6-foot-8 power forward Gavin Baxter is likely going to make his way into the Rivals150 for the class of 2016. He looks to have stretched out a bit since the summer, can really run the floor, handles pretty well, has some bounce and looks to be a pretty good jump shooter for his size. He lacks strength right now, but it will come with maturity.
Huntsville (Ala.) Lee has a pair of intriguing prospects in senior power forward Geron Scissum and junior shooting guard Tracey Burnett. Scissum is a long and lanky 6-foot-7 ball-handling four man who really likes to attack the rim off the bounce. He is active on the glass and plays hard on both ends of the floor. Burnett is a well-built 6-foot-4 two guard who has good range on his jumper and plus athleticism. Both appear to be good mid-major prospects and Burnett reported that his first and only offer (more are surely to follow) came from Troy.

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