George Mason got a commitment last night to complete their 2014 recruiting class. 6’6″ Isaiah Jackson (Gainesville, FL) committed to the Patriots and he’s been listed anywhere from point guard to power forward on recruiting sites. The last reports from ESPN’s recruiting site labels him a “point forward”, which seems to make more sense than the staff merely adding another forward prospect. Most are referring to him as a point guard and Mason certainly could use another option at position.
Here is ESPN’s scouting report on him:
Jackson is an athletic and skilled wing that can make plays with the ball in his hands like a point forward. He can get teammates involved with his advance passing on the break and as he penetrates, drives draw and kicks as he attacks the lane. Jackson can finish at the rim with good strength, touch and body control and has a nice mid range pull up jumper. He can rebound and lead the break and make good decision with the ball as well.
Jackson is in the process of recovering from a leg injury so his explosiveness is not where it should be yet. Also he must work to stay in ganged in the game and work to be a consistent performer in which he is very capable.
Jackson has the size and skill to be a very good college wing that possesses great play making potential. He will have to get fully healthy and continue to work on be consistent and at that point his game will take off.
The part about him recovering from a leg injury may be why he is not rated that high and still available at this point in the recruiting process. He could be a kid who was always a point guard and recently went through a growth spurt. Paul Hewitt has a history of recruiting point guards with size and they really are in need of the type of player that can guy and also get others involved.
He is more on him and his leg injury from the local media in Gainesville (March 2013):
Runner-up as the Florida Dairy Farmers Class 6A Player of the Year, the 6-foot-6 junior led the Hurricanes to Lakeland and the state tournament after pulling off back-to-back upset wins in the state playoffs. In its 74-66 upset at No. 2 Leesburg in the regional semifinals, Jackson scored a season-high 38 points, hitting on 24 of 28 free throws, to avenge a 32-point loss (91-59) to the Yellow Jackets in the district final. Four days later in Orlando, Jackson hit two free throws with nine second left to lift the ‘Canes over No. 1 Edgewater, 56-55, for a spot in the state semifinals. For the season, he averaged team-bests in points (15.4), rebounds (7.7) and assists (5.4) per game, and had a triple-double in a 22-point win over Lakeland McKeel Academy.
A year ago, 18 games into the season, Jackson took a nasty fall going up for a shot at Buchholz and broke his right leg. It was a huge loss for the Hurricanes and the first major injury for the promising sophomore. “Part of the hurdle he had to get over was the mental issue going through that and all the physical rehabilitation,” said GHS coach Kelly Beckham. “By the time we hit the playoffs, he was really close to 100 percent.”
So the leg injury was a while ago, however the ESPN report listed above is from June 2013 and it says he’s not where he should be yet. Something to keep an eye on, hopefully it is more of a mental issue at this point.
“He plays point guard here for us, but he can really develop into a guy who can multiple positions,” head coach David Krakoff told SNY.tv. “He can probably play 1-4 when he’s done developing.
“He has a really long wingspan. He’s a great passer, has great vision, creates a lot of offense for his team. He can score, he can post, he can knock down the jump shot. He can slash into the paint. He can defend multiple positions. That’s his best attribute.”
Jackson appears to fill a need though as a scorer and another ball handler in the backcourt. He essentially is a wing who can also probably run the point as a sort of point forward role. Here is ESPN’s staff describing him at an AAU event this past July: “he can slash and score or pass, he can knock down the open 3 and he can elevate in the lane for the midrange pull-up”. Someone who can hit mid-range jumpers? That would be nice.
Insert the “I hope he turns out like Luke Hancock!” comments now.