Position: SG
Height/Weight: 6'8" / 207 lbs
School/Club: Kansas
Status: Freshman
Birthday: February 10, 1997

About Josh Jackson

When Bill Self says Josh Jackson is as prepared for the NBA as any player he’s coached at Kansas, that speaks volumes about the freshman, because Self has coached some great players over the years. Beyond Jackson’s obvious physical gifts, there are a couple of things that separate him from many players his age. One, he hasn’t had to learn how to play with maximum effort. That’s just a part of his game. Two, he’s a dedicated, willing defender who takes pride on his efforts on that end of the floor. He’ll come into the NBA capable of defending more than one position. A guy that plays hard, loves to defend AND can get his points, too? Little wonder Jackson will be taken among the top three players in the NBA Draft.


  • Explosive athlete
  • Good size for an NBA wing
  • Competitor
  • Can guard multiple positions
  • Scores in a variety of ways
  • Good rebounder
  • Good passer


  • Has to get bigger and stronger
  • Shot mechanics could be more consistent
  • Has to shoot better from the free-throw line

NBA projection: Jackson is a certain high lottery pick.

2016-17 Season
Jackson was voted a second-team All-American, a Freshman All-American, the Big 12 Freshman of the Year and was also voted first-team All-Big 12 after a season in which he helped lead the KU to the NCAA tournament’s Elite Eight. Jackson was chosen the league’s Newcomer of the Week seven times and Player of the Week twice. He finished second on the team in scoring and rebounding, first in steals and blocked shots, and third in assists.

Key statistics: 16.3 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 3.0 apg, 2.8 tpg, 1.7 spg, 1.1 bpg, 30.8 mpg, .513 FG, .378 3PT, .566 FT

Career Highlights: A 2017 Wooden All-America selection and the Big 12 Freshman of the Year. Also an All-Big 12 First Team choice. Broke or tied four Kansas freshman records, including double-doubles (13), field goals made (220) and field goals attempted (429), and rebounds (tied Danny Manning's 258 set in 1985). Owns three gold medals from his time with the USA Basketball program. A McDonald’s High-School All American.

Cool statistic: Jackson broke or tied four school freshman records. He tied Danny Manning’s freshman rebound record (258) and set records for double-doubles (12), field goals made (220) and attempted (429).

Reminds me of: Kawhi Leonard

What Insiders Say
Kansas coach Bill Self

"When we recruited Josh, we were so fortunate but also knew this would probably be a one-year stay. He has not only surpassed our expectations as a player but also as a leader and a teammate. … We've had a lot really good ones here, but Josh is as prepared for the next level as anyone that we have ever had."

What Outsiders Say
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo
“I love Josh Jackson. He's a great kid. Recruited him since like ninth or tenth grade, even though he went to prep school out in California. I think he has what all of us appreciate. You can talk about his ability to put the ball on the floor and run the lane and this and that, [but] I think he plays as hard as any player I've seen in a lot of years.”


Chris Dortch is the editor of the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook. You can email him here, follow him on Twitter and listen to the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Hour.

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