So when Jackson, the No. 1 prospect in the class of 2016 and a Kansas Jayhawks commit, spoke on the Seth Davis Show about the assumption that he’ll be in next year’s NBA Draft, he answered honestly.
“That is what I’m preparing for right now. I am preparing to be an NBA player. I think every college athlete is,” Jackson said.
And while he currently appears to be a lottery and potential No. 1 pick in the draft, Jackson realizes that nothing is guaranteed. The narrative for players of his stature lean heavily in Jackson’s favor, but it may not be wise to assume he’ll be in that position when the 2017 draft rolls around.
“Now, will I be in the NBA next year? I don’t know if I can say yes to that right now,” Jackson said. “I’m waiting to see how I play, and to talk about it with my family a little bit. We’ll see if it’s right for me at that time.”
That’s a mature attitude for a 19-year-old that has been receiving national media attention since his early high school days. And it speaks volumes to Jackson’s humility in handling the monstrous expectations that come with being a high-profile athlete.
Seth Davis Show/Campus Insiders
Josh Jackson, Kansas: Jackson was ranked the No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2016 by a number of outlets, and there are still people that believe he’ll eventually be the best NBA player out of this group. A freak athlete like Andrew Wiggins, Jackson is a bit more polished and a whole lot tougher than Wiggins was a freshman. It’s not crazy to think that he can match Wiggins’ output (17.7 points, 5.9 boards, nation’s top perimeter defender), and considering Kansas is a preseason top five team, that puts him firmly in the All-America discussion. But here’s what will limit him: If Carlton Bragg makes the improvement many expect him to, Jackson’s offense may be cut into, and considering there are a pair of alpha-dogs that will be the guys called on to make big shots in key moments, it’s hard to see him having any “Wooden Moments”.
NBC 1st Team Preseason All-American 1st Team
F: Josh Jackson, freshman, Kansas Jayhawks
His offensive numbers may not be eye-popping, but his impact on the game on both ends of the court will be impossible to ignore. Jackson does just about everything. He's tough, he gets to the basket and finishes, defends, passes, and rebounds.
ESPN Preseason All-Americans ($) (Josh 1st team, Carlton Bragg on the cusp)
Malik Newman dealt with more than injuries last year at Mississippi State. The former Bulldog point guard endured jealousy from senior teammates, coach Ben Howland said Wednesday.
"We had new players coming. There was definitely some jealously early on towards Malik from the older kids," Howland said. "That was a problem for us."
Newman signed with Mississippi State last year as a five-star prospect and the sign of a new era within the program. The marriage lasted only a year, which was expected, except Newman departed Starkville, not for the NBA but to transfer to Kansas.
Newan's father, Horatio Webster, told The Clarion-Ledger the divorce was a result of a lack of trust.
"It’s not even jealousy. It’s just (the feeling of) my team. I’ve been here. It’s about me and my team. Me," Howland said. "I think our trip this summer (showed) we have really good kids. I’m not saying we had bad kids last year. We didn’t. We had great kids, but there were some chemistry issues where it was an all new beginning. By the end of the year, I thought it became a close-knit group, which is why we started playing better."
Frank Mason looked thicker, stronger during the Bill Self Basketball Camp games. In Tuesday night's exhibition opener against Washburn, Mason looked as if he might even have increased his already jaw-dropping vertical leap.
“I’m not sure, but I’ve been working hard with (strength and conditioning coach Andrea) Hudy all summer and all fall and she got my legs stronger, upper body stronger, everything," Mason said. "Just proud to have Hudy in my life and have her help me and I get the best instructions from her.”
Wearing a blue Kansas Jayhawk hat and gray KU sweatshirt, Scott “Scooter” Ward sat in a wheelchair Wednesday in a visitor’s lounge at Kansas Transitional Care Center, telling a guest how fortunate he feels to be alive.
“I met with the surgeon a couple days ago and asked him what he thought when we were going into surgery. He said, ‘I didn’t feel like you had a shot,’ ’’ said Ward, KU’s associate athletic director for academic and career counseling, in an exclusive interview with The Kansas City Star.
“It is a medical miracle to even think how close you are to being done, to where in two months you can be fully back to doing what you are doing, which is just amazing,” he said.
Ward suffered a torn aorta on the morning of Oct. 7 in his and wife Robin’s Lawrence home, and following a series of heroic efforts by various individuals, he survived emergency heart surgery later that day and is now storming toward complete — yes complete — recovery.
Ward has been taken off all medications. He has no dietary restrictions.
The 1991 KU graduate from Kingman is merely waiting for his sternum — which had to be cracked during surgery — to heal a bit more before he returns from the Kansas City rehab facility to Lawrence and resumes work as academic adviser for KU volleyball and men’s basketball.
“I think it’d be nice to get to Senior Night,” Ward said of KU’s volleyball home finale against Iowa State on Nov. 19. “I think we’ll be there,” he said, noting his sternum needs another three weeks before he can, “really step up rehab. I had X-rays two days ago. Everything is in place where it is supposed to be.”
Now in its third season, SI's College Basketball Projections System has produced the most accurate preseason poll for the past two years. We don't rely on human voters, but instead build team by team projections from the players up. On offense, we begin by projecting every player's efficiency and shot volume, incorporating his past performance, recruiting rankings, development curves for similar Division I players, the quality of his teammates and his coach's ability to maximize talent. Those stats are weighted based on the team's rotation—including human intel on who’s expected to earn minutes—then used to produce each team’s offensive efficiency projection.
Our defensive forecasts are based on a blend of returnees' advanced stats (rebound, steal and block percentages), roster turnover (if churn is low, then 2014–15 performances in areas such as two-point field goal percentage are given a lot of weight; if high, then a coach’s historical defensive résumé matters more), experience (veterans have fewer lapses), height (taller frontcourts make for stingier defense) and depth of talent.
We simulate the season 10,000 times to account for variance in individual performances as well as injury scenarios, and the final product are these projections. To read are full rankings of every team in Division I, from 351–1, click here. Below, we offer a scouting report, player projections, conference projections, a coach's take and an X-factor for each team in our top 20. Scroll through the page to read each report, or click on the links below to find your favorite team:
During practice, Bill Self prefers to pit his starting guards against each other. But when he needs Devonte’ Graham and Frank Mason III on the same team, he calls for “the two littles.” And Graham always responds, “Do you mean the two bigs?”
Graham, a 6' 2" junior, and Mason, a 5' 11" senior, are far from the Jayhawks’ tallest players, but they have the largest presence and will make up one of the nation’s best backcourts. Flanking them on the wings will be Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, the sharpshooter who spent the summer competing for his native Ukraine at the FIBA Europe Under-20 championship; Lagerald Vick, whom Self calls the team’s most improved player “by far”; and Josh Jackson, the No. 1 player in the high school class of 2016. Projected as a top five pick in the ’17 NBA draft, Jackson has added nearly 20 pounds of muscle to his 207-pound frame since arriving in Lawrence in June.
…X Factor: Last year Carlton Bragg Jr. averaged just 8.9 minutes behind All–Big 12 forward Perry Ellis. Now the boisterous forward will be the focal point of KU’s frontcourt attack and increase his scoring by almost nine points per game.
LJW Tait: The Day After-Woeful against Washburn
Jesse Newell: Bill Self in 2026
Ongoing construction around the Fieldhouse and increasing demand for parking have prompted some changes to parking and shuttle service.
Basketball fans would have seen the changes for the first time Tuesday night, the Jayhawks’ first home game of the year. The next home men’s basketball game is 7 p.m. Sunday against Emporia State University.
For one, the shuttle bus from park-and-ride lots to Allen Fieldhouse is no longer free. This year it costs $3 roundtrip per person to ride the bus, which picks people up from free parking in Lot 301, on West Campus by the Shenk Recreational Sports Complex.
Donna Hultine, director of KU Parking and Transit, called it a “break-even” charge to help cover the cost of an increased number of buses needed to meet demand.
Young teams that get tested early often falter, and Duke is less than two weeks away from a Champions Classic matchup with Kansas, which is right behind the Blue Devils at No. 2 in the preseason USA Today Coaches Poll.
The Jayhawks return upperclassmen Frank Mason, Devonte’ Graham and Landen Lucas and are also adding 6-foot-8 wing Josh Jackson, ESPN’s second-ranked freshman in the class. They could easily derail Duke’s bid at a 40-0 season before it picks up steam.
Although the Blue Devils have the other two-thirds of this season’s top three freshmen, Harry Giles has not played basketball in nearly a year and seems unlikely to recover from a knee scope in time for the Kansas game.
Jayson Tatum—currently sidelined with a foot sprain—is expected to be back for the start of the regular season, though, which could set up a highly anticipated matchup between the 6-foot-8 swingman and Jackson reminiscent of the 2013 Champions Classic game between Jabari Parker’s Blue Devils and Andrew Wiggins’ Jayhawks the last time the two teams faced off. Kansas won that battle.
One of the few bright spots have been the performances of Markieff Morris.
Morris, who was acquired from Phoenix in exchange for a first round pick at the trade deadline last season, has started to perform to the level that justifies his trade price.
In the first two games, Morris averaged 16.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game, both good for second on the team.
Beyond the numbers, Morris’ most crucial element to the Wizards is the role he is able to fulfill.
…Morris seems like the kind of player who doesn’t have trouble fitting in, on the court at least. His ability to both create for himself and serve as a complementary piece is not extremely common in the NBA.
Marcus Morris submitted 22 points (9-14 FG, 2-3 3Pt, 2-4 FT), four rebounds, one assist and one steal across 32 minutes in Tuesday's 102-89 win over the Knicks.
Morris has risen to the occasion with the Pistons needing more scoring to compensate for the absence of Reggie Jackson (knee), tallying 17 or more points in three of the team's four games. In the process, he's also upped his contributions on the glass, averaging 6.5 boards per game, a notable uptick from the 5.1 per game he provided in 2015-16.
Tarik Black scored six points (1-2 FG, 4-4 FT) and added eight rebounds, one steal and one block across 19 minutes in Tuesday's 115-108 loss to the Pacers.
Black ended up seeing a season-high minutes total after starting center Timofey Mozgov was limited to 19 minutes of his own when he was forced to exit the contest with a left eye contusion. Mozgov underwent CT scans after the game and is dealing with significant swelling near the eye, so the Lakers have already ruled him out for Wednesday's game against the Hawks, according to Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News reports. Mozgov's absence should open the door for Black to start at center, though he won't necessarily see a huge workload. In addition to Black, deep reserves Ivica Zubac and Thomas Robinson could factor into the mix at center,
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Why Allen Fieldhouse is the BEST!
BIG 12/COLLEGE NEWS
Josh Hart is off to a stellar start as a member of the defending national champions.
The 6-foot-5 swingman from Villanova will begin his senior season on The Associated Press' preseason All-America team.
Hart, the Big East's preseason player of the year, received 53 votes from the same 65-member national media panel that selects the weekly Top 25.
Grayson Allen of Duke was the top vote-getter with 61, four more than Ivan Rabb of California.
Dillon Brooks of Oregon had 30 votes and Monte Morris of Iowa State had 24.
Sophomore Thomas Bryant of Indiana and freshmen Markelle Fultz of Washington and Josh Jackson of Kansas all received 18 votes.
Hart averaged 15.5 points and 6.8 rebounds last season for the Wildcats, who beat North Carolina in the title game on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Kris Jenkins.
The last Wildcat to be a preseason All-America was Kerry Kittles in 1995-96, the first season the AP had a preseason team.
The 6-5 Allen, a junior and one of four veterans on the Blue Devils' roster which is loaded with freshmen stars, averaged 21.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.5 assists last season, shooting 41.7 percent from 3-point range and 88.7 from the free throw line.
It hasn't been long since a Blue Devil made the team as freshman Jahlil Okafor was on it in 2015-16.
Morris is the second Cyclone in two years to make the team. He joins Georges Niang who was on it last season. The 6-3 Morris averaged 13.8 points, 3.9 rebounds and 6.9 assists as a junior and Iowa State reached as high as No. 4 in the poll last season.
Neither Cal nor Oregon has had a member of the preseason team. That changes with Rabb and Brooks, the second straight season there was two players from the same conference as Niang and Buddy Hield of Oklahoma were from the Big 12.
Rabb, a 6-11 sophomore, averaged 12.5 points and 8.6 rebounds while shooting 61 percent from the field for the Golden Bears.
Brooks, a 6-7 junior, averaged 16.7 points and 5.4 rebounds for the Ducks, who finished fifth in the final poll.
Hield was the only player last season to make both the preseason and postseason All-America teams. Joining the senior guard on last season's preseason team were seniors Kyle Wiltjer of Gonzaga and Niang, junior Kris Dunn of Providence and freshman Ben Simmons of LSU.
NCAA president Mark Emmert agrees with Ben Simmons that the one-and-done rule is harming college basketball but noted that the Philadelphia 76ers rookie has misdirected his criticism.
"I was reading today where someone who played basketball at LSU was very unhappy with the one-and-done rule," Emmert said Wednesday, according to the Baton Rouge Advocate. "That's not our rule. That's the NBA's rule. But [he says] it's another stupid NCAA rule."
Emmert said he has been outspoken in his displeasure with the one-and-done rule.
"It makes a farce of going to school," Emmert said. "But if you just want to play in the NBA, you can do that. You can go to Europe or play at a prep school until you're 19.
"I'd love nothing more than for the NBA to get rid of that rule. We've made it really clear to the players' union and the leadership of the NBA that we very much would like it changed."
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New Albany junior star Romeo Langford is getting national attention heading into the 2016-17 basketball season.
Last week, Langford was named to the USA Today All-USA team. He was one of 20 players in the nation — and three from Indiana — named to the team. He was also one of only four juniors honored by the national newspaper. The other two players from Indiana schools attend LaLumiere — a prep school in LaPorte. New Albany recently announced it will face the Lakers on Dec. 15 at New Castle Fieldhouse as part of a doubleheader.
On Wednesday, Langford was named to CBS Sports/MaxPrep's 10 Big-Time Player on the Rise list. He and LaLumiere guard Tyger Campbell are the only players from Indiana to make the list.
"The accolades he receives are well deserved," New Albany coach Jim Shannon said. "He's obviously talented enough to be listed on these honors he's getting, but he also continues to work hard knowing he has different levels to attain."
Langford, who is ranked third in the latest ESPN junior class rankings, averaged 30.9 points and 9.8 rebounds as a sophomore. In the postseason, when he led the Bulldogs to their first state championship in 43 years, he scored nearly 35 points per game.
…The 2-time News and Tribune Player of the Year's current list of potential college choices includes Duke, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisville, Kansas, North Carolina, Purdue, UCLA and Vanderbilt.
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