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Isaiah Jackson emerging as standout freshman for Kentucky

Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics

Photo by Chet White | UK Athletics

When talking about the 2020-21 Kentucky basketball roster, the three immediate names analysts and experts bring up as instant-impact players are BJ Boston, Terrence Clarke, and Olivier Sarr. With Boston and Clarke coming in as consensus top-ten high school recruits and Sarr being seen as arguably the top transfer prospect in all of college basketball this offseason, the attention is justified.

But today, college basketball insider Jon Rothstein threw a brand new name into the fold, and it’s one that should get fans excited for the upcoming season.

According to the CBS Sports expert, five-star freshman Isaiah Jackson is turning heads in practice and will have a “big role” in Lexington this season with or without Sarr.

“Well embedded moles in Lexington continue to highlight Kentucky freshman Isaiah Jackson,” he said. “Going to have a big role for the Wildcats, regardless of whether or not Olivier Sarr is eligible.”

Mind you, Rothstein is the same person to rave about Immanuel Quickley leading up to the season last year before the sophomore guard averaged 16.1 points on 42.8% shooting from three en route to SEC Player of the Year and All-SEC First Team honors.

And the summer before, Rothstein singled out Tyler Herro as a difference-maker on the 2018-19 Wildcats, predicting Kentucky fans would “fall in love” with the four-star guard and that he will “completely change” UK’s spacing.

Rothstein is two for two on preseason predictions for Kentucky. Will Jackson make a significant impact in year one to make to make it three for three?

It’s certainly possible, as UK assistant Bruiser Flint said just yesterday that “the sky’s the limit” for the 6-foot-10 forward, highlighting his shot-blocking and rebounding abilities.

“I mean, you do what you do best, and what he does is rebounds and blocks shots,” Flint said. “I think he has a little bit of ways to go with his offense, but I think he’ll continue to get better because he works at it. Great athlete. I remember watching him as a high school player, always played with great energy, but I didn’t think he was a layup maker or a finisher around the basket, but he’s getting a lot better at that. He’s doing what he does well, which is block shots and rebounds the ball. Unbelievable lift, so I think he will be a really, not a good defensive player, a really good defensive player. He’s got great feet. I think the sky’s the limit for him, I think he got a chance to to be pretty good, but he’s a work in progress offensively. I think he shoots the ball a little bit better than I thought he did as a high school player. I think got chance to be really, really good.”

Interesting. Very, very interesting.

While we prepare for Jackson’s debut in Lexington, check out some of his impressive senior highlights below:

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

6 Comments for Isaiah Jackson emerging as standout freshman for Kentucky

  1. UKBigBlueForever
    11:59 am October 20, 2020 Permalink

    I love football, but I’m always excited for basketball to start. These articles usually don’t get me excited but the way basketball ended last year has me giddy about this one. I just hope covid doesn’t screw it up!

  2. bbnZach
    12:59 pm October 20, 2020 Permalink

    Can we finally win a championship with all this talent

    • abobicesaevior
      1:12 pm October 20, 2020 Permalink

      Only two rookies in the entire history of the NBA have ever won an MVP award. Wonder why?

  3. StuckinLville
    2:37 pm October 20, 2020 Permalink

    He will be the first true shot blocker we’ve had in awhile. He doesn’t need to score for us. Just needs to do his job and we will be fine. If this team can pull it together, they could be cutting down the nets. I think everyone knows this is the first team in awhile where we’ve had super star talent. They have the length, the attitude, and it seems most of these guys are dogs. Last years team was too nice if that makes sense. Great kids, just not the alpha mentality that helps us get to the final four.

  4. Dustin Rumbaugh
    4:27 pm October 20, 2020 Permalink

    Shot is clunky. Too slow with the release. Doesn’t like the post. Wants to play like a guard. Incredible athlete for his size. Goes too big on certain moves, needs to learn to stay home and be on his feet………..And that’s the scouting report on high school Anthony Davis. This kid is gonna be GREAT!!!

  5. Dustin Rumbaugh
    4:32 pm October 20, 2020 Permalink

    Obvious joke on the last one. But my goodness, you talk about a rim runner. He’s the definition. A friggin deer running down the court. The block to missed layup that he dunked back. I bet Cal saw something like that and wrote him two scholarship offers.