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Isaiah Jackson highest-ranked Wildcat in new ESPN mock draft

For months, BJ Boston was considered Kentucky’s top draft prospect; according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz, that is no longer the case.

Isaiah Jackson is the top Wildcat in ESPN’s new 2021 mock draft, released this morning. The freshman from Michigan is projected right on the cusp of the lottery at No. 15, up from No. 25 in ESPN’s first 2021 mock draft in November. Boston, who was No. 3 in the preseason mock draft, dropped to No. 26. Terrence Clarke, who has not played since the Louisville game on Dec. 26, dropped from No. 15 to No. 44.

  • 15. Isaiah Jackson (San Antonio)
  • 26. BJ Boston (Brooklyn)
  • 44. Terrence Clarke (New Orleans)

Jackson has been one of the lone bright spots of the season, ranking tenth nationally in blocks with 2.9 per game and second in block percentage at 15.3%. The latter figure is better than Anthony Davis (13.8%), Nerlens Noel (13.2%), and Willie Cauley-Stein (12.3%). Jackson is also ahead of those former Cats in blocks per 40 minutes (5.9), but well behind them in fouls per 40 minutes. Jackson is averaging 5.2 fouls per 40 minutes; by contrast, Davis averaged just 2.4 and Noel 3.2.

Former Kentucky recruit Cade Cunningham is ESPN’s projected No. 1 draft pick, followed by USC center Evan Mobley and Jalen Green from the G-League Ignite. Tennessee’s Keon Johnson is No. 7, Auburn’s Sharife Cooper No. 9, and Arkansas’ Moses Moody No. 12. If you’ve got an ESPN Insider account, you can check it all out at the link below.


Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

19 Comments for Isaiah Jackson highest-ranked Wildcat in new ESPN mock draft

  1. Blue Bill
    10:04 am February 2, 2021 Permalink

    Three nba draft picks and no ncaa tourney.

  2. millertim
    10:04 am February 2, 2021 Permalink

    Really love this young man’s energy and potential and hope he stays at least another year… but understand the lure of being a first round pick in the NBA. He’ll have to be able to shoot the 3 ball at the next level and develop his ability to create his own shot.

  3. Swizzle
    10:22 am February 2, 2021 Permalink

    Great, the only one I was hoping would come back. Will now be pushed out.

    • Swizzle
      10:23 am February 2, 2021 Permalink

      Of the 3 cant miss super star lottery picks of course.

  4. secrick
    10:38 am February 2, 2021 Permalink

    Pro basketball must be in decline as far as good basketball players. This kid is a pretty good player for college level but not for what pros used to be. I don’t watch them so maybe they are down. Hope he stays with us one more year but if he can get the money i don’t blame him.

    • millertim
      1:37 pm February 2, 2021 Permalink

      Actually skill level at the NBA is at an all-time high. Bigs are no longer screeners and post-up, lane cloggers. You must be skilled as a shooter (3 ball is a must), create your own shot off the dribble and be able to switch out on all players on defense. You should start watching again— the game is very entertaining… much better than college ball! If you notice, very few 1st round players see action… it takes a few years before they see meaniningful minutes. Hagans just got his first 3 minutes the other night and I don’t think Richards has seen the floor, yet.

    • ClutchCargo
      2:13 pm February 2, 2021 Permalink

      I agree with the gist of what millertim is saying. The skill level in the NBA is as high as it has been in a very long time.
      But look at a guy like Montrezl Harrell, who is the NBA player I think of when I picture Jackson in the league right now. They have pretty much the same skill set, and Harrell couldn’t hit a 3 to save his life. He gets his own shot by rebounding and defending like his life depends on it. Not just anybody can get by with that skillset in the NBA these days, but high motor guys like that can in the right situation. And it’s not out of the question that Jackson could develop more of an offensive game once he has the time to work at it full-time as a pro.

  5. jim tom
    10:44 am February 2, 2021 Permalink

    And cannot shoot the basketball

  6. neat1ky
    10:49 am February 2, 2021 Permalink

    Don’t see cooper being top 10 pick and yes the NBA is down in quality with those type of picks

  7. Trinity45
    11:09 am February 2, 2021 Permalink

    I can see Jackson because of Athletic ability, but I just don’t see it in Boston, I can’t even put Boston in the same category as the elder Ball at New Orleans.

  8. secrick
    11:13 am February 2, 2021 Permalink

    I think Cal would make a good draft pick, maybe someone will pick him. JUST KIDDING. Hope he stays with us for years.

  9. Johnnycat
    11:48 am February 2, 2021 Permalink

    It’s funny how people come on this site and say how they think a kid sucks and then turn around and say they don’t watch the NBA. If you did, then you’d know many guys actually improve when they get there. Good example…Bam. He unlocked skills we never saw by year 2 in the NBA. Plus, the NBA likes to get talent cheap early in their career so they can spend big money of the cap on vets. If a guy turns out to be good, then he gets paid on that 2nd contract….like Bam just got…max deal for a mid first round guy.

  10. dave1964
    12:15 pm February 2, 2021 Permalink

    wouldn’t pick none of the three with the last pick in the draft.

  11. dave1964
    12:16 pm February 2, 2021 Permalink

    Just shows how diluted college basketball is with so many players leaving early.

  12. east-ky-boy
    12:30 pm February 2, 2021 Permalink

    3 to the nba. That’s a title in Cals eyes.

  13. kfwa
    1:27 pm February 2, 2021 Permalink

    I hope one day soon the UK fan base will universally declare to anyone listening they no longer give a damn what a players mock draft is

    • devildog587pi
      8:13 pm February 2, 2021 Permalink

      Lmao amen to’s the same with the recruiting.I use to love the recruiting,we would get a couple four stars and a five and think we won a we can get get two rotations of five star lineups and still not get a title.not saying that is this years team.but have seen coach chokapari have that problem.I can never forgive petino for the defection to Louisville.but i sure miss his teams.3 and four star teams,but with Kentucky pride in their blood.