When Scout.com updated the 2016 rankings last week, Josh Jackson came in at No. 4. Obviously that is a very lofty perch for the 6-foot-5 wing, but still some saw it as low. The truth is the top four are all very close and are clear elite talents, and over the weekend Jackson made a clear case to be No. 1 overall in the class.
Going against Saginaw (Mich.) Arthur Hill, Jackson faced off against four-star 2015 guard Eric Davis. The numbers and video didn't lie, Jackson was dominant in the game. From the opening tip Jackson absolutely controlled things with his combination strength, athleticism, skill, and toughness.
One thing about Jackson is that he never takes a play off. The elite sophomore plays every possession like it is his last. He attacks great off the dribble and from there it is tough to really defend him. Jackson is so strong that he is nearly impossible to keep out of the lane, and then he has the size and athleticism to finish himself, and also possesses the floor vision to find open teammates.
In fact the one thing that Jackson doesn't get enough credit for is his ability to pass the basketball. While Jackson definitely isn't a point guard, he is someone who sees the floor well and manages to make others better. Making others better is one of the staples of an elite level player, and Jackson can do just that.
Still it is Jackson's athleticism and toughness that are his greatest strength. Defensively he will be an absolute lockdown guy at the next level and going forward. He has long arms, quick feet, and the desire to be great on that end of the floor, and that is something even if his shot is struggling that will never go away.
The toughness applies to both ends of the floor. On offense he refuses to let himself be guarded. If someone takes away his drive, Jackson can stick the jumper. If teams crowd him, he will just attack going right or left and finish well above the rim with a dunk.
Overall there is no hole in Jackson's game on either side of the floor. He is the total package as a wing, and clearly has made himself into one of the best players in the country regardless of class. Against Arthur Hill Jackson finished with 25 points and 11 rebounds, and that is without playing much in the fourth quarter due to the game being a blowout.
If the game was close his numbers would have even been better, still he put on a show and proved to everybody he is in the conversation when it comes to being the No. 1 player in the 2016 class.
Video by Kyle Bogenschutz