No coach in college basketball has had a better 24 hours than Mark Turgeon. The Maryland boss got great news when start point guard Melo Trimble decided to return to school and bypass the NBA Draft, and shortly thereafter four-star combo forward Justin Jackson picked the Terrapins.
Initially Jackson committed to UNLV, but following the coaching change with the Running Rebels he re-opened his recruitment. The three schools that got visits were Oregon, Maryland, and Connecticut, but in the end it was the Terrapins that won out.
Multiple people close to the situation confirmed the news to Scout.com, and this is huge for the Terrapins.
Jackson is a highly skilled 6-foot-7 forward who can play either on the wing or as a stretch power forward. It is probably more likely to start that he gets minutes as a mismatch problem at the power forward position, and he continues to move full time to the wing.
By landing this commitment the Terrapins have now found a way to replace a frontcourt that was decimated by graduation and departures for the NBA Draft. Along with Jackson, small forward Micah Thomas was added late as well as graduate transfer L.G. Gill from Duquesne.
Look for Jackson to come in right away and compete for a starting spot with the Terrapins. Maryland has the ability to play big or play small this year, and Jackson’s versatility to should fit perfectly into that and give Turgeon a lot of options.
This is the third four-star commitment for the Terrapins, and the highest rated pledge of the class. The No. 36 overall prospect was made a priority by Turgeon as well as assistant coach Bino Ranson, and they were rewarded with the pledge that now gives the Terps the No. 15 overall class in 2016.