The Michigan State Spartans got great news on Thursday morning as Jaren Jackson picked the school. A high upside 6-foot-10 power forward, Jackson has the ability to play inside and out, and now he has become the first commitment for Michigan State in what they hope is a big 2017 class.
With the definite loss of fifth year transfer Ben Carter, and the potential loss to the NBA of freshman Miles Bridges, Michigan State absolutely needed a power forward on the roster and they recruited several, but it was obvious for a while that Jackson was their top target.
At 6-foot-10 with a major plus wingspan, Jackson gives the Spartans someone with the length and size to play on the interior and the skill to play on the perimeter.
In fact, it wouldn’t be a major shock to see Jackson start right away in a Spartan uniform both due to necessity and ability.
One good thing for Michigan State is that Jackson comes from an extremely solid basketball family. His mother is the director of the WNBA Players Association and his father is a long time NBA role player.
With that the parents have a great feel for what Jackson needs to work on, and there is no hurry to get him to the NBA or delusion about what position he will play, or how he has to be used.
This will make Tom Izzo’s life a lot easier, and also likely lead to an easier path to growth for Jackson.
Now Jackson has to continue to get stronger and also focus on being a better rebounder. While he did show signs of that this summer, rebounding the basketball, and just generally being a more physical basketball player will be important in Jackson reaching his significant ceiling.
Jackson still has a ton of untapped potential, and really is the type of guy who has developed into the new age NBA prototype power forward. He makes threes, can block shots, can switch screens defensively, and also can handle himself inside.
Will he continue to put all of those natural tools together, there is no way to know, but for now it is headed on the right path, and now newly minted Hall of Famer Tom Izzo will have a chance to groom him in his time in East Lansing.