ATHENS, Ga. — There is little question that Mark Fox is a stellar coach. His Georgia Bulldogs basketball team, without superstar Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, finished the regular season tied with Kentucky for second place in the SEC. That quieted a lot of critics when it came to what Fox does on the floor. The only real question left is: can Fox recruit?
Fox may have silenced a few more critics today. Four-star point guard William Jackson flipped his commitment from national champion University of Connecticut to Fox’s Bulldogs this morning.
“He called me this morning and told me the news,” said Ron Link, Jackson’s head coach at Athens Christian School. “I said that is great because I will at least get to see you play more. He has such great parents and he is just such an all around great kid.”
Jackson goes by the nickname “Turtle” and could be one of Fox’s biggest recruiting wins during his tenure in Athens.
“He is one of the best guards in the nation, no doubt,” Link said. “I know he is because I coached 23 NBA players at the Boston Shootout and I have never had a guard that can do all he can do. Not even in that group and they all wound up being NBA players. I tell you that not to brag but to say I know a player when I see one. I watched Louis Williams come up and then I left South Gwinnett. He is a great guard but even he could not pass the way Turtle passes. And he is still playing [Toronto Raptors].”
When asked what prompted Jackson to change his commitment from Connecticut to Georgia, Link speculated that Georgia’s steadfastness may have played a role.
“When you are No. 1 in the nation and you win the national tournament, you can get anybody you want,” Link said. “So maybe UConn recruited above him and got some better players they think. Turtle keeps up with that. If they are recruiting a kid at the same position he is in, then they are not sure of Turtle. And Georgia was sure of him. Coach Fox is a good coach.”
Jackson is ranked the No. 107 player in the nation by Rivals.com
“He didn’t play last summer because of his knee injury so he dropped in the rankings,” Link said. “The only reason he dropped was because he wasn’t playing.”
Jackson led the Eagles to a 25-5 record and a final four appearance in the state playoffs last season.