No one doubts Josh Jackson‘s prodigious talent. No one would even dare question whether he’s one of the top shooting guard prospects in the nation. The only deliberation is precisely how highly rated he deserves to be, with 247 Sports and Rivals.com anointing him as the nation’s top overall prospect while others have ranked him second, behind big man Harry Giles. Incredibly, 247 Sports recently went a step further, giving Jackson the highest rating it has ever bestowed on a prospect, a 102 out of 100.
Here’s how 247 Sports Basketball Recruiting Analyst Jerry Meyer explained the network’s historic rating decision:
In my 14 years in the business, Josh Jackson is the top shooting guard I’ve ever scouted. In accordance with that, we’ve bumped the Kansas signee, already considered the top player in the nation, to a 102 overall rating in our final Top247 for the class of 2016.
That 102 is the highest in 247Sports’ history of grading players.
Who does Jackson compare to coming out of high school? It’s a tough question. Several of the current top shooting guards in the NBA were under-the-radar prospects who blossomed after high school. As far as strictly high school play alone goes, Eric Gordon, O.J. Mayo and J.R. Smith stand out as some of the top shooting guards I’ve scouted prior to Jackson, but none of them compare to Jackson in terms of overall game.
I said last year that Kobe Bryant comes to mind when scouting Jackson. You hate to throw out a name like that for such a young guy, but the Detroit native has a lot of the same things that made Bryant a star coming out of Philadelphia’s Lower Merion High School in 1996.
Kobe Bryant? No pressure, Senor Jackson. Yet, if anyone would be well suited to thrive under such circumstances, Jackson would seem to be that athlete, precisely because of the competitiveness and drive that Meyer referred to previously.