Well Tar Heel Nation, this evening we got very good news out of Spring, TX where top 15 recruit in the 2014 class, Justin Jackson has verbally committed to play basketball at North Carolina. Jackson just took his official visit to UNC over the weekend and reportedly had a great time. He and his parents both felt like the atmosphere was great, the guys on the team were easy to bond with and that Coach Williams’ character was second to none.
Jackson becomes the second recruit to commit to North Carolina in the 2014 class with the first being 5 star PG Joel Berry who committed back in January. With Jackson in the fold, North Carolina adds a much need wing player that they will sorely need by the time he enrolls in school. Assuming PJ Hairston leaves for the NBA, JP Tokoto would be the only other scholarship player beside Jackson that could play on the perimeter on the 2014 roster as it currently stands.
Jackson has similar ability to Tokoto because they are both long guys that have a stronger mid range game than long range. Tokoto is certainly more explosive and plays further above the rim, but Jackson possesses a certain finesse to his game and has a floater that rivals former Tar Heel Joe Forte back in the early 2000’s. Jackson is certainly capable of playing above the rim as well and can dunk when he needs too, but his soft touch and ability to finish on the run has become his signature skill on the court.
Jackson is a very easy going kid with a game that will mesh well with just about anybody’s. He’s smart and moves extremely well without the ball allowing for him to get open looks in the lane. He also possesses great floor vision for a forward and is no stranger to getting his teammates involved for open looks.
One thing that Jackson will need to get comfortable with is that even though he will playing small forward, which he somewhat does now, he will no longer be the biggest kid on the floor. At 6-8, Jackson is a tall kid and can play in the interior if he has to, but his frame for the time being will more than likely cause for some struggles when he bangs against older post players. Jackson will be more so charged with spreading the defense and playing more on the outside. While his jump shot is serviceable, it should still be on his list to improve over the next year and a half so he’ll be better fit to play his position more comfortably. Jackson has the talent to be a great shooter in time and under the development of Roy, it’s a safe assumption that he will be.
When Jackson gets to Carolina, he’ll fit right in immediately. His demeanor and style of play are a perfect fit for the UNC system that Roy Williams has in place and he gives the team a much need body on the wings. Roy mentioned to Justin that he was looking for 2 wings total in the 2014 class so it’s no question that he is excited to have Justin in place. If Roy sticks to what he has said, he’ll be in the market for at least one more guard to play beside Jackson. Either way, with Jackson, the Tar Heels are building a big time class so far in 2014. Who’s next?
I have decided to attend the University of North Carolina!! #ToGodBeTheGlory
— Justin Jackson (@JJacks2014) March 4, 2013