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UK was “dream” school for Isaiah Jackson but he also might be “dream” player for John Calipari

Isaiah Jackson (USA Basketball Photo)


It was obvious John Calipari had seemed to have been re-energized about recruiting the last nine months or so — perhaps in response to many claiming Duke had moved past Kentucky as the nation’s go-to destination for top players.

Calipari’s work paid off again Saturday when 6-9 Isaiah Jackson of Detroit picked Kentucky to bolster what already was the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class. I saw him play for Spire Academy last season on a team loaded with starts but I loved the way he could knock down 3-point shots, run the floor, soar above the rim to throw down shots or block shots, and his poise at the McCracken County Mustang playing in front of an overflow crowd.

Jackson had called Kentucky his “dream school” going back to when he was 11 year old and UK won the national title in 2013. However, he was not one of the players in the 2020 recruiting class that UK targeted early. However, once he got the Kentucky offer, he knew the Cats were for him over Alabama and Syracuse.

“I picked them because Kentucky has always been a dream school of mine because they bring in top notch guys and turn them into pros,” Jackson told 247 Sports national recruiting director Evan Daniels. “I just feel like me being there with the team we have I have a chance to win national championship and also fulfill my ultimate goal of being a pro.”

Jackson joins Brandon Boston, Terrence Clark, Lance Ware, Cam’ron Fletcher and Devin Askew is UK”s top-ranked 202 recruiting class.

Jackson no longer is at Spire Academy in Ohio. Instead, he play his senior season back home in Michigan for Waterford Mott — his fourth school in four seasons. He played at Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest as a freshman and at Detroit Old Redford his sophomore season before leaving Michigan to play in Ohio.

The five-star Jackson is a top 30 recruit but not only gives Calipari another needed potential interior player/rim protector for next season but he seems still underrated to me because he’s an incredible athlete who will rebound and block shots.

He averaged 10.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game in Nike EYBL play last summer. He’s also already raised his weight about 15 pounds to 205 in recent months.


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  1. I absolutely love this guy’s overall skills…so pleased to get him. I’ve read where he might still be growing and that 6’10″s isn’t out of the question. Welcome big guy and thanks so much for choosing the Cats. Hey! Mr. Brown, come on down and join the party.

  2. @ Mr. Jackson:
    Welcome to The Big Blue Nation 👍

  3. His bio sheet says he is 6’8″, but he probably is still growing. He needs to put on some weight and muscle…185 lbs. on a 6’8″ frame will be easy to push around. He needs to find a trainer, change his diet, and start hitting the weight room. By the time next season rolls around, he could have another inch or two on his frame and add 20 lbs of muscle. Still on the light side, but that would be a start. Our people would take over then and could have another 10 – 15 pounds on him by SEC play. He will need every bit of it to bang with the bigs in the SEC. Maybe he will stay around 2 or 3 years to get his body and game ready for the NBA. After 3 years at UK he could be a 6’11”, 240 pound monster of a power forward

  4. Welcome to the BBN young fella and UK won the title in 2012, not 2013.

  5. MY! MY! Some on here keep saying Calipari has lost his recruiting touch. Welcome Jackson to the Big Blue Machine.

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