According to Paul Biancardi of ESPN, Jaren Jackson, the 26th ranked recruit in the class of 2017, has committed to Michigan State. The 6’10 forward had multiple offers from a collection of schools and came to his decision one day after widdling down to five teams.
Competing with MSU was Maryland, Purdue, Georgetown, and Notre Dame, and choosing a Tom Izzo-coached team came after months of due diligence. Jackson raved about Izzo as a coach, and his recent induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame certainly helped the process.
“Coach Izzo has established a culture and an attitude of winning and I want to be part of that. He does a great job at developing talent too.”
Jackson elaborated, citing a visit by Izzo that surprised him, “it was crazy he came to visit me right after I was watching him on television from the Hall of Fame. I heard he was coming but I did not know for sure he would show up. That meant a lot to me.”
The Spartans are coming off a disappointing season that ended in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at the hands of (15) Middle Tennessee. During the regular season, they were a dominant force in the Big Ten behind senior guard Denzel Valentine, and Sparty was able to finish with an overall record of 29-6 while going 13-5 in conference play.
According to 247Sports, MSU has the third-best recruiting class in the nation for 2016 behind Kentucky and Duke. Miles Bridges and Joshua Langford, two of the Spartans’ five-star recruits, are the heavy hitters of their incoming freshman class.
For 2017, Jaren Jackson was the first recruit to sign with them.
Jackson, who just turned 17 today, is an incredibly young senior and doesn’t look super impressive on tape-he’s far from that, though. At 6’10, Jackson is comfortable pulling from long range and his ability to shoot is his best asset. His form is a little funky and is more of a flick shot, so it’ll be interesting to see if MSU’s coaching staff tweaks it once he gets on campus.
Right now on his jump shots, the ball is held low, and if he raises his release, it’ll be impossible for defenders to block because of his length.
With a wingspan that’s reportedly over seven-feet, Jackson is close to being a capable interior defender, but he isn’t so athletic and will need to bulk up; that won’t be an issue, and the staff will surely get him into the weight room ASAP.
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