MAPLE GROVE, Minn. – Iowa jumped in with a scholarship offer for Garfield Heights (Ohio) forward Willie Jackson this spring. He showed us he was deserving of the opportunity this past weekend here at the EYBL event.
Jackson helped King James post a 5-0 record. In 17 games on the circuit this spring, the 6-foot-6, 215-pounder averaged 8.4 points and a team-high 7.0 rebounds. He collected 20 boards in one game here.
What I Saw: Jackson ranks as about the fourth offensive option on the King James offense with guys like Ohio State verbal Derek Funderburk, Jarron Cumberland and Xavier Simpson ahead of him. To Jackson’s credit, he finds ways to get involved and be effective.
Jackson shows a knack for rebounding, even over taller players. He takes advantage of length and quick-twitch reflexes. He’s also fast off the floor, not needing to gather himself to get above the rim. You can tell he works on positioning and angles to help him produce on the glass as well.
Jackson’s offense comes courtesy of scraps and post-ups. It’s hard to say if he’ll be able to live on that at the next level but with the way he rebounds it’s a distinct possibility. If he could add a mid-range game and improve his ball handling, he might be able to move up the food chain on offense.
Jackson did hit 5 of 8 from behind the three-point arc during the spring session on the circuit. That showed that the ability is there given a chance.
I think Jackson is a player that comes into a Power 5 program as a role player with a chance to expand beyond that with practice and coaching.