Couldn't be happier for UGA basketball and Coach Fox. Well, I could. Can we flip Daniel Giddens?
One at a time, one at a time.
Glad to be posting again. Life gets busy sometimes. Anyway, back to the subject at hand. UGA recently received a commitment from William "Turtle" Jackson. That is huge news for at least ten reasons:
1) Dude can play.
Nice arc on his jump shot. Note that he has the ability that other great point guards have, in that he goes either right or left, full speed, and always keeps his head up so he can make the right pass. Dishes with either the right or left hand. Is not bothered by "bump and run" style defense. Finishes through contact. Willing rebounder and defender. Not an explosive leaper yet, but he might develop plenty of lift as he continues to work on his game.
2) High Character
Turtle Jackson is a good kid. He'll represent UGA well. As we have seen with football, a good player with bad habits ends up at _____________ (you put in the name of the school. A couple come to mind for me).
3) Position of Need
We brought in two big men for 2014. Yante Maten and Osahen "Fred" Iduwe will hopefully hold down the front court in future years. So unless something changes drastically, we won't add any guards this year. I had hoped that Cameron Johnson of Clarke Central might somehow find a spot, but he got signed by College of Charleston.
At any rate, by the fall of 2015, Charles Mann will be entering his senior year. We have J.J. Frazier, a scrappy, but undersized point guard who by then will be a junior, but we need a big point guard. Turtle Jackson fits the bill perfectly.
4) Legacy Signee
If I'm not mistaken, Turtle Jackson's Dad played at UGA. We ought to be able to sign a kid like Jackson, and we will.
5) Local Product
He'll be a fan favorite right off the bat. Will we see more local fans out at the games?
Turtle Jackson wants to play for Georgia. He has committed to us, and though he could open up his recruitment again, I seriously doubt it. We want guys who want to come to, or as in Jackson's case, want to stay in, Athens.
7) Room to Grow
Jackson is 6' 4" or thereabouts right now. Who's to say that he won't grow another inch or even two over the next year and a half? He has had a knee injury, but by the time fall 2015 rolls around, he should be good to go. Throw in a good preseason weight-training and conditioning program, and he'll be ready to help UGA post some victories up on the schedule.
8) Early Commit
I have wanted just this kind of result for a while. It seems the other programs get commitments early from talented players. Meanwhile, UGA hangs on but ultimately misses out on guys (I am reminded on Tony Parker) and ends up trying to find potential signees late in the process. Definitely not a formula for recruiting success. Jackson is on board during the summer before his senior year. That's huge.
9) Makes others Better
You see that phrase tossed around a bit, but what I mean by it is that a player works hard, is unselfish and is a positive influence in the locker room, all the while having the skill set to help get wins on the court. Jackson is all that.
Great shooters want somebody who has the ability and willingness to get them the ball. Great big men want to play with someone who can feed the post. Great recruits want to go someplace where other great recruits are going.
Sometimes all you need is an ice-breaker, a guy who will commit early and then work the phones and social media to help the staff bring in the next key recruit. All the better if he is a point guard. All the better if he is William Jackson.
Let's bring in Jaylen Brown, Giddens, and a shooter. UGA basketball finally has recruiting Mo' on our side.