SLAM Fresh 10 – 2016

by Franklyn Calle / @FrankieC7

While only a sophomore, Josh Jackson has already emerged as arguably the best player in the state of Michigan — and quite possibly now the top baller in the class of 2016 nationwide. The 6-6 stud hasJosh Jackson been on a tear all season long, as it became evident from the very first game. In the season opener against Detroit Frederick Douglas, Jackson finished for 27 points, 22 rebounds and 6 blocks. By mid-January he was easily surpassing 30 points on a nightly basis, at one point having three consecutive 30+ points outings, including a steal in the last minute of play, during the third game, that sealed the win. 

To finish the month, his stat line of 26 points, 11 rebounds and six steals against Robichaud serves as a reminder that he can also get it done on the other end of the floor. As cliche as it may sound, the dude is everywhere. Take last Thursday’s game, for instance, where he dropped 33 points, 15 rebounds and 5 assists and 5 blocks to lead his team to a six consecutive victory. He gets it done on the boards, on defense and even sets up others for easy buckets. We know the word versatile is thrown around loosely a lot these days, but this kid is the epitome of a well-rounded prospect. He can play the one, two or three — easily. 

With Harry Giles still working his way back from knee surgery, a change at the top of the 2016 rankings was imminent. Our midseason rankings include a couple of new names to the list in Dedric Lawson and Terrance Ferguson.

1 Josh Jackson 6-6 SG Consortium (MI) Versatile wing who can do a little of everything.
2 Harry Giles 6-8 PF Wesleyan Christian (NC) Terrific athletic with a skill set beyond his years.
3 Thon Maker 7-0 C Carlisle School (VA) Tremendous upside due to size and skill for his age.
4 Jayson Tatum 6-7 SG Chaminade Prep (MO)  At 6-7, Tatum can put the ball on the floor and finish at the rim with the best of them.
5 Dedric Lawson 6-8 PF Hamilton (TN)  Savvy scorer that finds his way to the rim. 
6 Malik Monk 6-3 SG East Poinsett (AR) Explosive guard with loaded offensive repertoire.
7 VJ  King 6-5 SG St. Vincent-St. Mary (OH) One of the top shooters in the class; very smooth jump shot.
8 Tyus Battle 6-5 SF Gill St. Bernard’s (NJ) Known for getting it done on both ends of the floor.
9 Terrance Ferguson 6-5 SG Prime Prep (TX) Elite scorer, whether it is behind the arc, mid-range, spot-up or off-the-dribble.
10 Seventh Woods 6-1 PG Hammond School (SC)

Probably the funnest player to watch in the class. A walking highlight-reel. 

Photo Credit: USA Basketball