The No. 1 recruit in the nation is officially a member of the Kansas men’s basketball team.
Josh Jackson, a 6-foot-8 guard and Rivals.com’s top player in the class of 2016, signed with KU this week after giving a non-binding commitment April 11.
“He is very similar to Andrew Wiggins. He’s a tall guard that can do a lot of everything,” KU coach Bill Self said. “We feel his impact on our program next year will be as much as any freshman will have on any college program.”
This marks the third time in seven seasons that Self has landed Rivals’ top player; Josh Selby committed to KU in 2010, while Wiggins chose the Jayhawks in 2013.
Jackson, who is expected to immediately step into the Jayhawks’ starting lineup after Wayne Selden declared for the NBA draft, is likely to play on the wing next to KU guards Frank Mason and Devonte’ Graham.
“He’s extremely athletic but more importantly extremely competitive,” Self said of Jackson. “We have a very competitive culture at Kansas but I think it just got improved with the signing of Josh. He’s a guy that everybody enjoys playing with because he is so unselfish but also a guy that can take a game over.”
Jackson earned co-MVP honors at the McDonald’s All-American game after contributing 19 points, four rebounds and three assists. He joins 6-foot-8 forward Mitch Lightfoot as official KU commits, as Lightfoot signed with KU in November.
“Mitch is going to be a guy that nobody can sleep on,” Self said. “Give him a little bit of time and he is going to continue to grow and get stronger. He’s going to be a guy that will help us win games as a freshman but could be a big contributor as moves forward in his career.”
KU is now only waiting on the official signing of 6-foot-11 center Udoka Azubuike, who orally committed on Jan. 28. The Jayhawks also are still in the running for Duke transfer guard Derryck Thornton, who was scheduled to visit Lawrence on Tuesday.