Josh Jackson declares for NBA Draft

Kansas guard Josh Jackson (11) signals the ball going the Jayhawks' way after a Texas Tech turnover during the second half, Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas freshman Josh Jackson, who earned second-team All-American honors and was named the Big 12 freshman of the year during his lone season in college, made it official on Monday — he’s headed to the NBA.

Jackson announced his decision in a news release sent to The Associated Press.

A versatile, 6-foot-8 forward with guard skills who is projected to be drafted in the Top 3 this June, Jackson has signed with an agent, B.J. Armstrong of the Wasserman Media Group, and, therefore, will not return to KU for his sophomore season, which was the expectation the minute he signed with Kansas last year.

KU coach Bill Self said throughout Jackson’s time with the Jayhawks that he would be a one-and-done player and Self and the program got as much as they could have hoped for out of the Detroit native during the 2016-17 season.

"This obviously does not come as a surprise," Self said in a news release. "When we recruited Josh we were so fortunate but also knew this would probably be a one-year stay. He has not only surpassed our expectations as a player but also as a leader and a teammate."

Self's favorite catch phrase associated with the ninth one-and-done Jayhawk in the 14-year Self era (Jackson, Cheick Diallo, Cliff Alexander, Kelly Oubre, Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid, Ben McLemore, Josh Selby and Xavier Henry) was that Jackson had "unpacked his bags" and was willing to give everything he had to the program for the time he was in Lawrence.

Jackson did exactly that, holding down a heavy scoring, rebounding and defensive burden while playing the 4 spot in KU's four-guard lineup, which occasionally had him asked to guard much bigger players.

While improving in just about every category every month of the season, Jackson finished as the Jayhawks’ second-leading scorer at 16.3 points per game. He also averaged 7.4 rebounds per game (second on the team) and shot .513 from the floor and .378 from 3-point range, including well above 40 percent during conference play.

"We are all very happy for Josh and his family and are very proud of having coached one of the most talented kids that has ever come through here," Self added. "We've had a lot really good ones here but Josh is as prepared for the next level as anyone that we have ever had."

In a statement released Monday, Jackson showed genuine appreciation for his 10 months as a Jayhawk.

"After thoroughly consulting with my family, I have decided to enter the 2017 NBA Draft and pursue my dream of playing professional basketball," Jackson said in the statement. "I am very thankful for all of the support I have received from my coaches and teammates at Kansas."

Jackson becomes the third Jayhawk from last year's 31-5 team to leave, joining seniors Frank Mason III and Landen Lucas.

Junior guard Devonte' Graham announced a couple of weeks ago that he would return for his senior season and fellow-junior Svi Mykhailiuk has elected to test his stock in the NBA, which will consist of workouts and interviews during the next few weeks in order to gather as much information as possible. Mykhailiuk has not signed with an agent and, therefore, is eligible to return to KU for his senior season should he make that decision before May 24.

Jackson's departure officially opens up another scholarship for Self to use in the 2017 class and the Jayhawks continue to pursue players to round out the class that already includes Billy Preston and Marcus Garrett. At the top of KU's wish list for that final spot are: 5-star point guard Trevon Duval, 6-foot-10 big man Jeremiah Tilmon, Brewster Academy guard Thomas Allen and Hutch juco standout Shakur Juiston, among others.

Comments

Craig Alexander

Best of luck to you Josh!

6 months ago

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Robert Brock

JJ was definitely a worthwhile OAD. He and Embiid were terrific OADs. The others...meh.

6 months ago

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Kit Duncan

So, Wiggins didn't have much impact as a one and done? I think you should take another look at Andrew's stats as a Jayhawk. I do believe Josh ultimately had more of an impact (particularly on the defensive side), but Wiggins was pretty special, too! Otherwise, he wouldn't have been the number one player picked in the NBA draft. (Of course, Embiid would have been number one, barring his back injury)

6 months ago

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Bryce Landon

Some impact...that season we lost 10 games for the first time since 1999-2000, and he was a non-factor in the Stanford game.

6 months ago

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Scott Oswalt

You're delusional if you think Wiggins was a "meh" OAD.

6 months ago

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Stephen Dobelbower

I think if you look at the effort that was given by Jackson in comparison to Wiggins, Jackson was a better OAD.

6 months ago

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Armen Kurdian

I hope this means he, the team, and his attorney figure the legal issues won't be a distraction anymore, or that it won't affect his prospects negatively. OK JJ, make us proud!

6 months ago

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Dee Shaw

Shocking!

6 months ago

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Dale Rogers

Isn't Jackson actually the fourth Jayhawk to leave from this season's team? Did you forget Tyler Self?

6 months ago

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Matt Tait

Obviously was talking scholarship players and guys in the rotation. But, yeah, Tyler graduated too.

6 months ago

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Mike Johns

Pretty sure Carlton Bragg is gone too.

6 months ago

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Jabez Harlan

Don't forget Svi as well, he declared for the draft, even if though he might come back because of not hiring an agent.

6 months ago

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Matt Tait

Now that's one I did actually forget, Mike. Good call. Although, I'm sure you all can see how and why I forgot him. Should be interesting to see where he winds up and how he does.

6 months ago

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Jocelyn Kennedy

I know I certainly have enjoyed watching Josh play and was impressed with the energy and devotion he put into every game. Best of luck to you, Josh! I can't wait to watch you in the NBA!! Jayhawk forever!

6 months ago

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Pius Waldman

I'm sure we all are going to watch and see how Josh develops in the pros.His draft status appears high so he will be drafted by a team that didn't score many games last year.
How about the Lakers? Neh OK maybe the Kings? Well we will just have to wait and see.
Hard to pick what Svi will do but it would appear at best 2nd round or even undrafted. Interesting he is actually younger than Josh.

6 months ago

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Bryce Landon

And another spot opens up on the roster. Here's hoping Self will fill it with someone we can get more than a year out of.

6 months ago

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Tony Bandle

Next year we lose Graham, Colby, Svi [if he comes back], maybe Preston, possibly Newman,
AZU if he blossoms as predicted and Duvall, if by some miracle he picks KU. That's 70% of the rotation.

However with the Lawsons, Garrett, Vick, Conliffe and Lightfoot, Bill will have a pretty good base for '18-'19 plus plenty of PT for at least two OADS and a bunch of multiple year guys.

PS I was at the NCAA game with Stanford and watched Wiggins do his Claude Raines disappearing act. If that had been Josh out there, we would have won even if he had only played to the level he hit against Oregon.

6 months ago

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Alan Dickey

Maybe, but we have the following who may be in the 2018-19 lineup:

FRONT COURT
C - Udoka Azubuike / Jr. / 7-0 / 280
PF - Billy Preston / So. / 6-10 / 230
PF - Dedric Lawson / RS-Jr. / 6-9 / 230
PF - Mitch Lightfoot / Jr. / 6-8 / 210

WING
SF - KJ Lawson / RS-So. / 6-7 / 210
SF - Sam Cunliffe / RS-Jr. / 6-6 / 190

BACKCOURT
SG - LaGerald Vick / Sr. / 6-5 / 175
SG - Malik Newman / RS-Jr. / 6-3 / 190
PG - Marcus Garrett / So. / 6-5 / 180

That's pretty good. Some may leave early, but most will not. And we will have new good recruits to join those who remain.

6 months ago

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Tim Orel

Pretty sure Udoka won't still be around. He's seen how an injury can wreck a season, so if he's going to be injured, he might as well be getting paid to ride the pine.

6 months ago

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Jeff Soisson

Hey Matt Tait,

Related to the story, I wish Josh the best for sure. Great Kid!

I wonder what is your view on why some of you KU fans put up with the poor performance in the NCAA tournament. This year showed me that we need to leave the Big XII to improve as a team or we won't win another Championship, we need tougher competition. Our conference plays small and we get into the tournement and get pushed around by bigs in other conferences. Every time the same thing, shut down our guys, we panic, done, do we need to play without starters in Big XII play so they get used to not having everyone so they don't fold or panic? Maybe.

Yes, we can win the Big XII but we are 2-7 I think in Elite 8 games, that is not good enough for this Top 5 program! I want to hear from you what Bill is going to do about it. We have not heard anything about a new approach, a style change, etc. etc. Devonte and Josh with no points in the first half against Ducks...bad coaching. No excuse. Totally unprepared and an embarrassment. Our fans I think expect more.

6 months ago

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Alan Dickey

"we are 2-7 I think in Elite 8 games"

You think wrong--if you are talking about Self's record at KU. You are including losses by Tulsa and Illinois. Self is 2-5 at KU, including a National Championship and a title game loss. Not 2-7. You're making stuff up. You're blaming Self at KU for over-performing at TULSA and getting to the E8.

6 months ago

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Creg Bohrer

It's not the conferences fault, we're in one of the top basketball conferences in the country. We lost AZ and Bragg didn't develop that's why we weren't as strong in the front court. The only conference I can think of that might be a tad better is the ACC..

6 months ago

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Bill Kackley

Jeff, you must have rocks in your head.

6 months ago

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Jeff Soisson

Really Genious Bill,

What is your solution to our NCAA tourney problem then..Bill Kackey, what can you add?

What is your solution??? Can't wait to hear???

Best Regards,

Jeff

6 months ago

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Bob Zielinski

Yeah, I think we all hung our heads in shame after Purdue and their bigs just pushed us around and controlled the game.

6 months ago

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