Today Hubert Davis and the UNC program somehow became even richer, locking down the eighth-best player in the 2023 recruiting class. Five-star power forward GG Jackson has announced his commitment to the Tar Heels, making him the second commit in 2023, joining fellow five-star combo guard commit Simeon Witcher.
Carolina basketball recruiting has been a wild ride for essentially the last decade, mostly because of the way the game has changed over the last 5-10 years. Make no mistake: Roy Williams was able to bring in some excellent talent that has led the Heels to three Final Fours, three national championship games, and a national championship during that span (he deserves a lot of credit for the 2021-22 team, so I’m counting it). However, GG Jackson is the kind of player that fits well not only into Hubert Davis’ system, but he fits into the modern college basketball mold. Bringing Brady Manek into the program was Davis’ first move to bring the Heels into the modern age, and now Jackson is someone who can continue to trend things into the right direction.
Jackson is a 6’9, 210-lb power forward that currently plays for Ridge View High School in Columbia, SC. He is the best power forward in the state of South Carolina, and he is also the second-best in the country. His intent over the last few months was to choose between UNC and SCAR, but Duke swooped in at the 11th hour and offered him a scholarship, which we all know has caused issues for the Heels in the past. However, Hubert Davis was able to get the job done, and now the Heels continue their quest to complete one of the best recruiting classes in 2023.
As far as his game, Jackson is a long power forward that will likely build muscle over time. He still has a good build, but on top of that he is very athletic and is able to run the floor really well, change directions, and get to the rim. Once thought of as more of as a guy that is best served at the rim, Jackson has worked hard to expand his game. He is now a very capable jump shooter, and has the ability to attack opponents off of the dribble. He is also able to knock down shots from deep, but I don’t think it’s something that we should get too excited about right away. It’s likely that his perimeter shooting needs time to develop further, so I’d anticipate him becoming more of a two-level scorer than at all three levels.
His ability to knock down shots in most spots on the floor and ability to get out in transition makes him a very difficult player to deal with on offense, but he is also a strong player on the defensive end as well. He has the ability to switch onto smaller players and hold his own, he is a pretty good rim protector, and he has great anticipation skills. One thing that I am curious about is how well of a perimeter defender he is, but it’s likely that we will get more information about that as we get closer to him arriving on campus. Oh, one more thing: in regards to his athleticism, Jackson has a 40-inch vertical, so it’s safe to say that this guy can fly around the rim with ease.
National championship loss aside, Hubert Davis has to be one of the happiest coaches in America right now. He led UNC to a win over Duke in Coach K’s final game at Cameron Indoor, led them to the Final Four, beat Duke AGAIN, and now he has landed one of the best players in the country. Not too shabby for a first-year head coach, and he is only getting started.
What do you think of the Tar Heels’ newest commit? Let us know in the comments below.