Future Tar Heel Ian Jackson has been spending his offseason gaining more and more attention from national media and scouts, and recently that attention has exploded. NBA scouts from a number of teams showed up to the Adidas All-American Camp to check out the fifth-best player in the country according to Yahoo Sports’ Krysten Peek.
Top 5 prospect in the 2024 class, Ian Jackson (North Carolina), is the main attraction in this game with several NBA scouts watching. Knicks, Nets, Suns, Thunder, Rockets, Pelicans, Nuggets, Andrew Slater, Bulls, Hawks and Spurs all here. pic.twitter.com/zByrdDfwc1— Krysten Peek (@krystenpeek) August 3, 2023
The interesting thing here is that NBA scouts don’t have a lot of short-term incentive to scout high school players this early unless what they are seeing is that special. Thanks to the NBA sticking to the one-and-done rule, Jackson will have to either play a year of college or play in one of the non-NBA leagues for a year before he is allowed to be drafted. Having 10 teams show up to an offseason basketball camp prior to your senior year is a pretty strong indicator that Hubert Davis has a special player joining his ranks, and because of that there will likely be a lot of mess that Jackson will have to endure until he arrives on campus (other schools recruiting him despite his commitment, the option being thrown at him to go “pro”, etc.). Thankfully Jackson has already reaffirmed his commitment to Carolina a few times now, so at least for now there’s nothing to worry about.
It’s worth noting that Jackson hasn’t been the only player turning heads this summer from the 2024 class: Drake Powell has been racing up the rankings, and is now the ninth-best player in the country.
BREAKING: #UNC’s Drake Powell JUMPS from No. 18 to No. 9 in 247Sports’ updated 2024 rankings, affirming his 5⭐️ status.— Grant Hughes (@GrantHughesNC) June 8, 2023
Along with Ian Jackson (No. 5), the Tar Heels are the only program with two players ranked in the top 15. Both are top 10… https://t.co/pHuUc5U9c9
Despite Elliot Cadeau deciding to become a Tar Heel earlier than initially planned, Hubert Davis has one of the best recruiting classes that the program has had in quite some time arriving in 2024. It’s still early, so we may even see some more big names commit before everything is said and done. One player in particular to keep an eye on is Boogie Fland, who Davis is locked in on following Cadeau jumping to the 2023 class.
The 2024 season could be a special year for the Tar Heels if enough players decide to stay on campus. Hopefully things continue to trend upwards until then, and yes, hopefully no shenanigans ensue either.