Yesterday it was announced that UNC signees Drake Powell and Ian Jackson are McDonald’s All-Americans and will play in the annual All-Star game on April 2nd. The two future Tar Heels ended the longest drought since the event was created, and the last Tar Heels to make the All-American game were Caleb Love, RJ Davis, Day’Ron Sharpe, and Walker Kessler.
Drake Powell is a 6’6 small forward that currently plays for Northwood High School in Pittsboro, NC. He is the tenth-best player in the country according to the 247Sports Composite rankings, and he is ranked the second-best small forward overall. Powell was ranked a lot lower when he committed to the Tar Heels, but over time catapulted up the rankings thanks to his stellar development. Unsurprisingly, his best traits are that he is a high-motor elite athlete that is really good on the defensive side of the ball, which sounds more and more like Carolina’s identity these days. Per MaxPreps.com, he is currently averaging 18.6 points, 7.4 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.3 blocks per game for Norwood, all of which are team highs.
Ian Jackson is a 6’5 shooting guard that currently plays for Our Saviour Lutheran School in the Bronx. He is currently ranked as the ninth-best player in the country, and is the fourth-best shooting guard. He is another big-time two-way player that has a good amount of athleticism. Here is what Hubert Davis said about that as well as well as what kind of person Jackson is off of the court.
Per Inside Carolina:
”Ian is exactly why I love New York guards. He’s tough, competitive and he plays with a chip on his shoulder. Ian can also straight up score—with the ball, off the ball, in transition. He can get buckets but also loves to pass and is a great defensive player. I have never seen a kid as competitive as Ian who is also as humble and kind off the court. He has a smile and a personality that will light up the Smith Center.”
For those that follow recruiting closely, you likely are familiar with the drama surrounding Ian Jackson’s commitment. After committing to the Tar Heels a year ago, Rick Pitino took the head coaching job at St. John’s, and the rumor mill went off the rails. A lot of Red Storm fans were convinced that Jackson flipping was a done deal, and that he would play under Pitino for his college career. It got so bad that Jackson had to come out at least three times and say that he is committed to the Tar Heels, and proceeded to sign his National Letter of Intent on November 11th. Rumor has it that St. John’s fans can be seen at Madison Square Garden at 5:17am every night still spreading the rumor to people walking by, but when people turn back to respond at them they mysteriously vanish. Creepy.
I digress, the McDonald’s All-American game will be played on Tuesday, April 2nd at 9pm/ET on ESPN for them men. The women’s game will take place right before that game at 6:30pm/ET on ESPN2. Congrats to both Jackson and Powell, and Go Heels!