Gigi Jackson, South Carolina, NBA discussed on CBS Sports Eye On College Basketball Podcast
For right now. So we need to see how mobile and how switchable he is next year in South Carolina. So to summarize, I think he certainly makes an impact that South Carolina, it's a great boost of momentum, but this is not a plan that is without risk. He's going to have all eyeballs on him, NBA scouts are going to be watching his every move, local South Carolina fans are going to be watching his every move. There is going to be a lot of pressure on a young freshman who's coming in without having the benefit of summer session and really going to be looked on as a bit of a savior and I'm not sure he's quite ready for all that. You're hitting on so many themes that I've heard from coaches. First of all, I'm an absolute height truther with Gigi Jackson. He ate 6 9. He's not hot. Like in whatever. He's 6, 8, if he was like 6, 7 and three quarters, I believe, but as you will know, like NBA people they care about that stuff a ton. He's not he's not that big. The shock creation, it's like blatantly obvious when you see him and when you see him in person, I did get to see him in person at PGM. He had a showcase game against the New Jersey scholars that CP three one, but a coach was telling me that they're rooting for him to do well, but for both him and Lamont, this concoction has so much potential downside to it in terms of you're gonna bring this guy in Le Mans been with the rest of the team. Like maybe they had designs on getting them and all that stuff. But you're gonna, you know, how quickly will the chemistry work, how much should be on Gigi Jackson's shoulders. He's a local product. It's South Carolina basketball. What should be the level of expectation there? Yeah, if you're a South Carolina fan, you should be extremely excited that this guy's coming. But I just had a few coaches, because what I try and do is the coaches that have seen like seeing him play like you in person, way more times than I just give me a feel of like what you see with this guy and I even have one coach tell me he doesn't even see him as a one and done talent. Like he thinks that he's going to get to college and actually prove to be like kind of maybe he'll go after the first year Adam and be like the 21st pick or whatever but really in terms of him blooming to where he could go to the NBA and have more immediate impact. One coach who's power conference coach from saying he wouldn't be surprised to see if it took Jackson two years. Well, that to me is the other variable that's really interesting because as I alluded to, the 2023 NBA draft. This is next June is projected to be a really good one. So rushing kind of rushing to the money, which we've seen a lot of kids. Like, Jalen Durham and amani Bates did this exact same thing last summer. They played peach jam and then they said, hey, I'm going to college in jaylen Durham's case. So I can get to the draft as far as I can. I even think amani Bates, perhaps foolishly. I think his camp thought they were going to be able to get to the draft, even though he wasn't age eligible, but they thought somehow they were going to be able to get some sort of exception. So this is, this is not abnormal. Jonathan, come in, did the same thing. There's a long list. But the 2023 draft is a very good one right now. 2024, which equates to this current high school year that Gigi Jackson just left. That's one where we can't figure out who the new number one is. I know we're going to get into that later, but that's a draft that if I were in charge of a prospect or advising a prospect, I'd say, hey, you got a lot more upside in that one. A lot of chance to go higher in the draft. And given the state of NIL right now, maybe we can bridge this gap, keep you in high school for you, because here's the other thing, Matt. Kids are getting NIL to stay in high school. So, you know, you can, you know, there were ways to kind of, in years past, it's, as I said, a run to the money. But I do think there was kind of a strategy on the board that could have showcased his abilities and protected him a little bit more. I mean, he is fully exposed in this year at South Carolina. I'm not saying he's not going to do well. I'm just saying, we're going to find out because this is not a situation that is tailor made to protect him. By the way, if you are listening to this podcast and are like, what's up with north Orlando's audio? I'm still on the road. I will be traveling back home soon. So that's just a quick explainer normally my audio is a little bit better. Let's talk number one players real quick. And if you want, let's go 23 class and 24 class. 23 Gigi Wagner is number one in the composite, I believe, but there's a couple of viable options, including one of Wagner's teammates for you personally, where is your opinion on this and did it shift? Are you sticking with what it was, say, going into July, who should be the number one player in the 23 class? I would tell you that in 12 years of doing this, at ESPN prior to joining 24/7 and CBS in April, this is the hardest year that I ever had in terms of figuring out who is the top guy. Because DJ Wagner would have had the best case coming into the month, if for no other reason that he has the best resume to date. So depending on what you're basing your rankings on, if you're basing it on who's the best player right now, DJ Wagner, he's done the most over the course of his high school career. But just to call a spade a spade, he did not have a great month. He really struggled with the peach jam. He didn't have he didn't have a great showing with USA basketball, even though they won a gold medal in Spain in the weeks before that. So he had a chance to really secure this spot and he didn't do it. I mean, that game you talked about with scholars and CP three, even though it was packed with coaches and fans. There was a consolation game. They were already out. Neither one of those teams who were both among the most talented in the UL, even won their pool. So DJ Wagner, you know, he may still end up number one. He certainly in the conversation, but he didn't seize that spot. Xavier Booker is a prospect who actually plays on an independent team. So he was not at the peach jam. He's one of the most naturally talented guys in the class. So if you're betting on upside, maybe you're thinking about him, but in terms of production right now, he's not it. Justin Edwards, a guy who's scheduled to commit tomorrow at CBS headquarters. You know, up and down, there's just not a definitive number one right now. No one has seized the spot. So to be totally transparent about my process, I'm going to do a I came out of Pete sham unsure of who's going to be number one and intent to do a deep dive in the days to come really digging into all their game film, doing my due diligence behind the scenes and trying to see who projects out best because no one has seized that spot in 2023. And to be honest with you, 2024 is the same story. Trey Jack Trey Johnson Ian Jackson, guys like that who are making a case that the most star studded class we have right now is 2025.