Potential No. 1 Pick Josh Jackson Throws Down Impossible Dunk, Makes NBA Scouts Faint

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Getty Images)

Kansas freshman Josh Jackson is a projected top-five pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.

On Monday night against UAB, he both showed why and cordially—yet loudly—introduced himself to the uninitiated.

He opened the scoring with a dunk nine seconds into the game, then assisted on the Jayhawks' next possession as Kansas built a 20-1 lead.

Then he turned fellow freshman Mitch Lightfoot into a Muppet on the sidelines with a fast-break finish.

And still we're not to the epic face-melting dunk that drove Twitter into critical mass. That would be this monster hammer on senior big man Tosin Mehinti, who averages an impressive 1.4 blocks in 18.6 minutes per game in his career.

This dash to the rim by Jackson just wouldn't be one of them.

Jackson scored 22 points on an efficient 8-of-15 from the field to go with seven rebounds, three assists, and three steals in the 83-63 victory, easily the best game of his young career. Foul trouble limited the 6'8" wing to 22 minutes and 11.7 points per game through their first three contests, but the versatile scorer and defender was able to keep his hands to himself and stay on the floor for 33 minutes on Monday.

"Me committing silly fouls takes me out of the game, and doesn't allow me to play as much as I'd like," Jackson said after the win. "It worked out today."

While Jackson likely currently resides behind guys like Washington's Markelle Fultz, N.C. State's Dennis Smith, and Jayson Tatum of Duke in the pecking order for the No. 1 overall pick in July, there's a whole college season for those players to sort themselves out. One advantage Jackson holds over those three is a very high floor, thanks to physical tools to be a force on the defensive end and a high motor that can't be taught.

If he proves he can also project as primary offensive option at the next level, there's a good chance the NBA's lottery winner will be calling his name.

"He's an extremely talented player," said UAB coach Robert Ehsan. "His versatility is what I've been surprised with, how many things he can do on the floor. He's a tremendous player."