UCLA

2023 PG Elmarko Jackson Includes UCLA Men’s Basketball in Top 7

One of the top-ranked uncommitted guards in the nation is considering the Bruins alongside Texas, Kansas, Villanova and others.

The Bruins have taken another step forward in their pursuit of one of the top remaining guards in the nation. 

Class of 2023 point guard Elmarko Jackson announced his top seven semifinalists on Wednesday, and UCLA men’s basketball made the list. The 6-foot-3 South Kent (CT) product is also considering Texas, Notre Dame, Virginia, Villanova, Kansas and Miami (FL).

Jackson previously had Maryland, VCU, Michigan and Louisville on his list of 11 semifinalists, but they did not make his second round of cuts. Bryant, Cal, DePaul, Indiana, Kansas State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Rider, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Siena, St. John’s and Tennessee had all offered Jackson as well.

Notre Dame coach Mike Brey and Texas coach Chris Beard both visited Jackson at his high school this week, and he has just scheduled an official visit with the Fighting Irish for later in the fall. Jackson has also taken unofficial visits to Villanova and Miami.

Jackson was one of 25 participants in the annual Stephen Curry Camp in San Francisco in August, and he made a stop in Westwood for an unofficial visit before heading up to the Bay Area.

“I’d say the intensity,” Jackson told 247Sports’ Adam Finkelstein when asked what his favorite part of coach Mick Cronin’s UCLA program was. “He really pushes their players hard and he demands the utmost out of them.”

Jackson said he aims to make his commitment in mid-to-early November, right after the early signing period closes.

Jackson averaged 17.9 points, 5.7 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.0 block per game for Academy of the New Church (PA) this past season on 47/35/80 shooting splits.

Unlike many of UCLA’s other class of 2023 targets, Jackson plays on the Under Armour AAU circuit, rather than the Nike EYBL. Jackson won MVP at the Under Armour Future 60 camp at IMG Academy in June, and he spent the spring and summer starring for We R1.

Jackson is a four-star prospect, according to 247Sports, Rivals, ESPN and On3. In the 247Sports Composite rankings, Jackson stands as the No. 1 recruit in Connecticut, the No. 7 point guard in the country and the No. 35 overall prospect in his class. Jackson was barely inside the top 100 at the start of the summer, and his recent ascension has made him the No. 2 uncommitted point guard in the nation, right behind fellow UCLA target Isaiah Collier.

The Bruins’ 2023 class has come a long way since Jackson put UCLA in his top 11 in August, when they did not have a single commit. Four-star forwards Devin Williams and Brandon Williams both announced their intentions to play for Cronin and his staff, moving the class all the way up to the No. 16 ranking in the country and No. 2 in the Pac-12.

Seven of the nine guards the Bruins offered have already committed elsewhere, though, leaving Jackson and Collier as the team’s only remaining backcourt targets out of the high school ranks. With five-star freshman Amari Bailey likely going one-and-done and Tyger Campbell entering his fifth year at UCLA, Cronin will need to lock down a guard sooner rather than later.

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PHOTO COURTESY OF ELMARKO JACKSON/INSTAGRAM

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