Markese Jacobs, a 5-foot-11 sophomore guard from Uplift Community High in Chicago, who orally committed to Kansas on Sunday, reminds some basketball recruiting experts of a former KU standout from the Windy City.
“I train with Sherron Collins all the time. That’s who they compare me to. They say I’m another Sherron,” the 170-pound Jacobs said Sunday afternoon in a phone interview.
Jacobs, of course, was referring to the No. 5-leading scorer and No. 8 assist man in KU history.
“I committed to KU because they love their guards. It’s all about their guards. I like how the coaches put the trust into the guards,” said Jacobs, who attended Saturday’s Late Night in the Phog on an unofficial recruiting visit. “I feel I fit that. I want to be the leader of the team. Getting an opportunity to play at the University of Kansas doesn’t come every day. It’s not a normal opportunity. It’s one you’ve got to take advantage of.”
He definitely has the endorsement of Collins, one of KU’s all-time greats.
“I worked out with him a lot this summer. He’s good, but he’s so young,” Collins said Sunday in a phone interview from his hometown. “His ceiling is so high. The things he can do … you say, ‘Wow.’ And he’s got two more years to get better. He can be great, another tough Chicago guard,” Collins added.
Would it be fair to call him the “next Sherron Collins,” Collins was asked.
“You could say we have a lot of similarities,” Collins said. “He is explosive. He’s good. He can score the ball. He’s a helluva scorer, (but) sometimes I had to score 30, 40 for us to win (in high school). I wouldn’t do comparisons yet but with the people he’ll work with at KU, some of my best friends in the world (on KU coaching staff), he’ll be great.”
Jacobs, who has developed a close relationship with KU assistant Jerrance Howard, said he actually chose KU over Illinois, DePaul and Southern Illinois “a week ago, but I wanted to meet coach Self first.”
So Jacobs drove to Lawrence with his mom for an unofficial visit on Late Night weekend. Jacobs said his dad actually has worked in Lawrence in construction the past five years.
“It was lit,” Jacobs said of Late Night. “It was something I’ve never seen before. It makes me want to stay here another day.”
Jacobs was offered scholarships by several schools after dominating 15 and under AAU competition for Mac Irvin Fire this past summer.
“I feel me playing on the (AAU) circuit … it turned me into the player I am now. I was playing against all the top people in my class,” Jacobs said, calling himself, “an explosive guard where I can get to the basket any time I want. The big thing for me is getting my teammates involved.”
Jacobs is young but already has been noticed.
“The explosive, power-packed lead guard is a bundle of talent and athleticism. Jacobs has the dynamic ability to put constant pressure on the opposition with his ball skills and quick, explosive burst off the dribble. Throw in a good, but not yet polished jumper and the offensive package is scary,” writes Joe Henricksen of the Chicago Sun Times.
Ballislife.com reports that Jacobs has been nicknamed “THE SHOW.”
“Jacobs averaged 18 points per game for the season (at Uplift), lighting things up from three point land and utilizing his quickness and reported 40 inch vertical to throw down fast break dunks,” wrote Scott Comeau of ballislife.com.
Of Jacobs, inthegymhoops.com writes: “His height ranges as low as 5-9 all the way up to 5-11 depending on which website you reference. No matter the height, Markese plays near the rim. With the potential he has, by this time next he could possibly be playing above the rim. While his athleticism is the most notable trait, his playmaking ability is exceptional as well. Markese truly embraces the point-guard role.”
Of Jacobs, Scott Burgess of prephoops.com wrote: “ Jacobs is an electric scorer that gets anywhere he wants on the floor. He is a big-time scorer that scores at all three levels and has tremendous speed in transition.”
Chaundee Brown picks Wake
Chaundee Brown, a 6-5 senior shooting guard from Orlando, Fla., on Sunday committed to Wake Forest over KU and Florida. He visited Wake Forest last weekend after visiting KU in early September.