Kentucky is going to count on freshman Isaiah Jackson to be a rim protector this season

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Kentucky is going to count on freshman Isaiah Jackson to be a rim protector this season

(UK Athletics)

By Larry Vaught
What kind of role will 6-10, 205-pound freshman Isaiah Jackson have on John Calipari’s team this season.

“Taller people take longer to find themselves and find a voice on the court,” Kentucky assistant coach Joel Justus said. “He is working on his body to get healthy and stronger. When young guys feel they are getting better and more comfortable,  they can get better.”

Justus is hoping Kentucky will have Olivier Sarr, Jackson and freshman Lance Ware all to play the power forward/center positions.

“We have got a long wiry, group of dudes on this team. They all need to be stronger versus bigger,” Justus said.  “We are never going to look like Michigan State in November and December. Cal wants our guys strong and (strength coach) Rob Harris does a great job getting that done.”

Can Jackson be a rim protector Calipari values having so much?

“With his length and leaping ability, any time he can protect the rim and get blocks he can really start our offense,” Justus said. “Get deflections or force shots and get long rebounds will be our best offense in transition. He runs the court so well, too. Rim protection, rebounding and running the court are the things he does best right now and he’s working to get everything else better, too.”

Sophomore teammate Dontaie Allen has already seen enough from Jackson to make a bold prediction.

“He is nice. He is going to be one to watch this season. Write it down,” Allen said.

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