New USC men’s basketball coach Lamont Paris will make his first in-person visit with 6-10 GG Jackson of Ridge View Monday. Lou Bezjak of The State first reported the meeting, and Jackson’s father Greg confirmed the plans Friday afternoon. The visit is being handled through Ridge View’s outgoing coach Yerrick Stoneman.
The Jackson family was very close with former USC head coach Frank Martin and assistant Chuck Martin. They had recruited GG for years and had put the Gamecocks in strong position to land the player most say is the best in the nation for the 2023 class. Talking publicly for the first time about the coaching change, Greg Jackson said he was stunned over the news of Martin’s dismissal.
“It just kind of caught everybody off guard,” Jackson said. “I thought things were heading in the right direction as far as the program, had a lot coming back, and I thought they had the momentum going good for the next upcoming year. It was kind of a shock.”
Jackson said he and his wife had their first conversation over the phone with Paris Wednesday night. GG has not yet talked to the coach. As for further consideration of the Gamecocks, Jackson said that’s still to be determined.
“We are still talking about. I think it just came up for discussion Wednesday night with us as a family. We’re still tossing it around right now,” Jackson said. “We’re definitely going to listen to him (Paris) and see what he has to say. His vision for the program, I think it’s worth listening to. I don’t know anything about his program (at UTC). I was going to take some time out to look at some stuff that he’s done.”
Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl was in to see GG Wednesday. “That was a pretty good visit,” Jackson said. “We haven’t decided on anything yet (on an Auburn visit).” Jackson said the other schools on the short list….Duke, North Carolina and Georgetown…remain in contact, and the prospect of going to the G League is still there. The decision on reclassifying to the 2022 class remains up in the air as well.
“We are tossing that around now and trying to decide what will best with what he’s comfortable with,” Jackson said. “At the end of the day, we want him to be comfortable and we want him to be happy. We’re just trying to leave him alone and make sure he gets it right and don’t have to do like a lot of kids, change the mind and go into the Transfer Portal. You can take your time and do it right the first time.”
GG Jackson will be in Norcross, GA Saturday participating in the “Hoops for Diabetes” Underclassmen All-American Game. There will be four showcase games, all available to view on this stream: https://www.hbculeaguepassplus.com/HBCULP/. Jackson and Coen Carr of Legacy Early College will play in the junior showcase. 2024 guard Cam Scott of Lexington is set for the “Classic Game.”