Posted: 1:55 pm Monday, July 7th, 2014

Point guard flips from national champ UConn to UGA 

By Michael Carvell

UGA flipped a basketball commitment from UConn, the reigning national champions.

William “Turtle” Jackson, a 4-star point guard from Athens Christian, switched his commitment from UConn to UGA on Monday.

“A couple of weeks ago, he opened things back up,” Athens Christian coach Ron Link told the AJC. “He called me today and said that he committed to UGA today. I said ‘Great. I get to see you play more often rather than just on TV.’”

4-star PG Turtle Jackson (247sports)

PG Turtle Jackson (247sports)

The 6-foot-4, 175-pound Jackson is rated as the No. 9 overall prospect in Georgia for 2015, along with the No. 2 point guard behind Pebblebrook’s Ty Hudson (undecided). Jackson is ranked as the nation’s No. 19 point guard.

Jackson reopened his recruiting after another point guard, Jalen Adams of Ashburnham, Mass., committed to UConn last week. Adams is rated as a 4-star and the nation’s No. 6 point guard.

“Here’s a guess: When you win a national championship, you get about anybody you want,” Link said. “So UConn might’ve gotten a point guard just as good or better. Turtle keeps up with everything going on in recruiting.

“But he might’ve just had a change of heart, and just wanted to go to Georgia because all of his friends told him they want to be able to see him play in person. As long as he’s happy, that’s the most important thing. He’s the one who is going to be at college for four years, not all of his friends.”

Jackson attends Athens Christian, which is located only a few miles from UGA’s campus. Jackson has been a frequent visitor to the college campus for basketball events, and it surprised some when he didn’t pick UGA initially.

“Georgia is a rising program,” Link said. “Mark Fox is a way better coach than some people think. I’ve watched Georgia for 25 years. This is the first Georgia team that I’ve ever seen make free throws. It’s a simple thing, but it’s the little things that win games. I think he’s a good coach. He’s just got to get the right talent in there. The talent brings the people back because if you build it, they will come.”

How good is Turtle? “He’s the best I’ve ever coached,” Link said. “I coached 23 NBA players in the Boston Shootout. I’ve had 9 Div. I players. I’ve never had a more complete player in my life. This is my 45th year coming up. He’s a great passer, great distance shooter and a great finisher at the basket. And he can defend. He’s a leader.

“He makes every player around him better. That’s the true measurement of a great point guard.”

Jackson is UGA’s first commit for 2015.

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– By Michael Carvell, AJC’s Recruiting Blog

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42 comments
Charlestondog
Charlestondog

Ron Link went to Cedar Shoals in Athens and turned them into great teams.  How ACS got him is a miracle -- the guy can coach and knows what he is talking about. 

Remarkable3
Remarkable3

I'm excited about Turtle coming to play for the Dawgs, but I hate that it has had no real publicity.  If he were a 4 star guard who played football and was coming to UGA then there would be article after article about him.  There would be 400 comments instead of 37.  There would be more haters than just the Boob from GT and a Sweed named Sven.  Maybe everyone is just on vacation?

GTBob
GTBob

I can't blame the kid for flipping on UConn. Its a shame he won't get to play for a championship level program but at least at UGA he will get some playing time.

BCB
BCB

Great news. GATA Coach Fox!

SvenOttke
SvenOttke

Sounds like it's less of a flip and more being scared of some competition.

midtowncowboy
midtowncowboy

So one 4* is the 9th rated player in Georgia.

Another 4* is the 6th rated point guard in the nation.


Ratings are for fools.

HotDawg
HotDawg

Told you Fox is a great coach if he and his assistants can start to recruit better.

Winning is the #1 recruiting tool. To win, you need recruits. This is going in the right direction.

They got the nice recruit from Michigan that turned down Mich. St. The Dawgs have a nice team now and a good future.

Best of luck to Mark Fox. A damn good coach.

ScoreCheck
ScoreCheck

Big get for CMF and the Dawg


Woof!!!

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

Good luck to the young man! May he score many points for the dawgs except against the Jackets.

Red-Dog
Red-Dog

UGA basketball is slowly moving in the right direction.... It's an uphill battle with crappy facilities but hopefully it finally gets some much needed love and today is sweet!

slydawg
slydawg

So Fox still didn't win a recruiting battle. Just another disgruntled player, albeit a very good one.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

This is a good pick up for Fox.

shameful
shameful

Great get for CMF! We need more of out Georgia players stay in state and make this one of the best states for BB.

MaxSizemore
MaxSizemore

Ron Link had some real good teams at Lakeside in the early 80s.  He was one of the first to have players penetrate and kick the ball back out for a 3.  Fine coach.

P_The_Ricker
P_The_Ricker

outstanding!  strong finish with the '14 class and great start for the '15 class.

a lot riding on this upcoming season.

Caius
Caius

Big recruit for Fox.


Fox is an outstanding coach.  His problem is that he is coaching at UGA with lousy facilities and a lousy reputation in the world of college basketball.


Now the UGA grads need to get their butts in the chairs for home games.


96JB
96JB

Good news

GTRay
GTRay

I'm glad to see another great player stay in Georgia - even if it's for UGA.  While I certainly would love to beat UGA every time we play them, I do believe that Mark Fox is a good coach, and if the Bulldog fans/administration can hang in there with him, I think they will be rewarded for their patience.

maconexpress
maconexpress

This is good news for CMF and the basketball program. I really believe if CMF can recruit the 4 & 5 stars that he can challenge ky & fl. Glad you decided to stay home to entertain the home folks Turtle Jackson.

thebucket
thebucket

This is a huge get for Coach Fox. Turtle is a great basketball player and would be getting a lot more press if he wasn't playing Single A Private.

hpt84
hpt84

Congrats to the kid. Understandable to want to be a big fish in a small pond instead of vise versa

SvenOttke
SvenOttke

@Remarkable3 Hating because I said he de-committed from UConn after they got a recruit rated higher than this young man.  Not hate, just factual.  Move along.

thebucket
thebucket

@GTBob  Turtle Jackson would see playing time wherever he goes. Sometimes when a team recruits over a player it breaks trust. If Turtle wasn't playing in Single A Private he would be a much higher ranked player.

slydawg
slydawg

I'm struggling to understand how this development makes Fox either a good recruiter or coach. Now he is a good coach in general but not at a competitive high level. I support CMF but truth is truth. Check Wichita St. and Gonzaga.

HotDawg
HotDawg

Facilities have nothing to do with it. The Coliseum is better than the sweatbox at Duke. The winning tradition at Duke makes you think the facility is better.

Win and fill up stands at GA and you'll never use facilities excuse again.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@slydawg 

Better for both Jackson and UGA that he switches before he has spent a year in Storrs watching a higher ranked player.

thebucket
thebucket

@maconexpress  Turtle could have started @ UGA this year. He will instantly make the Dawgs better. He has been a beast since middle school.

BCB
BCB

@hpt84  Or he may want to stay home and play for his state college.

SvenOttke
SvenOttke

@Nate-the-Great Jealous of someone playing hoops at UGa?  That's laughable.  Who wants to play hoops in a barn?

slydawg
slydawg

Nope. The recruit sounds jealous. Ya think?

HotDawg
HotDawg

Keep struggling. Negative people always do.

Nate-the-Great
Nate-the-Great

I just checked Wichita St. and Gonzaga and both of them weren't always good. Rebuilding a program is a process and not a singular event. UGA is not exactly a storied basketball program like Kentucky and it takes time to build a program to the elite status. First you gotta win, then you get receuits, then you get top notch facilities to help keep the first two going.

HotDawg
HotDawg

Fan power. Not facility power. JUST WIN BABY!

maconexpress
maconexpress

@thebucket I was just watching Jackson's highlight reel on youtube. Good passer,  good ball handler and shooter. CMF can use a pg of his caliber.

slydawg
slydawg

So how many more millions must Georgia waste then? Clearly you missed the point: Doing more with less. So if you have "more", you should at least be competitive, right? It also means Fox should be able to coach up lesser talent, right? But I know you have another excuse buried somwhere. You had to do research just to find when the last Gonzaga sucked. Hint: Their coach has turned down several higher profile jobs.