Last week we did Cleveland, this week we are doing Toledo. Next week? Who knows.
For this week’s iteration of “You’re Nuts,” we figured we would stick to the recruiting topic in honor of the big BOOM and verbal commitment from Pickerington Central’s top-100 recruit Devin Royal.
Last week, we discussed the best Ohio State recruit from Cleveland high school basketball. Connor said David Lighty, and Justin argued Clark “Special K” Kellogg. After 216 votes, Kellogg recorded 199 of them to just 17 for Lighty meaning that Justin won the vote.
After 61 weeks, Connor holds a two-point lead over Justin, but both have a comfortable lead over “other.”
After 61 weeks:
(There have been two ties)
This week, we are heading north closer to the state line and discussing Buckeyes who have come out of the city of Toledo. There are plenty of great ones to choose from, and we expect this vote to be much closer.
Today’s question: Who is the best Toledo basketball recruit in Ohio State history?
Connor: Jim Jackson
Before we get into it, I think we need to acknowledge how many phenomenal hoopers have come out of Toledo. Aside from the two elite players we’ll present here, there are so many other fantastic players that aren’t at the level of Jim Jackson or Dennis Hopson, but were still All-Conference players who set records at Ohio State. Toledo might have an argument for being the best talent producer in the state…. just saying.
But the answer here is none other than Jim Jackson — one of the greatest Buckeyes of all time. Jackson first starred at Macomber High School, which participated in the Toledo City League at the time (it closed in 1990, just a few years after Jackson graduated). He was a McDonald’s All-American there and led the MacMen to a state title in 1989 — one of three state titles ever won by a Toledo city league school in men’s basketball.
Jackson then went on to Ohio State, where he averaged 19.2 points, 4 assists, and 5.9 rebounds per game over three seasons before entering the NBA Draft in 1992. He was selected by the Dallas Mavericks with the fourth overall pick.
Jackson was the 1990 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, a two-time Big Ten Player of the Year, and a two-time All-American at Ohio State If you’re making a “Mount Rushmore” of Ohio State basketball players, Jim Jackson is on there. Hell, he may be the centerpiece.
In three seasons, Jackson put his name in the Ohio State record books for numerous accomplishments, many of which still stand today or still sit near the top. To name a few:
- 7th all-time in scoring at Ohio State, with 1785 career points
- 7th all-time in made field goals, with 686
- 9th all-time in career scoring average, with 19.2 PPG
- Led Ohio State in scoring every season from 1990-1992
Jackson also helped lead Ohio State to the Sweet Sixteen in 1991 and the Elite Eight in 1992, as well as Big Ten Championships in 1991 and 1992.
On top of the accolades, records, and wins, the stat that will always impress me about Jackson is how many shots he took and how efficient he was with those shot. He averaged 14.7 shot attempts per game while at Ohio State, but shot 50.3% overall — a very good number for a guard. That means that although he was demanding the ball very often, the increased attention on him did not make him less efficient or cause him to struggle.
Jim Jackson was simply born to be a bucket, and he may be the best to come over come out of the 419.
Justin: Dennis Hopson
I am not even sure what kind of shot he is shooting in this picture, but I bet it went in; and always remember to gamble responsibly. Anyway, let’s get into it.
Arguing against Jimmy Jackson is not something anyone ever wants to do, considering many people consider him to be the greatest Buckeye hooper ever and that is an argument worth making. However, the man I am arguing can also make his case for being one of the best Buckeye hoopers of all time. Dennis Hopson.
There have been some great Toledo area shooters and players to don the Buckeye uniform. Recent guys like William Buford, Aaron Craft, and Marc Loving (lol) were all big-time recruits to come to Ohio State. However, Hopson pretty easily takes the cake.
Hopson is not only one of the best overall Buckeye hoopers ever, but he is also likely the greatest pure scorer to put on the Ohio State uniform.
Hopson is considered a prolific scorer in the halls of Ohio State basketball and NCAA basketball. Hopson played in Columbus from 1983-1987 after having a phenomenal high school career at E.L. Bowsher High School in Toledo.
As a freshman and sophomore, he was relatively quiet on the court, averaging just 5.3 points per game as a freshman and 9.8 points per game as a sophomore. He broke out during his junior season, going from 9.8 points per game to 20.9 points per game as a junior. This is in large part due to new head coach Gary Williams and what he brought to the offense for Hopson.
Hopson ended up having a monster season, averaging 29 points per game and 8.2 rebounds per game. The rebounds might actually be more impressive considering he was 6-foot-5. But 29 points a game is not too shabby either. He finished second in the NCAA in scoring and won the Big Ten Player of the Year award, earning him the third overall pick in the 1987 NBA draft to the New Jersey Nets.
Hopson is truly one of the greatest Buckeye hoopers ever and likely the greatest Buckeye scorer ever.