Kentucky Wildcats' Isaiah Jackson to test NBA draft

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Kentucky forward Isaiah Jackson says he will enter the NBA draft and be evaluated but not hire an agent, leaving the door open for him to return to school.

The 6-foot-10 freshman averaged 8.4 points and 6.6 rebounds per game and blocked 65 shots this season to help the Wildcats rank third nationally in blocks per game through Sunday. Jackson rejected eight shots against then-No. 7 Kansas in his third outing, the most ever for a Kentucky player against an Associated Press top-10 opponent. It was also the most since Willie Cauley-Stein blocked nine against Boise State on Dec. 10, 2013.

Jackson said in a release Wednesday night that playing in the NBA is a dream that he would pursue with the right opportunity. He said he wanted to test the waters and added, "I am looking forward to the process and seeing what my future holds."

Jackson is No. 12 in ESPN's rankings of the 100 best prospects in the 2021 NBA draft class.

He is Kentucky's first player to announce plans to enter the draft, but there is no deadline for a final decision. Dates for the draft, combine and NCAA eligibility deadline have not been set due to NBA and NCAA schedules being restructured because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.