Inside, outside... KU freshman Elmarko Jackson produces in Bill Self campers’ game

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Kansas freshman combo guard Elmarko Jackson elevated his 6-foot-3, 185-pound frame and released a jumper from the deep corner over the extended right arm of former KU/NBA player Tyshawn Taylor, draining a three-pointer during KU coach Bill Self’s campers game on Wednesday at Allen Fieldhouse.

That shot over the 6-3, 33-year-old Taylor — a player Self during introductions deemed “arguably the toughest player we’ve ever had here” — came one offensive possession after Jackson flushed a dunk off a feed from guard Arterio Morris.

Inside, outside ... Jackson, who also hit an acrobatic driving layup, scored from all over the court. He helped the Red team defeat the Blue squad 71-66 in a first-team-to-70 scrimmage contested in front of 900 enthusiastic youngsters. Jackson sank three three-pointers in all on Wednesday.

“Yes, a little something. I wanted to showcase what I could do,” Jackson said when asked if he wanted to display his game for all to see in his unofficial KU summer debut. “I know as a freshman, you get on the court to play defense (and) I feel like I’m a really good defensive player. It was a little lackadaisical today, but when the season kicks off I’m going to for sure show my defense abilities and my three-point shot making ability.”

The winning Red team was led by former KU/NBA guard Ben McLemore, who hit six threes for 20 points. Morris, a senior transfer from Texas, and Dillon Wilhite, a sophomore non-scholarship player, had 12 points apiece.

The losing Blue team was led by incoming transfers Hunter Dickinson and Nick Timberlake, who had 21 and 15 points, respectively. Freshman Jamari McDowell contributed 11 points.

“It’s not my first pro I played with,” Jackson said of the 30-year-old McLemore, who played pro ball in China during the 2022-23 season.

Jackson, a native of Marlton, New Jersey who attended South Kent School in Connecticut last season, didn’t disappoint after being called “probably the most heralded freshman in this group, a McDonald’s All-American and five star recruit,” by Self during player introductions.

“All these guy are talented, man — athletic too,” McLemore said after his two late three-pointers and a layup by Morris put the Red team over the 70-point mark. At one point, the Red squad had trailed 64-63.

McLemore, a former lottery pick of the Sacramento Kings, was impressed with former Michigan big man Dickinson, who hit three three-pointers.

“I kept saying to him it was hard to set a screen on him,” McLemore said of the 7-1, 260-pound Dickinson. “I said, ‘Hunter, you are a big guy.’ It shows you what he’s going to bring to the team this year.

“I look forward to watching him, and this whole group,” added McLemore, who on Thursday night will be one of 40 former KU players competing in Brian Hanni’s Rock Chalk Roundball Classic, set for a 7 p.m. tipoff at Free State High in Lawrence. Ticket information is available at the event’s website.

Meanwhile, Jackson said he’s enjoyed the first week of summer school and summer workouts.

“It’s great. Just playing with top players in the country, these guys push me to be better every day, push me to work harder,” Jackson said. “The transition has been good. Coming into this, from high school, the pace is a little bit different. The speed of the game, I just had to adjust to that a little bit, but I feel like I’m good now.”

He’s rooming with senior Timberlake at McCarthy Hall. Towson transfer Timberlake stroked a trio of threes in the camp game.

“It’s only been a couple days, but it feels like we’ve known each other so much longer,” Jackson said. “I’m already knowing the season and the year is going to be great because the chemistry in the locker room is amazing. We have no guys that are jealous or anything like that. I feel like our continuity is top tier.”

NBA players Svi Mykhailiuk and Devonté Graham arrived at the fieldhouse in time for the end of the camp scrimmage. They will be playing in Thursday’s Roundball Classic at Free State.

Self’s camp concludes Thursday. The second session of camp, with a new group of campers, begins Sunday.

Red Team 71, Blue Team 66


Ben McLemore 20 points, Elmarko Jackson 15, Arterio Morris 12, Dillon Wilhite 12, KJ Adams 6, Wilder Evers 6. Three-point baskets: McLemore 6, Jackson 3, Evers 2, Wilhite 2.


Hunter Dickinson 21, Nick Timberlake 15, Jamari McDowell 11, Michael Jankovich 8, Patrick Cassidy 5, Dajuan Harris 4, Tyshawn Taylor 2. Three-point baskets: Dickinson 3, Timberlake 3, Jankovich 2, McDowell, Cassidy 1 each.

Note: first team to 70 deemed winner.