Keith Dambrot is known for finding diamonds in the rough and he may have found two more solid performers in this year's recruiting class:
Ivey comes out of a powerhouse football school in Cleveland's Glenville Academic Campus. He chose the Zips over scholarship offers from Cleveland State, Florida International and East Tennessee State.
As you can see he's really athletic and can get up there. He reminds me of a shorter Nick Harney, with the ability to get to the rim and hit the outside shot. Akron's starting shooting guard spot is opening up after the graduation of Quincy Diggs and Ivey could challenge for that position. Deji Ibitayo or Reggie McAdams is likely to take over there, but Ivey has a shot and should be the backup if he doesn't redshirt. As Keith Dambrot moves to recruiting more athletic players, Ivey fills this mold and should thrive in a more up-tempo offense.
I've already written about Jackson in detail, but to summarize his highlight tapes show player who is lighting-fast in transition and is smart with the ball in those situations. One of the Zips' problems last year was turnovers, including those in transition. Jackson seems to know where the ball should go in an up-tempo offense but also can finish very well at the rim. Turning down offers from Texas State, Sam Houston State and Jacksonville, Jackson pledged to the Zips in part because of Dambrot's relationship with LeBron and Dru Joyce.
While Jackson is small and light, a year in Dambrot's workout program should benefit him mightily. Akron has fourteen potential scholarship players on the roster right now including the two new signees, so one or both will likely redshirt. The more likely redshirt is Jackson due to his size. But, with the problems Akron had at the point guard position last year Jackson may be asked to play right away.
Akron is also getting the services of Cristen Wilson, who is joining the team as a preferred walk-on. Wilson is a 6'4" combo guard from Cleveland's John Hay High School. Wilson and Ivey are supposedly best friends, so that's neat.
The Zips are still recruiting at least one more player: Noah Robotham of Las Vegas. Robotham is a point guard out of Bishop Gorman, a D-1 basketball factory that has produced Shabazz Muhammad and currently features top recruit Stephen Zimmerman. Originally a Boston College commit until their coaching change, he holds offers from UW-Milwaukee, Idaho State, Idaho and a host of other mid-majors. It's a bit odd that he hasn't been recruited harder as he was named the Gatorade High School Player of the Year in the state of Nevada.
All in all it was another solid class for Akron. There are no three or four star top-100 recruits, but that's not how Dambrot gets things done. With Zeke Marshall being the obvious exception, Dambrot has routinely gotten under-the-radar type players that have produced and won. Time will tell how this class will be remembered, but Dambrot did what he had to do this offseason which was to fill holes in the backcourt.