Posted On: 05/9/18 6:00 AM
The last name Epps carries a lot of weight in Kentucky basketball lore. Anthony Epps was the starting point guard for Kentucky for multiple seasons and remains an all time favorite for many Wildcat fans. Makayla Epps is probably the best player in UK Women’s history. Sophomore forward Jamison Epps is the latest in the line of Marion County stars. Jamison is the youngest son of Anthony but he’s already making his own name in the 5th region. The youngest Epps averaged nearly 10 points and 8 rebounds per game this year for the Knights. He played well and showed ability to push the break after a rebound. Jamison is very skilled with nice touch around the rim. I recently caught up with Jamison to talk about his sophomore year, his spring AAU and the added pressures of growing up in such a big basketball family.
PHKY: Describe your game for people who may never have seen you play. What are your strengths? What do you need to improve?
JE: I feel like I’m an all around player. I’ve been compared to Karl Anthony Towns before. I can do a little bit of everything; to be a 6’5 power forward I can easy establish the inside game, slowly make my way out to the 15 footers and can even knock down the three and when needed I can bring the ball up the court with no problem. The biggest thing I need to improve on is my free throw percentage which took a big drop last season.
PHKY: Reflect on your high school season. Were you happy with your individual performance? Were you happy with your team results?
JE: Overall I thought it was a good season for me personally, I was 3rd in points per game, 2nd in total blocks and 1st in rebounds per game. As a whole I was pleased with our success. We started three sophomores and two seniors so we were fairly young but it was good experience for us which will help us improve on our 18-11 season next year.
PHKY: Who are you playing AAU with? What are your expectations for your AAU season both as an individual and as a team?
JE: I’m currently playing with M.A.T.T.S. Mustangs 16u. As a player I just want to give it my all and compete in every game. My goals are to better myself for high school ball by playing some of the best players in the country and making a name for myself. As a team I expect my teammates to go out and give it their all and play for their brothers.
PHKY: What schools are recruiting you? Any offers? If you have offers, do you have a leader right now?
JE: Morehead State and Liberty have shown a little interest but nothing to serious as of now. I currently don’t hold any offers.
PHKY: What can you take from your AAU season and apply to your next high school season?
JE: Just playing against the top notch competition can better me as a player and make me stronger. I can convert that experience to high school ball to where I can provide for my team and making everyone around me better.
PHKY: What are your goals for your next high school season?
JE: My goals for the next season are to be the leader for my team and helping my team improve our record from last year. Losing a player like Lez Means, who was our go to leader and scorer, is hard and someone is going to have to step up in his position and lead us. That is my primary goal. Although I’ll only be a junior I plan on leading us through district and making a deep run in region and hoping to punch our ticket to Rupp.
PHKY: Coming from one of the biggest basketball families in the state, do you feel extra pressure to reach that D1 level?
JE: Not really, I don’t let the pressure get to me. I just zone out all of the outside and focus on the court only when I have that uniform on. I would love to follow my dad and sisters footsteps and play at UK but I will just be grateful to whoever will give me the shot to continue my education and basketball career.
The biggest question facing Jamison will be if he will continue to grow and become a true power forward. Epps stands about 6’5 1/2 now but if he can hit 6’7 or 6’8 he can be a mid major D1 4 man (at worst). If he doesn’t grow any more, Jamison will need to show improved lateral quickness and verticality to reach that level as a big 3 or undersized 4. Jamison played up a grade level on Manimal Elite 17u for the 2 spring live periods before making the switch to M.A.T.T.S. Mustangs 16u for the remainder of the season. On the Adidas Gold Gauntlet, Epps was averaging 4.6 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. Jamison did shoot a remarkable 7/11 from 3 in 9 games on the circuit. Look for Jamison’s production to increase the rest of the season while he plays against his age group the rest of the AAU season.