Baylor Bears Senior Point Guard #55
5'10" 180 Pounds 21 Years Old From: Las Vegas, NV
Overview: The energetic Jackson was one of the few high points this season for the Baylor Bears who failed to make the NCAA this season, following an Elite Eight appearance last season. Jackson is lightning quick and can certainly score. Even with his small frame, he's a very tough player, however with Jackson, question marks surround his ability to distribute the basketball at the NBA level. He has also struggled with consistency this year at Baylor, turning in up and down performances.
On offense, Jackson's primary value comes as a scorer. While only 5'10", he can certainly shoot the basketball. His shooting percentages dipped a bit this year, but a lot of that was a function of being the go to guy on offense rather than a more complementary player. He has a very good jumpshot with a quick, high release, which is crucial due to his size limitations. Even for a point guard, he's undersized so his ability to get a shot off over average and even taller point guard defenders is essential. He doesn't need a lot of space to get a shot off. He has three point range and while his percentages dipped from there this season, he is a threat if left unguarded. He is very good with his ball handling skills; his best move is his crossover which is deadly quick and low to the ground from both his left to his right hand as well as from his right to left. Because of this, his handling, and his speed, he is a very good pick and roll player on offense. Defenses have to pick their poison with Jackson, deciding whether or not to go under screens on him and risk him making a jumper or going above screens on him and risk his speed splitting the defense or his court vision making the pass to the cutter. Jackson does good work with a quick pullup jumper which helps him in the lane when he wants to avoid driving at the bigger help defenders of the Big 12. This will serve him extremely well at the NBA level. He does need to work on his decision making a lot though. His assist total was high, however, his turnover total was extremely high was well. He turned the ball over 3.5 times per game in the regular season, a figure far too high. One other issue he faces is running an offense effectively. He is very good when playing an up tempo game but doesn't have ideal feel for the game; it is tough for him to play a patient, down tempo game. He really prefers to get up and down the court and run in transition. He has some decision making problems but he's an unselfish player. Despite being on a not great Baylor team this year, he led the Big 12 in both points and assists per game, which is no small feat.
On defense, Jackson's physical limitations really hurt him. He plays tough, with energy and heart, but the talent and the decision making aren't there. He likes to harass a ball handler, which is certainly good but he gambles far too often on the ball and offensive players can get by him and into the lane. He is laterally quick, but that doesn't help him all that much if he gambles and misses defensively. Off the ball, he can lose his man and his focus and sometimes he decides to double the ball in a ill-advised manner, losing his man. It's also very tough for him to fight through screens given his size, and against bigger point guards with any semblance of a post game, he gets torched on the low block or picks up cheap fouls to prevent his man from scoring.
Overall, Jackson has legitimate scoring capabilities at the NBA level. He is a very similar prospect coming out of college to Isaiah Thomas of Washington from last year's draft class. Thomas was drafted with the last pick of the draft last year and has been able to benefit the Kings when he is asked to play in small doses. Jackson is very similar in that regard. He should be a late second round pick with some upside. Guys like Jackson and Jordan Crawford of the Boston Celtics have scoring instincts, giving them value as change of pace offensive players off the bench, however, he has a lot of limitations that will prevent him from being any more than a bench player who can benefit an NBA team for 15 minutes or less per night.
· Jackson is an extremely athletic guard who can blow by his matchup on offense.
· He has great ball handling skills and is a very good scorer from various locations on the court.
· His pullup jumper makes him a huge threat in the pick and roll offense.
· He has good court vision and an unselfish disposition.
· Jackson plays extremely hard and plays with contagious energy.
Areas to Improve:
· There isn't much he can do to improve upon his size, but it will certainly limit his effectiveness at the NBA level
· He struggles with playing at different paces; he's good playing a sped up tempo, but in the half-court, his strengths are diminished.
· He turns the ball over too much and needs to work on his decision making with regards to which passes he throws.
· Defensively he has a hard time staying in front of his man. This will only become a bigger weakness as he faces more elite talent.