RTC NBA Draft Profiles: Reggie JacksonPosted by Brian Goodman on May 25th, 2011
Over the course of the next month until the NBA Draft on June 23, RTC will be rolling out comprehensive profiles of the 35 collegians we feel have the best chance to hear their names called by David Stern in the first round that night. There won’t be any particular order to the list, but you can scroll back through all the finished profiles by clicking here.
Player Name: Reggie Jackson
School: Boston College
Height/Weight: 6’3/208 lbs.
NBA Position: Point Guard
Projected Draft Range: Late First Round
Overview: Reggie Jackson came to Boston College all the way from Colorado Springs as a heralded shooting guard. Making an early impact for former head coach Al Skinner, Jackson averaged seven points per contests in 20 minutes in his freshman season, including a season-high 17 on the road against North Carolina during the Tar Heels’ run to a national title. With surprisingly long arms for someone his size (his wingspan has been measured at seven feet), Jackson pulled down more rebounds than you would typically expect from a 6’3 guard. Juggling an increase in playing time with new full-time starting point guard responsibilities, Jackson improved steadily in his sophomore season, though he struggled shooting the ball (especially from the perimeter) where he failed to crack 30% beyond the arc in both of his first two seasons. His floor general skills shone through, however, as he posted one of the ACC’s top assist-to-turnover ratios in 2009-10. He continued to improve, but few could predict his spectacular 42% performance from beyond the arc in 2010-11, which played a major role in his shooting percentage rising from 43% from 50% last season. With several seniors graduating, Jackson decided to leave school a year early rather than play out the first stage of a massive rebuilding project in Chestnut Hill in 2011-12. Without a strong supporting cast, a return to BC would have spelled a rather strenuous workload as a senior.
Will Translate to the NBA: Jackson’s appeal stems from his athleticism and wingspan, which makes him a very explosive player on both ends of the court. Once he adds more muscle to his frame, scouts are confident that he’ll be good to go. He’s already a very good finisher on the break and can succeed in half-court sets as well, especially in the pick-and-roll. Jackson worked hard to improve his jumper last season, which will help him get by as he adds the weight necessary to drive and absorb contact in the lane.
Needs Work: Like many prospective draftees, Jackson needs to put on some muscle in order to carry an NBA-ready frame. Outside of the weight room, the main area for improvement is Jackson’s shot selection, especially in high-leverage situations like waning shot clocks and late in close games. Although he has a wide range of moves, Jackson hasn’t developed an ability to finish with his left hand, and teams will take away his explosiveness to his right side until he does. He also must improve his jump shot, but as evidenced by his significant collegiate development, adding new skill sets may come easy for the talented guard.
Comparison Players: A couple of the NBA players you hear Jackson favorably compared to are Utah’s Devin Harris and San Antonio’s George Hill. All three have above-average athleticism but none will wow you with their scoring ability at the NBA level. Hill is a better shooter and Harris a better slasher, but if Jackson can harness his athleticism and figure out a way to hit a consistent number of jump shots despite an awkward release, he has a chance to become a sleeper in this year’s draft.
Best Case Scenario: In the very best case for Jackson, he’ll continue his track record of showing development in his game and erase all of his deficiencies. He’ll become proficient going to his left, using his incredibly long arms to finish over and around much bigger players both ways. He’ll show that he can knock down outside jumpers at a reasonable clip despite his form shortcomings, and he’ll become an adequate floor leader and defender so that he sees ample time in the lineup. If all of these things occur, he could top out as a solid starter as a lead guard in this league on a mid-level team. His athleticism and length are not teachable — it’s simply a matter of commitment to development.
2014 Projection: Jackson has not developed as quickly as some had hoped, and his from-the-hip shooting style has allowed superior defenders to get into his head and make him afraid to put the ball up from distance. This has limited his role offensively somewhat, but the good news is that his length has allowed him to develop a niche as a nice on-ball defensive player in the Rajon Rondo mold to see minutes on the floor. He’s coming off the bench for 12-16 minutes per game backing up a scoring point guard on a good team.
Best NBA Fit: The current best fit for him will be a team that can let him make plenty of mistakes while on the floor. A teams such as New Jersey with Deron Williams at the helm would be ideal because anytime Jackson got himself into trouble, head coach Avery Johnson could quickly pull him secure in the knowledge that Williams is available to save the day. Additionally, playing an all-star like Williams every day in practice would allow him to develop his defensive skills, which is truly the area where he has a chance to excel at this level.
Scout’s Take (Chris Denker from Netscouts Basketball): “very long athlete for a guard… reminds me of Russell Westbrook physically… his stroke needs to improve… the question is whether he’ll get a chance to develop as a project.”