Justin Jackson Junior — Combo Forward/Small
**Clip breakdown at bottom.**
All Synergy stats used are from 2016-17 season because he was injured during the 17-18 season), clips are from both years
Measurements: 6’6.75 in sneakers, 7’3 wingspan, 8’9 standing reach
- Below average height for SF and PF
- Above average wingspan for SF and PF (and just .5 inches below for C)
- Just above average standing reach for SF (by .5 inches), below average for PF by 2.25 inches)
- Measured in at a strong 229 lbs with a great frame
Athleticism / Athletic Testing:
- Did not participate in the NBA Combine athletic testing
- Watching film, he is not the best athlete – is not very explosive vertically or horizonally
- Heavy footed
- Little burst off the bounce
- Having his arms really helps rebounding on defense because it can make up for his lack of elite athleticism
- *Should note that he played this year with a shoulder injury, which is why the impact went down and why he played in 10 games.
- Played the 3-4 for Maryland depending on the lineup variations
- Probably best suited for small ball 4 instead of 3 – don’t think he has that type of foot speed on defense to guard the perimeter full time or the offensive arsenal to play the 3.
- Could possibly play the 5 for a few minutes in small ball situations
- Made impact on court even without scoring – would defend, rebound, set good screens, etc.
- Great rebounder and looks for someone to box out – not just an athlete jumping for the ball
- Can grab and go, but will not push it up super quickly
- Excellent defender – high IQ, great rotating and contesting shots out of position
- Knows how to use his length on defense
- Will fit in nicely if employed in switching defensive scheme because of versatility – just not someone you want guarding perimeter players full time
- Can hit the open three and should continue to progress shooting the ball in the pros
- Form is not broken, major improvement in FT% (smaller sample size) between freshman and sophomore year, and shot the three well last year on a nice sample size (3.2 a game)
- Solid passer, albeit a bit turnover prone
- Has nice touch on passes – floating ball over defense, pocket passes, etc
- Coming off a shoulder injury
- Handle needs to be tightened – can be a bit awkward with his movements when dribbling
- Should have probably blocked more shots / had more steals with his length and defensive IQ, but didn’t – doesn’t really add up
- Shades of Draymond Green in his game because of awareness/IQ, defensive versatility, rebounding, ability to hit three, undersized 4 mold, and a solid passer (but not at Dray’s level…yet?).
- Doesn’t have Dray’s fire
- Would have liked to see Turgeon use him more as a playmaker with Huerter and Cowan spotting up a bit more…or even using him more at the FT line, because he is a good high-low passer and does a good job seeing the whole court after getting the ball
Synergy stats (Percentile ranking)
|Spot up||Catch & Shoot (guarded/unguarded)||Off Dribble||Off Screen||Isolation||Post Up||Cut||Around Basket|
|72nd||93rd (88th / 81st)||38th||97th||65th||5th||54th||52nd|
Limited as a scorer
- Nice form on his jumper that is consistent from shot to shot
- Slightly elongated release, so could have issues with heavily contested shots in the NBA
- Good FT shooter (very nice improvement, even if small sample size this year) à jumper should translate to pros
- Results can be streaky from time to time, but, again, the form is consistent so this should improve
- Good catch and shoot player
- Raw in the post, but a decent drop step a couple times over the past two years
- Still, not someone you want to give the ball to in the post and have him go to work
- Has room to improve around the rim – not the best touch.
- He’s strong, but is not great finishing through contact (yet) and some shots around the rim come off “hard” or “rough.”
- Only made 54% of his FGA around the basket in non-post-up situations (low for a big) – lack of explosion is part of reason
- Smart off ball cutter and can roam the baseline
- Used primarily as a spot up shooter in Maryland’s offense and not asked to create for himself off dribble very often (22 total isolations).
- Does not have the offensive skill set to be a real isolation player
- Showed ability to hit off dribble a few times, but it’s not a real threat / part of arsenal at the moment
- Not a real player as a roll man in PnR
- Can be passive at times and would have liked to see him stay more aggressive (especially in post with a mismatch)
Passing and Handle:
Solid passer with nice touch
- Can make pocket passes, good high-low passer, and can make quick swings
- Does a good job reading the floor before deciding where to pass
- Can catch defense off guard in transition with his passes (especially to trailing 3s)
- Pass IQ can use some work – needs to pick spots a bit better.
- Can force passes a bit and let his touch get the better of him
- He’s a good passer, even if the assist numbers don’t show it (Maryland did not use him as much as a facilitator like I think they should have)
- Handle tighter in year 2 than in year 1, but needs to continue to progress (clip below is from year 1).
- Can look a little awkward at times handling
- Can grab and go to start a break, but he’s better off kicking the ball ahead or giving it to a guard because he doesn’t push the ball in transition very hard (unless defense is basically set and the team is willing to sacrifice break for secondary break opportunity)
- Using him as an offensive hub for a few possessions here and there is something that should be looked into (especially if he’s able to get minutes at the 5, or at least the 4 – this could pull bigs away from basket as his three gets better)
Great rebounder, even with no explosive leaping ability
- Uses long arms to grab ball high up and does a good job holding onto the ball and keeping it away from reaches
- Boxes out well (very strong on the glass) and looks to put a body on someone before going after the ball
|Spot Up||PnR Ball Handler||Off Screen||Isolation||Hand Off||Post Up|
Excellent defender ON ball
- One of the top defenders in this year’s draft class
- Versatile – can switch onto smaller perimeter players if needed (not someone you want guarding them full time, though, because of lack of foot speed) and bigger players (strong and long)
- Excellent defender OFF ball in help defense
- Does a great job bumping cutters and already knows how to “two-nine” the paint (even though they don’t call defensive 3 in college basketball, thought this was cool to see – ahead of curve there)
- Really knows how to rotate defensively – almost always in the right spot
- Uses his length to contest shots even when it’s not his man / cover
- Strong post defender which should translate to the pros because of his length and strength
- I can honestly see him playing some small ball 5 in lineups similar to how Golden State uses Draymond Green (to put into perspective how similar their measurements are – Jackson measured in at 6’6.75, 7’3, 8’9, 229lbs and Dray was 6’7.5, 7’1.25, 8’10, 235)
- Has some trouble keeping up with quicker players due to lateral quickness.
- Even though he has great defensive versatility, sticking him on 2s and 3s full time is a bad idea and a waste of his help defense – keeping him as a 4 next to an athletic 5 is probably best for him (and the team)
- Communicates on defense sometimes, but needs to be more consistent with this – as back line of defense, this is going to be very important in pros. His hands are not always out also, which is probably part of the reason why his steal rate is lower than you’d expect with his length
- Can also be slow getting out to perimeter shooters – another reason why he shouldn’t be used as a 3
- Runs break, does a nice job making a quick decision and finding Huerter for the trail 3
- Communication with Huerter on the switch – JJ stays high. JJ sees #25 getting ready to iso and #25 picks up his dribble and gets into his shooting motion, JJ is already there and ready to contest
- JJ’s elongated release made it easier for defense to contest on catch and shoot
- Beautiful high-low pass with a quick decision and an on the money pass
- JJ catch and shoot – brings ball down with a dip before getting into shooting motion (helps explain elongated release). Makes it anyway.
- Nice touch on the pass over the defender
- Nice pocket pass here with the touch. Even though he was essentially never the PnR creator, I can see him developing a pocket pass in the PnR IF the team he is drafted to wants to let him run the offense a bit / run a PnR here and there.
- Nice steal with his length and push up the court. As you can see here, he’s not looking to push and start the break – just to get the ball over half court. Would like to see him really put metal to floor and go in these situations (and grab and go). Would help start easy transition (and secondary break) possessions.
- Is not the quickest to closing out
- Catch and shoot (after a nice pass to the FT line) he moved to his right. Fluid catch and shoot, even with the slight dip in the shot.
- Dribble jumper. Was not a heavy part of his game this season, but this was a good look here. Again, looked fluid.
- Just a nice catch and shoot 3.
- Wonky handles here from his freshman year. Improved his sophomore season, but still needs some fine tuning.
- Left handed drive (tighten handle), but nice pass to the big
- Head up, finds Huerter on the baseline cut. Good vision.
- Watch as JJ sinks to the roll man and then box him out until the roll man’s defender recovers.
- Nice job hedging and recovering and then stopping the role man on the opposite side PnR off the swing – nice steal, too.
- Tags / bumps cutter as he cuts across the lane then rotates down to prevent the pass.
- Rotates down perfectly to help on the roll man, recovers out to the perimeter and forces him away from his strong hand, then contests the difficult shot (and blocked it).