Texas Tech senior guard Jarrius Jackson
had a very impressive week against Oklahoma and Texas, showing off his sensational scoring ability, but not contributing much in any other facets of the game. Despite being only 6-1, Jackson plays primarily off the ball, only getting spot minutes at point guard and not showing much in terms of consistent playmaking abilities for others. But for himself, Jackson can get off his picture perfect jump-shot in the blink of an eye, and only needs the smallest of spaces to get it off.
Jacksons jump shot has pretty much flawless form, with high elevation, a high release point, consistent shooting motions, and a lightning quick trigger. Jackson is extremely efficient from behind the college three-point arc, shooting .469 on the year, which definitely isnt an anomaly, as evidenced by his circa-.450 three-point percentages over the past two seasons. In his games against Texas and Oklahoma, Jackson was able to get his shot off with ease, either creating for himself off the dribble or moving without the ball to his spot-up shots off screens. Very fundamentally sound in his play, Jackson is equally comfortable dribbling left or right off screens, possessing excellent footwork and a seamless motion from his dribble right into his shot. Just the slightest screen, the simplest crossover, the slightest change in speed, or the simplest ball fake are usually enough for Jackson to get room for his shot, and he has no problem hitting them with a hand in his face, not succumbing to defensive pressure.
Jackson definitely is most comfortable behind the arc, as he actually shoots a higher percentage from three-point range than two-point range, but he also uses his craftiness and smarts to create scoring opportunities inside the arc, as he doesnt possess or rely on much quickness or athleticism to create. Continuing in the fundamentally sound theme, Jackson is excellent at using his body to shield the ball, and rather than blazing by defenders with an explosive first step, he relies on changes in speed and direction, ball fakes, crossovers, and the respect defenders give him on his outside shot. Jackson tends to take most of his shots before he gets to the basket, relying on pull-up jumpers and floaters which he converts with decent regularity. Here, he also possesses the ability to go into these moves dribbling either right or left. When going all the way to the basket, Jackson tends to favor his right hand more noticeably, and most of his left-handed drives result in mid or long-range shot attempts. Jackson doesnt show much creativity around the rim, usually just drawing contact and going straight for the basket. With his height, lack of explosive athleticism, and straight-forward style, Jackson sometimes runs into problems with contested shots in the lane, not being able to score if he doesnt have an open path or draw contact to get to the free-throw line.
When Jackson doesnt have the ball, he does a good job frequently staying in motion on coach Bob Knight
s motion offense, using screens to get open for spot-up shots or cuts to the basket. He does a good job recognizing what the defense gives to him, and will adjust by using floaters or lay-ups and using glass when the angle is right.
Jackson possesses little in terms of point guard instincts, only averaging 1.7 assists per game on the year, though part of that is due to him being heavily relied on as a scorer for his team. Hes averaged as high as 3.5 assists per game in his tenure at Texas Tech, doing so in his sophomore year. Still, Jackson definitely has a scorers mentality, and he doesnt show much ability to break down a defense and create for his teammates. Unlike most undersized scoring guards, Jackson actually doesnt force the issue often, and most of his shots are high-percentage shots. He rarely takes shots without his feet set or without being balanced.
Defensively, Jackson showed some trouble staying in front of some of Texas quicker guards, and his lateral movement is suspect against quicker players, which is a concern looking at the next level. Most smaller guards in the NBA possess good quickness, and despite Jackson being a pesky and fundamentally sound defender, he doesnt really possess the natural ability to consistently stay in front of them. Looking at the next level in a more general sense, Jackson doesnt project to be much more than a role player in the Eddie House
, Salim Stoudamire
, or Jannero Pargo
role, as a scoring spark off the bench. Should he go to Europe, Jackson should be able to have a tremendous impact with his scoring abilities, which may be more appealing than just being a marginal role player in the NBA, if his scoring abilities can even take him that far. Jackson should have a chance at being drafted in the second round, though theres equally a good chance he could go undrafted.