POSITION: Small Forward
WEIGHT: 205 lbs
SCHOOL/ TEAM: Kansas
*Explosive yet fluid athlete
*Moves well with the ball in his hands
*Particularly dangerous on the break where he can be the ball handler and get to the rim or make the right pass
*He also fills the lanes correctly on the wing, maintaining good spacing
*Has shown comfort finishing with either hand at full speed in traffic
*Also has good touch on his floater and jump hook
*Is aggressive attacking the rim and should be able to rack up FTAs as he becomes more comfortable creating his own shot in the half court
*At times, goes for the highlight poster dunk when he's not really in position to complete it.
*Intuitive cutter and good at finding the soft spot in the zone and making himself a big target
*He fills the spaces that help defense vacates to open up alley oop opportunities
*Very effective at getting position and sealing off smaller players when he posts
*Likes turning over his left shoulder on the right block
*Has the tools to have a dangerous face up game but he's only shown flashes thus far
*Has a good nose for following his own shot and putting it back in
*Doesn't attack the PNR aggressively.
*He takes poor angles when coming off the screen which makes it difficult for him to get to the rim.
*Rarely makes contact when asked to be a screener
*He likes to slip the pick into a short roll or pop and immediately attack the close out.
*Without the threat of a pull up jumper, he has trouble creating lanes for himself in isolation.
*Defenders take a step back and funnel him towards help.
*His shot mechanics need to be reworked He has a low release point and at times he seemingly shoots with both hands.
*Also tends to short arm his release on pull up jumpers
*An average jump shot would open up his game
*Plays big when defending the post
*Keeps his hands up straight when in post defense and vs drives to the basket
*Uses his feet well to slide with opponent and doesn't reach too much
*Quick guards can get by him for straight line drives
*Susceptible to the crossover when pressuring ballhandlers
*When he gives a cushion, he does well to stay in front of his man and can still contest with his size and athleticism
*Very controlled on closeouts
*Has quick hands that he uses judiciously to pick up steals.
*Keeps himself in good position to help while mostly keeping track of his man
*Shows the ability to hedge/deny and find his man quickly
*Kansas plays a switching defense so there's not much sample size on his ability to navigate/fight through on ball screens
*Does not box out and his man picks up a decent amount of offensive rebounds
*Hustles back in transition consistently
KHAIRI AKILI -
I think Josh should be considered for the Number 1 pick and at worst should fall to number 3. Jackson is a smooth, versatile athlete with a diverse skill set, but plays hard with the motor of scrappy role player.
Josh is good at so many things, it’s hard to pick out what he’ll be best at on the next level. I had a chance to watch him play a few times in AAU and high school and I’ve seen him have a huge impact on games without scoring. He simply makes winning plays and wants to win more than any other player on the floor.
Jackson’s versatility is what sets him apart from other prospects. He’s a playmaker with the court vision of guard but attacks the offensive glass like a power forward. He has an excellent feel for the game and is a good ball handler at 6’8” which may help him play up to 4 position in the NBA.
Josh’s attitude and toughness is probably my favorite attribute. When he puts that jersey on you know you’re getting maximum effort and he’s a DAWG on the floor. If matched up against a smaller guard he’ll punish him on the block then make the right pass if a double team comes. Josh is an excellent rebounder from the wing, especially on the offensive glass. He must be boxed out at all times. His combination of athleticism, great timing, quick second jump, will and effort makes him a threat for offensive rebound dunks on nearly every possession.
I wouldn’t call him a great one on one player but he’s a great team player. He’s best when he has the ball on the move where he can either score or create for a teammate. Jackson has a funky hitch in his shot with a low release but he knows how to create space to get his shot off over defender. If there’s any daylight to the rim he’s looking to embarrass anyone who challenges him at the rim.
If there was a weakness in his game it would be his shooting. He’s a streak shooter that got off to a slow start shooting his freshman season but had a stretch of games where he shot over 50% from 3. Like most prospects Josh obviously needs to get stronger which contributes to a lot of his off balance shots. He has a tendency to get his shot blocked and stripped down low. Another bad habit is he leaves the floor too often on his passes.
With all the skills and versatility Josh brings to the table on offensive, he may be at his best on the defensive end of the floor. He’s an terror in the passing lanes and in an instant can turn a bad pass into a momentum changing dunk. He has the athletic ability and length to defend point guards and even some 4’s in a small ball lineup..
Overall, I think Josh has the potential to be an NBA All Star and be a regular on the All Defensive team who is a smaller version of Draymond Green. I would love to see him on a team like Phoenix.
RAFAEL BARLOWE MARCH 22, 2017
Jackson is playing with confidence right now and is making his case for the #1 pick.
In two games, he’s done a little bit of everything. His activity off ball has generated easy looks on lobs and put backs. He’s shooting 50% on jump shots and shown some creativity off the bounce in his pull up game. A little erratic on the break with a couple turnovers and some missed finishes due to being a bit out of control; did have a nice lefty scoop shot though. Asserted himself more in the second half of the Michigan State game, creating in iso and attacking closeouts off the dribble. On defense, he’s been good and bad. The good is his effort, his on ball defense and defending PNR ball handlers. He stays with the play, fights through screens and forces players into tough shots. He’s been a bad off ball defender, particularly vs players on the wing. He’s actually been pretty good switching and rotating to bigs near the rim but that’s because he’s in the area. He has to cover a lot of ground to closeout on spot up shooters and bigs in PNPs and they’ve taken advantage of the extra second to go 6 for 9 on jumpshots and 3 for 4 from 3.
KHAIRI AKILI - MARCH 20, 2017
Josh Jackson is a mean kid; mean in a good way. He has good size and athleticism for the 3 position. He plays well off the ball in terms of cutting to the basket which should translate from day one. He is always looking to attack when he catches. I see a very good first step and he looks like he'll make his mark in the league as a slasher. He rebounds well for a 3. He shows flashes of a good post game though it will still need a lot of work. I feel like he has a lot more to his game than what he shows at KU due to the system, already established players, and him having to play the 4. He has the athleticism and meanness to be a good defender.
He has a really weird release to his jumper; not saying he would have to change it but it just looks weird. Right now he drives and spins and that's really about it. I'd like to see him use/add a step back. His jumper isn't really in existence so he doesn't catch and shoot very often. He isn't a shooter and will need to become one to keep the defense honest along with adding to his range. Not sure if he's a playmaker but they sure don't ask him to be one at KU.
Good size and athleticism
Plays well off the ball
Always in attack mode
Very good first step
Very good slasher
Good post game and good footwork
Probably has more in his game that what shows at KU. He plays a lot of 4
Tons of defensive potential
AREAS OF CONCERN:
Low release/funky mechanics on jumper
Needs more counter moves off the dribble, either spins or is out of control
Isn't very comfortable catching and shooting
Must extend his range
Jumper needs a lot reps
Not asked to be a playmaker so the jury is still out
JAMES BARLOWE - DECEMBER 28, 2016