After completing his last season at Texas A&M, guard Quenton Jackson has decided to take his talents to the NBA. In May, he took part in the NBA G League Elite Camp.
Quenton Jackson 2022 NBA Draft Profile
Coming out of high school, Jackson was not eligible to play Division 1 college basketball due to lacking academic achievements. He went to junior college instead, where he was one of the top ranked guards. During the two years of junior college, Jackson worked hard to improve his grades and received offers from several Division 1 colleges. He decided to play for Texas A&M where he received his bachelor’s degree as the first person in his family to do so.
In his last season, Jackson started in 10 games and lead the team in scoring with an average of 14.8 points. He also averaged 3.5 rebounds, 2 assists and 1.8 steals per game. As a senior, Jackson shot 49% on field goals, 34.6% from behind the arc and 82.8% from the free throw line. With these numbers, Jackson almost helped his team to an impressive season, which almost lead to a title. His best game was probably in February when the team faced Georgia. Jackson returned to the starting lineup and proved his rightful place by scoring 31 points and shooting 11-11 from the floor.
In recognition of his talent, Jackson was named to the SEC All-Tournament Team 2022 and was named SEC Player of the Week twice, among other awards. He also played at the 68th Portsmouth Invitational Tournament.
Jackson’s biggest strength is most probably that he is an impressive shooter from pretty much anywhere on the floor. He can also create those shots for himself off the dribble. Furthermore, Jackson is very athletic and shows off explosive drives to the basket. On these drives, he can easily draw fouls and get to the free-throw line.
Apart from his shooting ability, Jackson is also a decent ball handler, who can get the ball down the court. Jackson is not a flashy player but definitely solid and could become a reliable scorer off the bench. He can show off too, however. In the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, Jackson impressed with his defense as he recorded three steals and three blocks. Later, in the NBA G League Elite Camp he scored 18 points in one of the scrimmage games while shooting 6-10.
Being 23-years old, Jackson is already more mature than many of his draft classmates might be, and he already has a lot of playing experience. Besides that, Jackson proved immense determination and a strong will, by making his way into Division 1 college basketball so late. He will undoubtedly show the same will and energy in the NBA.
Two important things Jackson needs to work on to be a successful guard in the NBA is his playmaking and his shot selection. Sometimes, he has the tendency to take difficult shots when there is a better option available. Working closely with experienced players and coaches on a higher level should help to resolve these issues though. Perhaps, Jackson would benefit from some playing time in the G League.
Hand in hand with these issues goes the fact that Jackson should try to reduce his number of turnovers. His number of turnovers was not terrible with 2.4 but less turnovers would make him a more solid option as a backup ballhandler.
It is definitely possible to draw a comparison from Quenton Jackson to Fred VanVleet, who went undrafted in the 2016 draft. Both are guards, and averaged similar numbers in their senior seasons and were rather experienced when entering the draft. Most importantly, however, VanVleet was extremely underrated in his draft class and so is Jackson.
In the Sports Illustrated list of the top 100 prospects, Quenton Jackson is named on rank 93. He could be a steal rather late in the second round. If he ends up not being drafted, he will still have several possibilities as a free agent.