5 prospects to know for Orlando Magic’s second-round pick
Andre Jackson, UConn
Championships have to mean something, right?
Whether a player can contribute to a winning team has to be a factor in things. Teams should want to see how players perform in pressure situations. And winning is a habit as much as anything.
It is one of the reasons Jordan Hawkins climbed boards so much faster after UConn won the NCAA Tournament. These things matter.
The other players from UConn’s national championship team getting draft consideration are big man Adama Sonoga, a defensive-minded big who plays with energy but probably does not have NBA skills, and Andre Jackson.
Jackson averaged just 6.7 points per game on rough shooting splits of 43.2/28.1/64.6. He does not seem like he would be a great option for a team like the Orlando Magic.
Where Jackson will make his mark is with his size — 6-foot-5.5 without shoes with a 6-foot-9.75 wingspan — and his defense and athleticism. He seems like a player perfectly suited to translate to the NBA with his size and determination on that end.
He may not be a great shooter or have all the skills put together, but he can make plays off the dribble, he averaged 4.7 assists per game too.
He is an upperclassman and perhaps he should be further along to make it to the NBA. But there are a lot of tools to work with if teams want to continue investing in his development.
The athleticism is a great place to start which he already deploys well on defense and as a cutter along the baseline. That just might be where his role is limited for now.
Still, a lot of the little things that he does work for a championship team. He knows how to find his way to impact the game.
The ring has to mean something. Players who are winners have to have some value around the league.
Jackson still has a long way to go and develop as a shooter to ensure a place in the NBA. But he has the tools to get there if he keeps working. And there is no reason to believe he would not.