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#KU50: 31 Josh Jackson

31 days until Kansas basketball!

2017 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

From his first game in a KU uniform, it was evident Josh Jackson gave a (darn). He picked up multiple technical fouls in rapid succession by either hating a bad call, talking trash to an opponent, or just plan old getting upset.

The main knock on Jackson coming into the season was his jumper. He had a low release as well as a hitch, but sometime in the middle of the season it all clicked and he went from a you-can-deal-with-it 33 percent or so to a holy crap 37.8 percent on the year (and 43.5 percent in Big 12 play, which ranked 6th in the Big 12). Jackson was pretty good inside as well, making 51.4 percent of his twos, which is somehow more impressive when you realize how many dunks he missed.

Jackson was also a very good rebounder, with a 8.7 percent offensive rebound rate (12th in the Big 12) and a 17.3 percent defensive rebound rate, which is pretty impressive considering he was always giving up size down low.

Defensively, Jackson ranked 5th in the Big 12 in defensive win shares and 4th in defensive box plus-minus. I’m the first person to make fun of someone for valuing their own two eyes over what the stats say, but I just don’t see how he was that valuable defensively. He did an admirable job against Jonathan Motley and some of the other true big men in the league, but was consistently abused by players like Esa Ahmad and some of the smaller post players in the league.

He also wasn’t as good of a perimeter defender as I thought he would be (although that could also be my high expectations). He was an OK shot blocker (a little under 3 percent), and ranked 8th in the Big 12 in steal rate, both of which are no doubt valuable, but in terms of just keeping his man from scoring, he wasn’t as good as, oh say, the guy coming up tomorrow.

One thing I am thankful for regarding Jackson, however, is it seems he’s escaped the curse of being judged by his final game (4 fouls, 5 turnovers, and some rough defense). To only remember Jackson by those 40 minutes would do him a disservice and forget that he was no doubt worth the hype when he came in as a McDonald’s All-American and one of the top ranked prospects in the 2016 class.


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36. Russell Robinson

37. Eric Chenowith

38. Scot Pollard

39. Tyshawn Taylor

40. Darrell Arthur

41. Devonte Graham

42. Jerod Haase

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50. Charlie T. Black