San Antonio Spurs News

San Antonio Spurs Draft Prospect: Demetrius Jackson

Feb 13, 2016; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish guard Demetrius Jackson (11) celebrates after a three point basket in the second half against the Louisville Cardinals at the Purcell Pavilion. Notre Dame won 71-66. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 13, 2016; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish guard Demetrius Jackson (11) celebrates after a three point basket in the second half against the Louisville Cardinals at the Purcell Pavilion. Notre Dame won 71-66. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
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The San Antonio Spurs may need to address their point guard situation sooner rather than later. Tony Parker’s days an an elite NBA point guard seem like a distant memory at this point, and Patty Mills has too many flaws in his game to inspire confidence as a starting point guard. Perhaps the Spurs will choose to address their need for a point guard with the 29th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. Demetrius Jackson is an intriguing player they should consider drafting if he’s available.

Jackson played 3 seasons at Notre Dame. He is 6’2’’ and weighs 194 LBS. His wingspan measures at 6’5.5’’, giving him the potential to be able to cover shooting guards in the NBA.

Jackson finished runner-up for Mr. Indiana Basketball in 2013. He stayed in state for college, and he helped lead Notre Dame to the Elite 8 in 2015.

Jackson averaged 15.2 points per game during the 2015-2016 season, as well as 4.7 assists. For his career at Notre Dame, he was a 38% 3-point shooter.

Jackson is extremely athletic, able to beat his man off the dribble and elevate effortlessly to the hoop. He’s a terrific scorer as either a slasher or a shooter. His shooting ability is impressive regardless of if it’s as a catch-and-shoot guy or pulling up off the dribble.

As a point guard, he still has to fine-tune some basic skills. He’s not a great passer, and often makes the wrong decision while trying to orchestrate an offense. He isn’t a floor general at this point, instead operating more as a shooting guard in a point guard’s body.

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On defense, his problems seem to stem more from a lack of tenacity. He has the physical tools to be much better on defense than he currently is. He has quick hands, and averaged 1.2 steals per game in his most recent season at Notre Dame.

Combined with his long arms relative to his size and swift lateral movement, Jackson can transform into a great defender with proper coaching.

His strength, speed, and general athleticism are the foundation for his skills on the court. His shooting ability adds another dimension to his offensive game, but the main fear with Jackson is that he’ll never develop the traits necessary to play point guard in the NBA.

At 6’2’’, it’s unrealistic to expect him to be able to thrive as a shooting guard, which is probably what he’d be more suited to play if he was a few inches taller.

The potential is certainly enticing, as he’s an athletic scorer with multiple ways to efficiently deliver points.

On defense, he has the physical tools to become a great defender. The Spurs heavily emphasize defense, and San Antonio could be a place that he fully commits to that end of the court.

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Jackson’s NBA future depends on his ability to master the craft of the point guard position. He can certainly score, but his longevity in the league will be tied more to facilitation. That’s simply the reality of being 6’2’’ in the NBA.

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