Justin Jackson is a 6’8 185lb small forward from Tomball, Texas. He is ranked 8th in ESPN’s top 100 and 10th in Scout’s top 100. He is Roy Williams’ first top ten recruit since James Michael McAdoo in 2011. Justin will instantly make a big impact this upcoming season, whether it be in the starting lineup or off of the bench.
The name of his game is efficiency. He is the type of player who you don’t notice during a game, but then look at the box score at the end of the game and see he has 22 points on 11-15 shooting. His game does not have a lot of flash to it, but it is very effective. Justin’s biggest strength is his ability to score while being efficient, which will fill a huge need for UNC. At this year’s McDonald’s All American game Justin had 23 points on 11-14 shooting and was awarded Co-MVP.
He is at his best when he is getting shots in the mid-range. His mid-range game has been called the best in the class by the likes of ESPN’s Paul Biancardi and Scout’s Rob Harrington. He has a solid three point shot and shows good form, which means there is room for improvement on his shot. He is very selective in getting shots on offense, which leads to him being so efficient. He has a good handle and great basketball IQ. His weaknesses are his strength, which is easily improved, and his dribble penetration.
I personally saw him play on January 7th 2014 against Duke commit Justise Winslow. He hit every floater he took, showed a great spin move as well as his ability to just score. Justin’s team won the game. I was very impressed.
He will fit in on this year’s team perfectly. He will provide a consistent perimeter scoring threat. And, if JP Tokoto continues to improve his jump shot as well, that will only give Marcus Paige more room to operate on the perimeter. Jackson will use his high basketball IQ and feel for the game to get easy baskets. With him on the court, it will give the big guys like Johnson, Meeks, Hicks, and James more room to operate. Justin will also be a capable 3pt shooter who could easily shoot between 33-36%.
Justin will immediately make a positive impact on this team and can help lead the Tar Heels back to the Final Four. Who knows, he might just be the missing link.