The familiar faces here at BCI decided to make some additions to the squad and have brought in myself and BCHysteria. My name is Conrad Kaczmarek and having just finished my freshman year at BC, I find myself religiously following all things Boston College. My main focus will be on basketball as I run FearTheSword, SBNation's Cleveland Cavaliers blog, but I'm here to contribute whenever Brian and Jeff need a student's perspective as well. Feel free to follow me on Twitter (@Lookitsckaz). Today, I offer a rundown on BC's own, Reggie Jackson, as the NBA Draft approaches.
The NBA Draft Lottery has passed and now the NBA draft combine and player workouts are in full swing. While it was disappointing to see Reggie Jackson forgo his senior year at Boston College, we still obviously want to see him succeed at the next level. There does not seem to be consensus on Reggie's draft stock among experts and scouts, but at this point he appears to be a virtual lock for the 1st round of the draft.
This past week many coveted prospects attended Attack Athletics in Chicago to workout for various GM's and scouts in the NBA Combine. Reggie was originally slated to join the other top players in hopes to improve his stock, but pulled out at the last minute. It's not clear whether this was due to a nagging injury or something else, but Reggie decided not to take part in the drills in Chicago. Not participating in the combine is something that generally only the most elite prospects do. For example, Kyrie Irving from Duke feels no need to showcase his skills because he will likely be drafted with the number one pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers and therefore has nothing else to prove. Jackson, however, has plenty of room to rise on the Big Board, so one has to think that he has some sort of injury concern. Another possibility is that one of the team's targeting Jackson have contacted his agent and made an agreement that they will draft him at a certain position if he is still available. While there is nothing binding the team to this offer, it's certainly legal and if Reggie decides that he is satisfied with where that team would draft him, he may not want to risk injury at the combine.
Despite Jackson's absence at the combine, there is still plenty of buzz and coverage surrounding him. ESPN's Chad Ford has him ranked as the 24th best prospect on his Big Board. As someone that watched a good amount of Reggie this past season and watched even more NBA basketball, I like his chances at succeeding in the league. He possesses legitimate NBA size at 6'3" and scouts have been drooling over his ridiculous 7-foot wingspan. Experts list his explosiveness and leaping ability as other positive aspects of his game. Perhaps the most important facet of Reggie's game was his impressive improvement as a jump shooter. From his sophomore year to his junior year he boosted his FG% and 3P% from .430 to .503 and .291 to .420, respectively. That willingness to work on a weak part of his game probably contributed to shooting him into the first round of the draft.
Naturally, there are criticisms of every player's game and Reggie is no different. Although his deficiencies may be holding back his draft stock a little bit, I see each issue as quite fixable if he is in the right situation. The main concerns are regarding his size and position. Jackson needs to build some additional muscle to fill out his frame and needs to establish himself as either a point guard or shooting guard. Which position he plays will ultimately be a decision for his new team to make, but I think he is better suited running the point. People question his shot selection and ability to play as a "true point guard", however, this is likely due to his role at BC. Other playmakers for the Eagles were virtually non-existant and Jackson was forced to do, well, everything. Once he reaches the pros, Jackson should be able to settle into a role and have a nice career.
At this point, various mock drafts have Reggie being selected in the 20-25 range, with the Houston Rockets at 23rd being the most likely destination. Regardless of where he ends up, it's always nice to be able to follow former Eagles in the professional ranks, so keep and eye on him and tune into the NBA Draft on June 23rd to hear his name called and see where he ends up.