2023 Draft Watch: First Look at G.G. Jackson

July 26th, 2022

By Alan Lu

G.G. Jackson is a highly touted recruit that reclassified to the 2022 recruiting class so that he can play in college basketball for the upcoming season.  He de-committed from North Carolina and he recently signed on to play for South Carolina.  He is a very athletic big man that is rated very highly across multiple websites, so I decided to take the time to watch him play in a January 17th high school game for Ridgeview High against A.C. Flora, with thanks YouTube via Definite Fiction.  Here are my thoughts on how he fared in this game, as well as how his game may stack up as a prospect for the NBA.

G.G. Jackson (player trying to block the shot, pictured on the right) is one of the most talented prospects that will play in college basketball this year, and he could end up being a lottery pick in the 2023 draft.
(Photo:
Jessica Gallagher/USA Today Network)

G.G. Jackson is a very athletic big man that excelled at scoring, rebounding, and defending to help his team get the win in this game.  He showed a knack for driving the ball to the hoop to score, and he also is an energetic player that will grab a lot of rebounds and block shots to help his team shore up the interior.

Jackson did a great job of scoring off the dribble.  He has a very good first step to the hoop, and he would quickly drive the ball to the hoop to score the basketball.  He also can take on the contact to score while getting fouled by his opponents, and he also has good footwork that enables him to slip past defenders.  He will sometimes run off ball screens to get the ball out on the perimeter, and he has a solid set of dribble moves that he can use to get his shots up.  He also did a tremendous job of drawing fouls upon his defenders to frequently get to the free throw line.

He also was fairly good at scoring on hustle plays.  He especially excelled at scoring off of cuts, and he would often look to score on put backs after grabbing offensive rebounds.  Jackson caught a lob pass off of a cut to score on a high-flying, alley-oop dunk.  He also received a dump off pass after making another cut to score on another magnetic jam.  He also was able to score on put backs, but sometimes he would miss on tip-ins due to rushing.

He struggled more to score on back-to-the-basket, low post plays.  He missed on a baseline fadeaway jumper early on, and he had trouble making shots on those types of plays, but he was able to draw free throws on a baseline, fadeaway jumper later on.  Jackson struggled to knock down outside shots, and he had trouble connecting on his mid-range or three-point attempts.

Also, Jackson showcased perhaps adequate playmaking skills.  For the positives, he handles the ball fairly well for a big man, and he can make passes out of the post as well as on fast breaks.  When posting up once, he was able to throw a timely pass to a cutter on a dribble handoff play to notch an assist.  He also can find open shooters when handling the ball to set up scoring chances for his teammates in transition.  Jackson also can swiftly create his own shot when he decisively drives to the hoop.  However, he was also fairly turnover prone on offense.  Sometimes he will dribble around aimlessly or be loose with his handles, which can lead him to get balls poked away from him.  He also can sometimes try to rush himself too much, as he was called for traveling once when handling the ball, and he also was called for setting a moving screen another time.

Jackson did a great job of rebounding the basketball.  He was very active at crashing the glass to frequently get boards on both ends of the floor, and sometimes he will quickly bring the ball up and push the pace off of defensive boards.  He also would often look to score off of put backs to help provide his team with second chance points.  Sometimes though, he would forget to box out his man, which would sometimes lead him to allow offensive rebounds and scores in his area.

He also played satisfactory defense in this game.  Jackson did a great job of blocking shots, and he has great athleticism, timing, and instincts that enable him to do so.  He also used his length to deflect and intercept an inbounds pass to get a steal.  Plus, he did a great job of contesting jump shots to force misses, and he would use his length to frequently get stops, as well as to help force passing turnovers.  On the downside, sometimes he wouldn’t quite run hard back on defense, which would lead his team to give up fast break baskets.  Other times, he would sometimes close out too hard or get beat off the dribble when defending out on the perimeter, which would sometimes lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.

Overall, G.G. Jackson had a very good game to help lead his team to a victory over A.C. Flora, and he is a very talented prospect that could be a likely lottery pick in the 2023 draft.  He is a very athletic, skilled big man that may possess a lot of upside, and he could end up being one of the best players to come out of the upcoming draft class.  He’ll still need to work on his jump shot, but his ability to score, rebound, and defend could enable him to thrive both in college basketball and in the NBA.  He is a player that may have multi-All-Star caliber potential, and he could end up being similar to Cleveland Cavaliers’ big man, Evan Mobley in the association.

Other Notes:

Here are my thoughts on some of the other prospects that I felt stood out due to having played well in this game.

A.C. Flora’s 6-5 high school junior guard, Christopher Parker had a solid showing in his team’s loss to Ridgeview High.  He is a very athletic guard that especially thrived at making plays in the first half, and his ability to score, handle the ball, and make plays on both ends of the court could make him an intriguing prospect for NCAA Division 1 college basketball.

Parker showed a solid ability to score off the dribble.  He showed a knack for scoring on speedy drives in transition, as he would throw down magnetic dunks and also used an overhead ball fake to score on a layup another time.  He also was able to score on an aggressive, half-court drive.  Sometimes though, he would take tough, rushed shots, which would sometimes miss, especially when he would not be able to draw foul calls.

He also did a good job of knocking down mid-range jumpers.  He would run off the  ball to get it, and he showed that he can make mid-range shots both off the catch and dribble.  On the downside, he missed on both of his turnaround jumpers from the post, and he didn’t seem to take a single three-point shot in this contest.

He also looked to be perhaps adequate as a playmaker in this game.  He is a very athletic swingman that can throw crisp bounce passes to set up scoring chances for his teammates on the break.  Sometimes though, he would throw hasty passes that would go astray, which would lead him to turn the ball over.  He also collided into a defender when handling it on the break that led him to commit an offensive foul and a turnover another time.

Also, he did a decent job of rebounding the basketball, and sometimes Parker would push the ball up the court off of defensive boards.  He also played satisfactory defense in this game.  Parker is an aggressive defender that was able to use his leaping ability to intercept a pass to get a steal, and he also hustled back to poke a ball away to nearly get another.  He also would use his length and leaping skills to contest outside shots to force plenty of misses.  On the downside, sometimes he would take bad angles when defending his opponents, and he would sometimes struggle to defend in one-on-one situations or off cuts, which would lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.

Overall, Christopher Parker played fairly well, and he arguably looked to be the second best prospect in this game behind Jackson.  Parker will need to significantly improve his jump shot, but his ability to score, make plays on fast breaks, and defend could enable him to be a potentially earn a scholarship from a mid-major school in college basketball.  If he reaches close to his full potential, he could end up being an athletic, energetic defensive specialist in the NBA someday.

A.C. Flora’s 6-7 high school junior forward, Collin Murray-Boyles also played well in his team’s loss to Ridgeview High.  He is an athletic, well-built forward that excelled at scoring and rebounding the basketball, and he also defended well when he was on the floor.

Murray-Boyles showed a knack for scoring on hustle plays.  He would tend to score on quick put backs as well as on aggressive drives on fast breaks, and sometimes he would throw down emphatic dunks on those plays.  He is a solid finisher that can throw down powerful dunks when he gets the ball around the basket.  Murray-Boyles also was able to make a smooth, pull-up, mid-range jumper to briefly show some of his shooting skills.  However, he had trouble consistently scoring in half-court sets, and sometimes he would take tough, rushed shots that would lead to misses.

He also displayed adequate playmaking skills.  Murray-Boyles showed a solid ability to pass out of the post as well as in transition to get his teammates the basketball.  He was able to throw a long bounce pass to set up a score for his teammate on the break.  On another play though, he threw a long, inaccurate outlet pass that ended up sailing out of bounds.

Murray-Boyles did a tremendous job of rebounding the basketball.  He would often track down balls to get numerous boards on both ends of the floor.  He also played solid defense in this game.  Murray-Boyles did a very good job of blocking shots when defending in the post due to possessing solid timing.  He also was able to poke a ball away and deflect a pass to get deflections for his team.  He also would actively contest shots when defending in the paint to force misses, and he also was able to stay in front of his man to force a passing turnover another time.  On the downside, there was one play where he struggled to fight through a screen, and he ended up fouling a shooter on a long two. 

Overall, Murray-Boyles had a solid showing in this game, and he is a versatile, skilled forward that showed a knack for making hustle plays on both ends of the floor.  He will need to improve his jump shot moving forward, but if he reaches close to his full potential, he could end up having a good collegiate career and also perhaps develop into an energetic, defensive specialist in the NBA one day.

Ridgeview High’s 6-9 high school junior big man, Donovan Rivers also had a solid showing in his team’s win over A.C. Flora.  He showed a knack for scoring and rebounding in the paint when he was on the floor, and he also was able to help his team get a couple of steals.

Rivers really excelled at scoring on hustle plays.  He would often score on quick, strong put backs, and he also was able to get the ball on a cut to score on a left-handed, jump hook.  He also was able to score on a fadeaway jumper from the post to showcase his low-post scoring skills.  On the downside, he would sometimes struggle to score in the post when operating in traffic, and he also had trouble knocking down mid-range jumpers in this match.

He also showed off satisfactory playmaking skills in this game.  Rivers threw an accurate lob to a cutter to notch an assist.  He also set a solid, on-ball screen to help his teammate get the space to dribble into a mid-range shot to score the basketball.  On one play though, he threw a hasty, weak pass from the post that ended up getting intercepted.

Also, Rivers did a very good job of rebounding the basketball, and he was able to haul in plenty of boards on both ends of the floor.  He also played decent defense in this game.  Rivers would get his hands on passes and deflect them to his teammates to help his team get steals.  On the downside, sometimes he would be a bit too aggressive in trying to contest shots in the paint, which would lead him to commit fouls.

Overall, Rivers is a strong, mobile big man that generally thrived at scoring and rebounding the basketball in this game.  He excelled at making hustle plays, and he also was effective as a passer and screen-setter for his teammates on offense.  He will need to continue to work on his outside shot and on his low post game.  Still, he played sound, efficient basketball.  In a favorable scenario, he could end up being a solid player in college basketball, and he could end up carving out a solid playing career in professional basketball someday.

Ridgeview High’s 5-9 high school senior point guard, Brice Cohen also played fairly well to help lead his team to get the victory over A.C. Flora.  While he lacks elite size or athleticism for the point guard position, he is a crafty scorer that also looked to be comfortable running the point when he was on the floor.  He is a solid outside shooter that will take a few dribbles to knock down pull-up jumpers both from the mid-range and three-point land.  He also was able to use a subtle crossover move to score off the dribble, while getting an extra free throw another time.  He didn’t usually get all the way to the hoop when looking to score off the dribble, but Cohen was able to selectively get his shots up to knock them down.

He also looked to be perhaps above average as a playmaker in this game.  He would throw accurate interior passes, as he was able to find a teammate on a cut to notch an assist.  However, sometimes he would be careless with the ball at times, which would lead to team turnovers.

Also, Cohen showed a solid ability to rebound the basketball, and he especially thrived at chasing down balls to get offensive boards.  He also was able to run down a loose ball that his teammate deflected to help his team get a steal.  Cohen also played satisfactory defense in this game.  Plus, he also successfully drew a charge when defending an opposing ball handler another time.

Overall, Cohen is an agile, skilled playmaker that played well in this game, and he was a productive point guard at the high school level.  On the downside, he doesn’t possess great size or athleticism for his position, so it may be more difficult for him to play as well at higher levels.  There is a chance he may have to start his collegiate career in a non-Division 1 school, but with persistence and dedication, Cohen could end up carving out a playing career in professional basketball someday.

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