Observing G.G. Jackson, Jamarion Sharp, and Meechie Johnson
December 22nd, 2022
By Alan Lu
Today, I decided to take the time to watch South Carolina’s 6-9 freshman forward, GG Jackson play against 7-5 senior center, Jamarion Sharp and Western Kentucky in a midseason, non-conference college basketball game. It was a competitive, defensive battle between the two teams as they traded leads, but South Carolina received a surprisingly superb performance from former Ohio State guard, Meechie Johnson as well as a solid game from GG Jackson to get the victory. Here are my thoughts on how GG Jackson and other various prospects fared in this match.
GG Jackson had a solid showing to help lead his team to a win over Western Kentucky. He had a slow start as he tried to force the issue a bit too much at times on offense, especially early on, but Jackson rebounded and defended well, showed a promising jump shot, and he also was able to make some highlight reel-worthy plays in this game.
Jackson is a very athletic forward that showed off versatile scoring skills on offense. He showed off his strong athletic gifts by making a swift backdoor cut late in the first half, which enabled him to catch a lob to score on a thunderous, one-handed alley-oop dunk.
He also showed the ability to knock down pull-up, mid-range jumpers, and he has good size, as well as solid balance and footwork to be able to make shots comfortably in that range. Plus, he also showed a decent ability to score off the dribble. He was also fairly effective in driving to the hoop to draw fouls upon his defenders in order to get to the free throw line. However, he also would tend to rush his shots, and he would tend to take tough, contested shots that would lead to misses. He also would sometimes drive into the teeth of the defense and he would sometimes miss on contested, off-balanced shots when he wouldn’t get foul calls.
Jackson was streaky with his outside shot, and while he would take tough shots from way out, he was also able to make a quick, deep three-pointer midway through this match to showcase his range and promising shooting skills. As a playmaker, he looked to be about average. He primarily looked for his own shot on offense, but he also showed that he can throw interior passes, and he was willing to make the extra pass to find open shooters. On the downside, he can sometimes be very inaccurate with his passes, as a couple of them resulted in turnovers.
Also, Jackson did a terrific job of rebounding the basketball, and he showed some solid handles by leaping up to get defensive boards, and he would then push the ball up the court off of them. He also defended very well in this game. He has good length, athleticism, and recovery speed, and he was able to swat a couple of shots to help his team protect the paint. He also has good agility and lateral mobility, as he would stay in front of opposing ball handlers and cut off penetration, and he also would use his length and positioning to contest jump shots to force misses.
Overall, GG Jackson played fairly well, even if he struggled to make shots consistently over the course of this game. He had to create a lot of tough shots for his team, but he showed a promising jumper, was able to score on a tremendous dunk off of a backdoor cut, and he also thrived as a rebounder and defender throughout this contest. Jackson will need to show that he can be a more consistent shooter and scorer against upper-echelon competition, but he’s shown that he is a very athletic and skilled, high-upside prospect that could be a solid pick for an NBA team in the lottery of the 2023 draft.
Jamarion Sharp played well in his team’s loss to South Carolina. He especially played well in the early going, and his strong blend of having great size, length, combined with having solid athletic gifts enabled him to thrive as a finisher and interior defender in this game. He consistently made tough catches in the paint, which would often enable him to score and draw a hoard of free throws to get to the foul line.
Sharp thrived at making tough catches on off-ball motion plays, and he excelled at making hustle plays, especially early on. He also caught a lob pass off of a roll to the rim that enabled him to score on a strong, alley-oop dunk. Plus, he also would run the floor, which enabled him to score on a magnetic jam midway through this game. On the downside, he struggled to consistently knock down his free throws, and he will need to improve his free throw shooting to be able to capitalize on the opportunities he gets at the foul line.
Also, he played satisfactory defense in this game. He is a very tall, long center whose length would disrupt his opponents from being able to make plays easily in this game. Sharp was able to block a couple of shots at the rim due to possessing great length and timing, and he also would deflect passes and poke balls away to nearly get steals other times. On the downside, he can sometimes be too aggressive in trying to contest shots, which would lead him to either wind up out of position or committing fouls.
In summary, Jamarion Sharp played well, and he made a lot of solid plays to help his team in this game. Right now, he may have a game that may be quite similar to former Los Angeles Clippers’ center, Keith Closs. Sharp is an athletic big man that can certainly make plays to shore up the interior, but he will need to show that he can effectively guard opponents out on the perimeter, and he will need to expand his skill set offensively. Still, Sharp has shown considerable promise as a prospect for the NBA, and his size, mobility, and strong shot blocking skills could make him an intriguing option for NBA teams to consider, especially late in the 2023 draft.
Meechie Johnson had a tremendous game in his team’s win over Western Kentucky, and he had a career night as he scored 25 points and made 6 threes to help his team get the victory. He showed deft shooting and creative playmaking skills, and the former Ohio State guard really stood out as a scorer and playmaker for South Carolina today.
Johnson did a terrific job of shooting and scoring the basketball. He made a plethora of threes, as he was able to make them both off the catch and dribble, and Johnson was able to make a couple from way out. He even made a deep, step-through three off the dribble effortlessly, and he was unstoppable as a three-point shooter in this game against Western Kentucky.
His tremendous three-point shooting was able to allow him to leverage threat to be able to get open mid-range shots and driving lanes, which enabled him to score on a couple of those occasions, as he did so with above average effectiveness when attempting two-point shots. He has a quick, solid first step to the hoop, but sometimes he would rush his shots when taking it all the way to the rim, which led to a few misses.
Johnson also showcased satisfactory playmaking skills. He threw timely passes and made an assortment of passes to get his teammates the ball in a variety of ways. He especially excelled at finding open teammates on the move, and he did a pretty good job of distributing the basketball in this game.
In general, Meechie Johnson had a superb showing to lead South Carolina to a win over Western Kentucky. This was a much needed win for South Carolina, and Johnson is a speedy point guard whose strong performance could give their team a much needed secondary scorer that can shoot and ably create his own shot alongside GG Jackson. Johnson didn’t really shoot the ball well prior to this game, but his terrific performance in his team’s win over Western Kentucky is definitely a step in the right direction, and Johnson is a talented prospect that could make it to the NBA, especially if he can keep shooting the ball as well as he did tonight. If Johnson does make it to the NBA, he could end up being a similar player to former Golden State Warriors’ guard, Ian Clark in the association.
Western Kentucky’s 6-1 junior, Dayvion McKnight is a strong, agile combo guard that thrived at scoring on strong, punishing drives to the hoop, and he also flashed some post-up skills. He also showed a solid mid-range shot, but he really struggled to make threes, as he was unable to make any of his three-pointers from beyond the arc. McKnight didn’t seem to be nearly as much of a factor in the other areas of the game outside of scoring, but he was able to chase down an errant pass that was thrown into the backcourt to get a steal and layup the other way.
Overall, McKnight is an aggressive scorer that thrived at attacking the basket to score, but he will need to really improve his jump shot, and he will also need to improve his distribute and ability to create shots for others in the meantime. Even if he doesn’t improve in those areas, McKnight could end up playing in a high-level professional league in international basketball.
Chico Carter Jr. showed off some scoring and playmaking skills in his team’s win over Western Kentucky. Though he didn’t take many shots in this game, he made shots efficiently and made sound passes when he was on the floor. Carter made an open corner three, and he also used a Euro-step move to score off the dribble when driving to the rim another time. Plus, he also threw an accurate lob pass to find a cutter to notch an assist. He doesn’t have elite athleticism nor has ideal size to play either guard position, but he is a skilled playmaker that could carve out a solid playing career in professional basketball.
Emmanuel Akot didn’t have a great game in his team’s loss to South Carolina. The 6-8 senior forward really struggled with his jump shot overall, despite being able to knock down a three and a mid-range jumper at various moments of this contest. He often had trouble knocking down spot-up threes or pull-up, mid-range jumpers, and he couldn’t really establish any consistent rhythm on offense.
He didn’t seem to play very well on either side of the ball, as he had trouble knocking down shots, and would sometimes commit touch fouls throughout this match. He is a fairly athletic combo forward that has shown some playmaking skills over the years and may be an underrated passer for his size, but he will need to improve his jump shot and position defense to increase his odds to make it to and succeed in the NBA.
Western Kentucky’s 6-6 junior guard and former Kentucky sharpshooter, Dontaie Allen returned to play after a month long absence, but he was pretty much a non-factor in this game. He missed on a couple of spot-up three-point attempts, and he wasn’t able to get into a rhythm when he was on the floor.
Anyways, those are my thoughts on how GG Jackson and other various prospects fared in South Carolina’s win over Western Kentucky. Thanks for reading.