|Team: NON-NBA College Team:
H: 6' 5"|
W: 177 lbs
(28 Years Old)
|Agent: Justin Haynes ||
High School: Luthern
Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
|Year||Source||Height w/o Shoes||Height w/shoes||Weight||Wingspan||Standing Reach||Body Fat||No Step Vert||Max Vert|
|2009||Portsmouth||6' 4"||6' 5.25"||177||6' 5"||NA||NA||NA||NA|
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NCAA Weekly Performers, 3/9/09|
March 10, 2009
We last took a look at Stefon Jackson before the season started and now down to perhaps his final week of collegiate basketball (barring a run through the C-USA tournament) there is no better time to examine the conferences all time leading scorer.
Once again the senior finds his name amongst the nationís scoring leaders at nearly 24 points per game, but his shooting numbers have taken a very alarming dip. Jacksonís primary offensive weapon is still his tremendous quickness which he uses to slice up defenses at every opportunity. His handles have continued to improve and he has reached a point where he is almost equally adept at going to either his right or left when attacking the basket.
Jacksonís mid-range game has always been one of the more intriguing facets of his offensive repertoire. His first step is so quick with the basketball that he regularly has his defenders back pedaling when he pulls up for a shot. Even when he is faced with pesky defenders who can stick with him, the two-guardís release is fast enough that he needs almost no space to get his shot off cleanly. This season two things about Jacksonís mid-range game have become apparent though. First, his release while quick and smooth, isnít always consistent. He has shown a tendency, when facing defensive pressure, to short arm his shots; not completely following through. Jackson has also at times shown poor shot selection, attempting tough fall away jumpers with defenders right on him, rather than dishing to a teammate or looking for a better option.
The rest of the time, Jackson is almost always putting the ball on the deck and attacking the rim; he isnít much of a catch and shoot player at this point. He is a tough assignment for any college defender given his quickness, ball handling prowess and ability to improvise; it isnít unusual to see him dribble through three or four defenders on his way to the basket. Jackson has added a soft floater in the lane which is able to execute in traffic or against taller players, as he showed several times in a recent 24-point performance against Memphis. He is at his most efficient when he gets into the lane because of his excellent body control and soft touch. Jackson still gets into trouble inside though due to his average combination of strength and leaping abilityówhich could severely hamper him from translating his slashing ability over to the NBA level. As is the case with his mid-range game, the senior has to take a great number of off balance, contested shots in the paint, since he isnít able to elevate with many big men. He only converts on 44% of his shots from inside the arc, which is pretty poor any way you slice it, particularly considering the level of competition he plays at.
While Jackson has never been a proficient perimeter shooter, his numbers have dipped to a career low this season. Jackson shoots the ball with an awkward, ugly hitch, releasing the ball on the way up, and seeing terrible results in turn. He almost doesnít have to be guarded in catch and shoot situations, but his unorthodox shooting mechanics strangely translate into being very effective pulling up off the dribble from mid-range. In order to make it at the next level Jackson will almost assuredly have to become at least respectable from beyond the arc, at least when given open opportunities. What has improved a great deal (something we mentioned in his preseason report that would be a big plus) is his free throw shooting. Jackson continues to get to the line at a ridiculous rate and ranks second in our database at 11.4 attempts per 40 minutes. His free throw shooting numbers have increased by nearly 12 percent, a factor that has helped a great deal with his scoring numbers, in spite of a huge drop in efficiency.
The transition game has continued to be a comfortable place for Jackson. He has great open floor speed and much like in the half court set, he is more than capable of dribbling through an entire defense on his way to the basket. He shows great ability to change direction on a dime, although sometimes he tries to get a little too fancy and this gets him into trouble. Still, Jackson doesnít turn the ball over nearly as much as you would expect considering his style of play and the huge offensive load heís forced to shoulderóhe only coughs the ball up on 11% of his possessions, which is a sparkling rate.
Defensively, Jackson is a tough-nosed kid who doesnít defend like a typical 24-point per game scorer. He has the lateral quickness and length to be a pesky defender, and brings a very intense mentality to this end of the floorówhich certainly serves him well. He would certainly benefit from getting stronger in his upper body as bigger guards (James Harden in November) have been able to bully him around for easier looks at the basket. Jackson continues to be fearless in his play though, fighting much bigger players inside for more than five rebounds per game.
We see a player or two like Jackson almost every year; a mid-major scoring machine whose game and physical abilities seemingly donít translate very well over to the NBA. The senior has no problem creating his shot, has an excellent mid-range game and shows all kinds of ability with his dribble drive game, but itís questionable whether his scoring ability will translate. Jackson will need to improve his perimeter shooting, as well as his shot selection, as he isnít going to be going to the free throw line at the same rate he does at UTEP. His advanced age for his class (24) will always be a question mark with him, but his scoring prowess and hustle at both ends of the floor are major pluses. With likely only the C-USA tournament remaining for him to showcase his stuff at the college level, it will be a big week for Jackson.
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Top NBA Draft Prospects in the Non-BCS Conferences (Part Three:#16-20)
November 17, 2008
When we last took a look at Stefon Jackson midway through his junior season, we said he was one of the premiere mid-major players in the country. If anything, the second half of that season only further improved his reputation as a big time offensive weapon. The senior is back at UTEP as the third leading returning scorer in the country from a year ago and has all the physical weapons and skills to put even bigger numbers this season.
From an NBA standpoint, there are few things not to like about Jacksonís physical makeup. He may be a little undersized for the two-guard spot, but he has great length that allows him to play bigger than his listed 6í5Ē 185. Jackson has nice athleticism too, being able to beat most defenders off the dribble with his quickness. He elevates surprisingly well, and with his extended reach is able to do damage around the rim in traffic.
Jacksonís ability to create his own shot is what separates him from most of the 2-guards in the NCAA, and one part of his game that looks very solid to translate to the next level is his excellent mid-range jumper. He has all the necessary skills to dominate this facet of the game: great handles, a high, quick release, and the ability to stop and pull up on a dime. Jackson shows a solid basketball IQ and knows how to break down defenders, using a series of hesitation moves and ball fakes to beat his man.
He is still just as dangerous going to the basket as well, showing no fear of shooting in a crowd. Jackson has excellent body control and does a tremendous job of drawing contact. Few players in college basketball get to the free throw line as well as Jackson does, ranking fourth in that category last season. His 9.2 attempts per game ranked just a notch below Tyler Hansbrough in fact. Improving on the 73% he shot from the charity stripe would rank him even higher on the list of top scorers in college basketball. Despite the excessive amount of ball-handling heís forced to do in UTEPís fast paced, high-octane offense, Jackson does not turn the ball over at a very high rate.
While he has one of the more complete offensive games out there, Jackson still continues to struggle mightily with his perimeter shooting. His numbers from beyond the arc improved somewhat from the last time we checked in, but he still isnít a major threat from here. Despite his proficiency from mid-range, Jackson has very inconsistent form when shooting from deep, making just 33% of his 3.3 attempts per game last season.
The one thing he has going for him at this point are the flashes of ability he has shown to connect from NBA range, and considering the nice form he possesses, itís likely that his shot-selection has a lot to do with the poor numbers he posts from beyond the arc. Like a lot of great mid-major scorers, Jackson has a tendency to get a bit too trigger happy at times. Improving his decision making would go a long ways in convincing scouts that he can find a niche in the NBA.
Jackson is a solid enough defender when he puts his mind to it, but unfortunately that does not happen often enough. He has good lateral quickness and equally quick and active hands; but his intensity tends to waver at times on this end of the floor. What scouts will love the most about Jackson though is his hustle and toughness. He isnít afraid to mix it up inside with bigger players, able to pull down nearly six rebounds per game. Considering how heavy a role he plays offensively for UTEP, he might not be able to show everything he can on the other end of the floor.
To date, Jackson has had a terrific career, one that will certainly continue to get more and more recognition as his senior year progresses. There is no questioning his scoring prowess and his ability to get his points in a variety of ways, but there will be questions when it comes to his competition level. The 27 points he posted on both Memphis and Texas A&M shows that he has the ability, but we may not get a real sense for his ability against stiffer defenders until after the season is over. If Jackson can come out and continue to play at the same level at events like Portsmouth and Orlando, there is no reason to think he wonít at least get some serious looks from the NBA. The fact that he will be 24 by the time the draft rolls around is not working in his favor, nor was being arrested last yearóeven though charges were eventually droppedóbut there are a lot of other things working in his favor.
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NCAA Weekly Performers, 12/26/07-- Part One
December 27, 2007
There are very few scorers in the NCAA more skilled than UTEP junior Stefon Jackson. Standing at what looks to be around 6í5 with nice athleticism and quickness, Jackson has established himself as one of the premier mid-major players in the country, and with his refined offensive game, is steadily turning into a legitimate draft prospect.
Offensively, itís tough to find too many players with a more refined mid-range game than Jacksonís. He possesses nice ball-handling ability which allows him to create space for himself through a variety of ball-fakes and hesitation moves, something he has been able to do against almost any defender that has been thrown at him thus far. He possesses a terrific pull-up jumpshot that he can get off from anywhere inside of the three-point line, showing nice form complete with a high release point, good elevation, and an incredibly quick release. He is truly making a killing from mid-range this year, shooting 51% from the field on the season on over 16.5 attempts per game. This is particularly impressive because on the offensive end of the court, he is the first option for UTEP and has a target on his back every night, yet somehow manages to be a consistent mid-range threat.
Jackson is also a good slasher, possessing a good handle with his left and right hands as well as a good first step. Opponents often guard his right hand, but he can drive well with either hand and frequently embarrasses defenders who donít respect his slashing game. He is a tough player, which, combined with his size and athleticism, allow him to finish strong and take contact well against bigger players. He also uses his size against smaller guards to back them down into the painted area, or to post them up straight from the blocks, both representative of his offensive versatility. If he does not finish, he gets to the line extremely well, averaging an outstanding 11.2 free throws attempts a game, and shooting a respectable 73% from the foul line.
One area that Jackson should really focus on both for his teamís sake as well as his potential on the next level is his perimeter shooting. His perimeter shot is just as ugly as the 26% that he shoots from beyond the arc suggests. He has an inconsistent release point, shooting it differently just about every time he attempts a shot. His form needs substantial work, to say the least. However, he has shown flashes. He has shown that he can shoot it from NBA range sometimes and has good form in his mid-range jumpshot to suggest that, with work, he could improve into a good three-point shooter in the future. However, it is going to take work and without improvement, his potential is significantly lower.
Despite his woes from behind the arc, Jackson he is a very efficient scorer. Despite the fact that he is the first option in UTEPís offense, he rarely forces shots or plays more selfishly than his team needs him to be. He could easily score 35 points a night, but he does a good job of playing within UTEPís offense and deferring to teammates when the time calls for it. This does not look like he is disappearing as a scorer, but rather that he is a good teammate. When he does not have the ball in his hands, he does a good job rebounding the ball (5.2 rebounds/game) and he also is a decent facilitator and passer. Regardless, he is usually helping out his team on the offensive end, with or without the ball in his hands.
Jackson is also a strong defender, possessing good lateral quickness as well as quick hands. Combined with his tough attitude, this ability often compensates for his lack of size on the perimeter. While his lack of size for an NBA shooting guard somewhat hurts his potential at the next level, his constant effort and competitive attitude eases some concerns about his height. Regardless, he uses his athleticism, quickness, and toughness well to always compete on the defensive end.
Stefon Jackson is having an outstanding season thus far, playing well consistently against high-major, mid-major, and low-major competition. Improvements in his long-range shooting are essential before he is considered a top-notch draft prospect. While his potential is somewhat limited because of his size, if he continues to improve, he could emerge as an intriguing instant offense type prospect for the next level. At this point, there are few better scorers at the college level and, based on his season thus far, combined with the persistent rumors weíre hearing about him testing his draft stock this summer, weíre guessing Stefon Jackson will not be an obscure prospect for much longer.
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