CHICAGO – The first day of the NBA Draft Combine was good for the UConn striker Andrew Jackson Jr.who impressed not only with his athleticism.
However, he showed off his athleticism in a quick two-on-one defensive practice against Isaiah Wong of Miami and Dillon Mitchell of Texas. Wong, who apparently did not later learn of Jackson’s otherworldly athletic abilities losing to UConn in the Final Fourhe threw an alley-oop lob to Mitchell from the three-point line.
Jackson, in his defensive position near the foul line, took a step back and stood up like a defensive back to hit the ball with one hand. He jumped off the rebound and then got blocked in a mid-range attempt as he reached the other end of the court, but it’s the passing break that’s going to be what catches the eye of the scouts.
The main criticism of Jackson’s play, or in fact what seems to be keeping him from being a mindless first-round pick, is that he struggles to shoot 3-pointers on a regular basis – almost a necessity in today’s NBA.
A large turnout from NBA executives to see UConn’s Andre Jackson at Roc Nation Pro Day at the NBA Draft Combine tonight. pic.twitter.com/I3NuD8VzOy
— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) May 16, 2023
But in his 3-point practice, Jackson had a streak of seven three-pointers in a row – five from the right wing and two from the corner. Jonathan Givony, an ESPN NBA Draft analyst and founder of Draft Express, posted a video from Roc Nation Pro Day on Monday in which Jackson again hit three-pointers back-to-back.
Givony said there was a “large turnout of NBA executives” who came to see Jackson, who shot just 28.1% from the 3-point line last season.
Hawkins expected to be in fights
Jordan Hawkins, who is due to be selected in the first round of the draft in June, is not expected to take part in five-on-five matchups in the Combine on Wednesday or Thursday. Jackson and Center Adam Sanogo participation is expected.
— UConn Men’s Basketball (@UConnMBB) May 16, 2023
Monday was the day of official NBA measurements and other training on the court.
Sanogo, already an undersized center when listed at 6ft 9, 245lbs by UConn, measured just 6-7 1/4 and weighed 257.8lbs without shoes. He is the ninth tallest mid laner out of 10 measured in the combine, although his 7-2 3/4 wingspan ranked fifth.
Unofficially, Sanogo ran a three-quarter sprint on the court in an impressive time of 3.31 seconds and hit 46.7% (14 of 30) in the lateral and center drills. He shot well in the point shooting practice, making 14 of his 25 shots (56%), as well as hitting 11 of 25 in the 3-point all-star drill.
Without shoes, Jackson measured 6-5 1/2, 198.4 lbs, with a wingspan of 6-9 3/4.
In a jump drill, for which Jackson plays like he was born, he unofficially jumped 30.5 inches without quitting and maxed out at 39.5″, prompting a backlash from former UConn guard Nahiem Alleyne, who moved to St. John’s out of season.
“Dre doesn’t feel well, he should be 50 EASY” Alleyne tweeted.
Dre doesn’t seem to be feeling well, he should be 50 EASY😂😂 https://t.co/Gis4NuGn0V
— Nahiem Alleyne💫 (@Nahiem10) May 15, 2023
Jackson ran three quarters of the court in 3.14 seconds.
Hawkins measured 6-4 1/4, 186 pounds, with a wingspan of 6-6 3/4.