Tadric Jackson is creating some buzz with his all-around scoring ability and tough-nosed defense. The Yellow Jackets badly need offensive contributions. What can he bring in his first season under Brian Gregory?
Measurables and background:
The 6'2" and 215 lbs. guard Jackson happens to be cousins with junior shooting guard Chris Bolden. In addition to being a standout basketball player at Tift County High School in Tifton, GA., Jackson was also the starting quarterback there for his first two high school years before choosing to focus on basketball.
Tadric is fresh off leading the Tift County Blue Devils to a 29-3 record and a state championship. Jackson was named Player of the Year in the state of Georgia across all levels of high school play. He averaged 18.9 points, 4 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game, helping him earn a 4 star rating from Rivals and ESPN among other recruiting sites.
Hello, my name is Tadric Jackson:
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Role on this year's team:
In short, Tadric is a quick left-handed playmaker. He has a strong handle and an ability to change directions on a dime. Though he can fill it up from long range, he prefers to slash toward the basket and has an excellent ability to finish with either hand around the rim. The team's woes on the offensive end under Brian Gregory is evident and Tadric has the ability to bring some serious scoring punch.
One area he can really help the Jackets is driving to get fouled for chances at easy points at the free throw line. The team was one of the worst Division I teams in terms of how many possessions end in a trip to the line, including second to last to only Notre Dame in the ACC, last season according to TeamRankings. Free throws are an easy way to boost scoring efficiency as D-I teams on average make around 70% of all free throws.
With the presumption that Bolden is the starter at shooting guard, Tadric will have to lead the second team offense. Aside from Marcus Georges-Hunt, Jackson may be the team's most adept player at creating space with his handle to open up shooting space or an angle to drive into the lane.
The one worry is his 6'2" height at the shooting position, which can get him into trouble trying to score over longer defenders. We know he's a skilled one-on-one scorer, but can he function in a post-heavy offense that will want to see him move without the ball in his hands? If he can pick up on the many intricacies of a new offense, he'll encounter plenty of chances to contribute in his freshman season.