You know what you are getting the minute that Justin Jackson steps onto the floor. And what you get with Jackson is a series of non stop mind blowing plays, both good and bad, usually within minutes of each other. He isn't called trick or treat for nothing. On balance this season the positive far out weighed the negatives. His season line was basically 5-4-1-1-1 in just about 21 minutes per game. Here is his line in handy radar chart form for the visually inclined.
Compare those numbers with those from his freshman season.
The progression is self evident. On the one hand the improvement for Jackson is expected, at least to some degree. It was his second year in the program and his role on the team increased. But what I like is that for the most part he improved his production without seeing more of the ball, at least not relative to the added minutes*. That is a long and convoluted way to say that Jackson was more efficient on the offensive end on the rare occasion when he had something to do.
*Jackson's usage rate went up by 7 per cent (15.7 to 16.8) while his share of the minutes at small forward went up by 38 per cent (32.1 to 51.9)
again the radar chart shows the expansion of Jackson's efficiency from freshman year
to sophomore year
Its a big jump for a guy with a somewhat limited role offensively. And it is also house money, in effect. The true value of Jackson will always come over overwhelmingly from the defensive side of the ball. And in that respect Jackson improved from what was already pretty good starting point. Blocks and steals per game both went up, but as discussed previously in the Dion Dixon breakdown, there simply aren't statistics that accurately measure Jackson's impact on the game. Every time he is on the floor he makes life harder for opposing offenses. Especially in transition where he became a monster chasing down people and eating layups for breakfast.
Going forward I think the change in offense is going to help Jackson immensely. Even more than Yancy Gates he is not a guy who excels in back to the basket situations. But where he does excel is crashing the glass for put backs and tip-ins. Which by the way is something that he has damn near mastered this season. He walks the line between perfect timing and offensive goal tending. He occasionally falls on the wrong side of that line but for the most part he is on the good side of the line. That will serve him well with the new offense next year.