Editors note: Andre Jackson Jr. finished tied in the poll with Robin Lopez. Upon polling staff members who didn’t vote in the poll, Lopez received more votes, thus AJJ is thirteenth.
Another day, another rookie as 2023 36th overall pick Andre Jackson Jr. comes 13th in our Ranking The Roster series. Rookies are always hard to get a full gauge of what they can provide in their first season. Between the adjustment of travel expectations, higher skill level of the opposition, and in Milwaukee’s case, veterans taking playing time opportunities, we don’t see much productivity from rookies. Granted, we do see exceptions to that rule, so all is not lost for Livingston or AJJ. Jackson Jr. might be a player who can buck the trend of past Milwaukee draft picks.
Jackson Jr. spent three years at UConn and was a part of the team that recently won the NCAA Men’s Tournament. At Connecticut, he started in 31 of his 36 games and in every NCAA Tournament contest. He averaged 6.0 PPG, 5.8 RPG, and 3.5 APG throughout college on .428/.293/.702 shooting. The offensive numbers don’t really stand out, which could be the reason for pessimism with him in the rankings. However, what makes him intriguing and why he could see the court is his physical tools and defensive ability.
Before I touch on the defensive side of the ball, Jackson Jr. displayed some passing chops during Summer League basketball. This was something GM Jon Horst saw as well as he told Eric Nehm of The Athletic shortly after drafting him:
He played with intelligence by finding teammates, which was not something I expected. AJJ is a player who doesn’t need the ball in his hands to be effective. What we will likely see from Jackson Jr. on offense are putback attempts and the occasional drive to the basket:
Jackson Jr.’s athleticism is what will be the key to his and Milwaukee’s success. He has a 6-foot-10 wingspan, puts up a 39.5-inch vertical leap, and a three-quarter spring of 3.14 seconds. Those numbers had put him in the top five at the draft combine. That athleticism was also shown in Summer League and will be something coach Adrian Griffin will look forward to utilizing and capitalizing on in his defensive scheme. He can use his agility and quick hands to handle smaller ball handlers but has the length and strength to hold his own against larger players. If there is anyone who we might look back and think we were too low on, AJJ might be that player.
Gut Check: How confident are you that Robin Lopez will be in the playoff rotation?
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1 - Not in the rotation at all.
2 - Might play a few rotation minutes.
3 - Will get some minutes, depending on the series.
4 - Will be a part of the rotation playing steady minutes.
5 - Firmly in the rotation, playing heavy minutes!
All the rookies are out, so now it’s second-year players and veterans to move on with. Not sure how the rest will shake out, but it starts getting a bit more difficult from here.
The 11th Most Important Player to Milwaukee’s postseason success is...
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Editor’s note no. 2: We will include recent two-way signee TyTy Washington in a separate poll as the series continues.