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Justin Jackson’s versatility makes him an important addition for Maryland basketball

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Although he was a late commit, Jackson should contribute early and often.

Scenes from 2016 Maryland Madness Sammi Silber / Testudo Times

Maryland basketball tips off its season against American on Nov. 11. Until then, we’re profiling every member of the team.

Justin Jackson, forward

Height: 6’7

Weight: 225 pounds

Year: Freshman

High school: Hill Academy (Ontario)

Jersey No.: 21

How Jackson got to College Park

Jackson was the second-to-last recruit to join Maryland’s class in May, announcing his commitment right after Melo Trimble returned to the team. Jackson flipped from UNLV, where he committed in 2014. He took an official visit to College Park and decommitted from the Runnin’ Rebels less than a month later to become a Terp. Jackson, a four-star recruit, was the No. 12 small forward in the class of 2016 , according to the 247Sports Composite. He was a member of Canada’s U-19 team that finished fifth at the 2015 FIBA World Championships in Greece.

High school highlights

2016 prospectus

Joining Kevin Huerter and Anthony Cowan, Jackson will be the third freshman poised to contribute right away for a young Maryland team. With an incredible 7’3 wingspan, Mark Turgeon has hinted that Jackson will defend at the top of the Terrapins’ press, similar to what Jake Layman did over the past four seasons. Additionally, Jackson’s size could allow Turgeon to experiment with a Warriors-esque death lineup that features the Canadian playing center.

His ability to pass and handle the basketball should allow him to do more than just cause havoc on defense. Jackson is strong finisher at the rim and enjoys driving from beyond the arc, but he’s been working on improving his outside game.

“Jackson is a 6’7 four-man with a 7’3 wingspan that thinks like a point guard,” Turgeon said at Big Ten media day. “He can really pass it, has improved his shot.”

Jackson probably won’t start, but he’ll get playing time right away. He’ll be competing with graduate transfer L.G. Gill and sophomore Ivan Bender, who Turgeon’s been high on this preseason. Seeing as he can play both forward spots and even center if the team goes small, he’ll have plenty of opportunities to play.

What a dream season might look like

Jackson uses his ball-handling skills to become a versatile forward on offense and defense, scoring big points off the bench and serving as a menace opposing offenses have to deal with on a nightly basis.

Next player in the series.

This freshman was the first player to commit in Maryland’s class of 2016.

Standings

kirby.oconnell.3 is our first victor