Maryland basketball’s Justin Jackson has been invited to the NBA Draft Combine as an underclassman, ESPN’s Jeff Goodman reported Saturday.
Jackson has not hired an agent, which means he will have until May 24 to decide whether or not to return to Maryland. DraftExpress projects that Jackson will go undrafted this year, but is already a first round pick in their mock draft for next year.
He was part of an impressive trio of freshmen in College Park this past season alongside Kevin Huerter and Anthony Cowan, and figures to be a big part of Maryland’s plans going forward. His decision to stay in the draft or return to College Park could have a big impact on how the team fares next season.
Jackson has an incredible frame with a 7’3 wingspan, and showed he could shoot the deep ball with consistency. His product is still raw, but raw is just what the NBA likes.
Jackson’s invitation is a bit surprising, considering he entered the draft last minute with little-to-no buzz surrounding his name. His intentions to put his name in the draft were kept under wraps, and it seemed he was ready to head back to College Park for his sophomore season.
Though that still may be his intention, his performance at the combine could change his, and scouts’ minds. With the option to return to school, this seems like a good decision for Jackson’s future, though it may leave coach Mark Turgeon’s staff with a bit of worry.