If you've read any of my posts regarding the draft you might know how high my opinion of Pierre Jackson. What you may not know is that I think Pierre Jackson is the second best pure point guard in this years draft. Another player who I am admittedly very complimentary of is Baylor's Isaiah Austin. After watching these two play together so well while demolishing the NIT, I just really came away impressed. Yet, sadly, I seem to be the only person who is endorsing what I believe could be two of the better players in this draft. Is it because they're from Baylor. Perhaps because they weren't in the tournament? For whatever reason, I think it's time we show Baylor some love.
Pierre Jackson: 19.8 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 7.1 APG, 1.5 STL
If you remember correctly I referred to Pierre Jackson as the second best true point guard in this draft. To clarify I think Marcus Smart is clearly the best point guard in this years draft. So, for the quick minded, yes, I think Pierre Jackson is better than Trey Burke and C.J. Mcollum. Before you slam your head into your palm with outrage hear me out. Statistically Jackson is obviously the better player. I understand that the Big 12 facilitates a much easier schedule than what Burke and Michigan had to face. But, has anyone truly thought what about Trey Burke's points this year. Spike Albrecht came into the championship and lit up while Burke sat. I'm not saying that Burke and Albrecht are the same, or even close for that matter. I'm saying that the Michigan system is built to get guards open for threes and wing cutting for easy assists. Much like the D'antoni offense, it balloons a point guards stats. Pierre Jackson never had the luxury of a system tailor-made to his abilities. Instead he played the Baylor system and adapted his game to better fit a post-centered offense. If you ever take the time to watch some of Jackson's tape you'll see that he's: deadly in transition, athletically superior, a facilitator on offense, and a hard nose defender. The only knock on Jackson's game is that he can be beaten by larger and stronger guards. That being said, comparisons are very hard to make for a player like Jackson. The Nate Robinson comparison comparison absurd. Though they are both similar in intangibles and athletic ability, Jackson's play style is far different than that of Robinson. Jackson is all about making others better where as Robinson is all about scoring. A suiting comparison for Jackson would be Kemba Walker. He instantly makes a team better, no matter where he is drafted. Period.
Isaiah Austin: 13.0PPG, 8.3 RPG, 1.7 BPG
Another overlooked player as of late from the University of Baylor. Austin was a highly touted player coming out of high school last year. Yet, as the year progressed, he fell off the proverbial map. I just want to know why? He had a great year for a freshman playing in a conference full of adept big men, namely Jeff Withey. Austin may look like a traditional shot-swatting center in the mold of Anthony Davis and Nerlens Noel, but he plays like a totally different animal. Austin is essentially a wing player in a center's body. Often you see him slashing through the lane and sprinting back in transition for easy baskets. This kind of athleticism has to be taken into account when analyzing player like Isaiah Austin. To be fair, he does lack some of the post skills he will need later in his career as well as a go-to move in the paint. However, this is why teams pay coaches more money than God. If a team can't find a way to use a player with Austin's potential then they have serious problems.
Another element of Austins game has to be his versatility. In all seriousness I believe Austin has the raw ability to play three positions on the court at 7'1. Believe it or not he actually has a pretty strong 10-18 foot jumper. I know it may take some time for him to run an NBA floor because he must develop his post game. But once he gets some time under his belt, the NBA had better watch out.
Conclusion: I don't read palms or communicate with a dead Patrick Swayze for a living. Daily "Ghost" reference accomplished! But I think I might be on to something here. Baylor may be coming onto the scene as something of a basketball factory. They may not be Duke yet, after all they didn't make the tournament. But I don't think it's fair to ignore their draft prospects because they have yet to explode onto the national stage yet. Just wait and see what these Bears do ath the next level