South Carolina freshman Gregory “GG” Jackson II announced on Friday that he has decided to forgo his remaining NCAA eligibility and declare for the 2023 NBA draft, per a press release from the school.
A 6’9″ forward, Jackson averaged 15.4 points and 5.9 rebounds on .384/.324/.677 shooting in 32 games (31.9 MPG) for the Gamecocks in his first and only college season. He earned a spot on the SEC’s All-Freshman team, but has proven to be a difficult player for NBA scouts to evaluate, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.
As Givony explains, Jackson was the youngest player in college basketball and wasn’t ready to be a featured option as a freshman, as his shooting percentages show. While he exhibited flashes of brilliance, Givony says NBA evaluators have concerns about his decision-making, his effort on defense, and his body language when things aren’t going well. The 18-year-old also criticized his own coaches in an Instagram Live session last month.
Jackson currently comes in at No. 28 on ESPN’s big board, though Givony had him ranked as a borderline lottery pick earlier in the college season.
Here are a few of the other players who have recently declared for the 2023 NBA draft:
- Colorado State senior guard Isaiah Stevens announced today on Twitter that he’ll test the draft waters while leaving the door open to return for one more year. Stevens has averaged 15.2 PPG and 5.3 APG with a .390 3PT% in 117 career college games (34.7 MPG).
- Rutgers junior center Clifford Omoruyi is entering his name in the 2023 draft pool while maintaining his remaining NCAA eligibility, he announced on Instagram. Omoruyi nearly averaged a double-double in 2022/23, with 13.2 PPG, 9.6 RPG, and 2.1 BPG in 34 appearances (30.3 MPG).
- Notre Dame senior guard Cormac Ryan has entered the transfer portal while also declaring for the 2023 draft, he tells Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports (Twitter link). Ryan could withdraw his name from the draft and play one more college season, but it sounds like it won’t be with the Fighting Irish.
- Butler forward Manny Bates is testing the draft waters following his senior season, he tells Rothstein (Twitter link). Bates began his college career at NC State before transferring to the Bulldogs last season.
- Niagara senior guard Noah Thomasson is entering the draft without forgoing his final year of eligibility, according to an announcement from the school. He’s coming off a breakout year in which he averaged a team-leading 19.5 points per game on .481/.386/.667 shooting.
- Syracuse senior guard Joseph Girard is entering both the draft pool and the transfer portal, he announced on Twitter. Girard put up 16.4 PPG and 3.0 APG with a .381 3PT% for Syracuse in 2022/23.