Thunder rookie Reggie Jackson will have to learn quickly

by Darnell Mayberry Published: December 10, 2011
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Those who have worked out with Jackson show great respect for his skills. Watch any YouTube clip of Jackson's highlights from Boston College and you'll likely marvel at his talents, too. He's an ultra-athletic guard that Brooks labeled tough-minded. He has highlight-reel explosiveness one possession and displays routinely efficient decision-making the next. Think Westbrook with better pace.

As a junior, Jackson scored 18.2 points on an eye-popping 50.3 percent shooting. He made 42 percent of his 3s and contributed 4.3 rebounds and 4.5 assists.

In the NBA, Jackson's strength and length could make him lethal. He's got a 7-foot wingspan, which could translate to tremendous defensive pressure, playing multiple positions and above-average rebounding from the guard spot.

“He's strong,” said Westbrook, who worked out a handful of times with Jackson this summer and will now be charged to help Jackson along as Earl Watson once did for him. “He knows the game well. He knows how to play and he knows how to make the right play. And he does a good job of playing together.”

How quickly Jackson is able to learn the team's concepts and adjust to the pace of the NBA game could determine where he fits this season. But Brooks and others said they expect Jackson to pick up things rapidly on the fly.

“He's very smart,” said Kevin Durant. “His basketball IQ is up there.”

Jackson wisely joined his new teammates this summer when Thunder players organized voluntary minicamps throughout the country. If nothing else, that time could keep Jackson from being so much of a wide-eyed rookie now that his career has finally begun.

“I think the lockout was kind of a blessing in disguise for him as far as us having those camps and us coming together three or four times during the offseason,” Durant said. “He got acquainted with everybody and he felt comfortable with everybody. That's the biggest thing. It helped him out and he's coming into training camp with a little bit of confidence.”

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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