Maryland men’s basketball forward Justin Jackson has decided to forgo his final two years of eligibility and has declared for the NBA Draft.
“I came from Canada, a different country, and Maryland became my second home,” Jackson said in a statement. “This certainly was not an easy decision for me, as I felt we had some unfinished business because of my injury.”
Jackson missed the second half of the season after having surgery on a torn labrum in January. Jackson’s production took a step back from his standout freshman season. Although he was averaging 9.8 points and 8.1 rebounds before his surgery, Jackson shot 36.6 percent from the field and just 25 percent from 3-point range. After it was announced Jackson would miss the remainder of the 2017-18 season, Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon said Jackson’s struggles were related to the injury.
Although Jackson’s decision to leave school comes after a down year, his production in his freshman season could warrant enough attention from NBA scouts. The 6-foot-7 forward from Toronto shot 43.8 percent from beyond the arc, averaging 10.5 points and a team-high six rebounds.
Jackson decided to enter the draft last year as well, but he went undrafted and returned to Maryland in hopes of improving his stock. Jackson’s injury derailed those plans, though, and it could place doubt in the minds of scouts in the months to come. Jackson was predicted to be a first-round pick before his injury, but he is now projected to go undrafted.
Jackson told ESPN he should be medically cleared in the coming weeks and will be healthy for the NBA combine.
The list of departures continues to grow, though. Guard Dion Wiley has decided to transfer after graduating in May.
Additionally, freshman Bruno Fernando has yet to announce his NBA Draft decision. NBADraft.net had Fernando as the No. 26 pick in December but he is now absent from the site’s mock draft.
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