2017 NBA Draft Profile: Duke PG Frank Jackson


2017 NBA Draft Profile: Duke PG Frank Jackson

As part of our coverage leading up to the 2017 NBA Draft we will provide profiles of more than 30 of the draft's top prospects.

Frank Jackson, PG, Duke

6'3" | 205 lbs. | 19 years old

2016-17 stats:

10.9 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 1.7 APG, .473% FG


Late 1st or early 2nd round

Bulls will have plenty of options in 2017 NBA Draft

Bulls will have plenty of options in 2017 NBA Draft

Owning homecourt advantage at this week's NBA Draft Combine, the Bulls have one of the league's largest contingents for the testing and games at Quest Multisport, including their analytics experts and head of international scouting Ivica Dukan.

Picking in the middle of the first round (16th overall), you can expect the Bulls to go with the "best athlete available" formula, with extra emphasis on finding a young wing player to develop behind Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade.

So, assuming the Bulls stay at No. 16, which players might still be on the board when they're on the clock? Let's start with a pair of athletic wings' OG Anunoby (Indiana) and Terrance Ferguson (currently playing professionally in France).

Anunoby would have probably been a lottery pick if he had not suffered a knee injury that ended his sophomore season with the Hoosiers. At 6-foot-8, with a 7'2 1/4" inch wingspan, Anunoby should be a plus defender immediately. With the Bulls, he could provide valuable rest for Butler and also spare the three-time All-Star the responsibility of guarding the opposing team's best scorer for long stretches.

Anunoby only averaged 11.1 points during his shortened sophomore year at Indiana, but he has the athleticism to run the floor for easy baskets, and since he still hasn't turned 20, he has plenty of time to develop his offensive game.

Similar story with Ferguson, who grew up in Tulsa but decided to play overseas rather than spend a year in college. He's only averaging 4.6 points for French team Adelaide, but scouts are intrigued by his physical skills and potential as a 6-foot-7 shooting guard.

Some other players to watch in the middle of the first round include power forwards' Ivan Rabb (California) and John Collins (Wake Forest). Rabb was projected as a likely lottery pick last season, but decided to return to Cal for his sophomore year.

Facing double teams most of the season, Rabb didn't show the improvement in his numbers (14 points per game, 10.5 rebounds per game) that a lot of NBA scouts expected. Still, the 6-foot-10 lefty continues to draw comparisons to long-time Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat star Chris Bosh, and is a polished low post scorer.

[RELATED: NBA executives understand why top players skip combine]

Rabb can hit consistently from mid-range, but if the Bosh comparisons are going to hold up, he'll need to stretch his shooting skills out to the 3-point line.

I asked Rabb about the possibility of being drafted by the Bulls.

"One of my friends, Bobby Portis, he's a real good player," Rabb said. "He played pretty well in the playoffs and throughout the season. I know they traded Taj Gibson, they have (Nikola) Mirotic, so I'm not really sure what they plan on doing. I feel that's a great destination from me, too."

The Bulls needs at power forward depend heavily on whether they re-sign Mirotic, who will be a restricted free agent on July 1. Rabb could be a good fit as an athletic, rangy 4 who can replace some of the skills the Bulls lost with the Gibson trade to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Similar story with Collins, who averaged 19.2 points at Wake Forest last season. The 6-foot-10 Collins is known for his athleticism and ability to finish at the rim, but he understands how important it is to show scouts he can be a threat from the 3-point line.

"I think I can shoot it a lot better than I've shown, or had the ability to show," Collins said. "Definitely going to be working on that, and keep on expanding on that, so when the time is necessary for me to shoot it, I'm going to look good doing it."

When it comes to self-confidence, it will be tough for any of the prospects to top Creighton center Justin Patton. The 7-foot Patton averaged 12.9 points per game last season, playing for Doug McDermott's dad Greg McDermott at Creighton. Patton shot over 68 percent on 2-point attempts and is a powerful finisher on alley-oop passes.

When asked about his ability to be a "stretch 5" in the league like Al Horford or Karl-Anthony Towns, Patton said, "If they're looking for a stretch-5, they come to me, and find the right person. My skills translate perfectly. I can put the ball on the floor, I can shoot the ball with range, and I'm a willing passer, and a great passer too, and I have a high IQ."

Okay, then. Patton says he's already met with the Bulls and will be ready to play immediately with any team that drafts him. At this point, it seems unlikely the Bulls would draft a center at No. 16, but anything is possible considering Cristiano Felicio and Joffrey Lauvergne are both restricted free agents.

Other names to watch during the middle part of round one include power forwards' T.J. Leaf (UCLA) and Kyle Kuzma, Duke shooting guard Luke Kennard, Syracuse small forward Tyler Lydon and point guard Jawun Evans.

And, there's always the possibility the Bulls could be involved in a trade to move up into the Top 10. That would bring a whole different level of prospects into play. But for now, the front office is looking for athletes and shooters to add quality depth to a roster that figures to be very similar to the one we watched last season.

Northwestern in-state recruiting class recap

Northwestern in-state recruiting class recap

EDGY's Northwestern Wildcats grade: C

The Wildcats Class of 2017 was again a bit light on in-state commitments, which was also the same case in 2016. Northwestern signed two scholarship players, along with adding three preferred walk-ons. The Wildcats were also able to add some real quality with its in-state recruiting class, but the overall lower number of in-state scholarship players hurts the overall grade. 

Headliner of the in-state class?

Glenbard North three-star ranked wide receiver Jace James (6-foot-0, 182 pounds) was a standout two-way player for the Panthers over the past few seasons in Carol Stream. James played receiver, safety, kick returner and was simply an impact player in all phases. James has terrific strength and hands, runs very good routes and has more than required speed. James has a chance to develop into a longer term contributor for Northwestern and will be a nice addition to an always strong Wildcats receiver rotation.

[RELATED: Illinois in-state recruiting class recap]

The one who got away?

Loyola Academy three-star ranked tight end Jake Marwede (6-foot-5, 240 pounds). Marwede, who last year told Rivals.com that he grew up a Wildcats fan, was one of two in-state tight ends that Northwestern offered. In the end, Marwede pledged to Duke and the Wildcats missed out on one of the state's most versatile athletes and top players.

Final thoughts on the Wildcats recruiting efforts:

I would love to see Northwestern ink a dozen in-state kids each class. Yet, the reality is that Northwestern recruits nationally and in a year like 2017 they needed to go out of state pretty heavily. Overall, I like the kids who signed scholarship papers on Wednesday and I equally like the three preferred walk-ons, including UHigh kicker/punter Luke Otto.

Northwestern's football program is just at a good place these days. The Wildcats are winning in more ways than not. The new lakefront athletic complex will be another huge selling point. Add in the overall stability of Pat Fitzgerald and staff, exceptional academics and the positives for Northwestern still remain high in Evanston. While the in-state numbers haven't been as strong as they could be for Northwestern, those overall in-state recruit numbers haven't waned because of a lack of effort.