In the last home game of his college career, a rare nationally broadcasted game, Jared Jordan
put together one of his finest performances of the season in an overtime victory. A win over Siena helped his team clinch first place in the MAAC conference, and will go a long way in facilitating a very important goal as far as his individual draft stock is concerned, earning an NCAA tournament berth.
In that game, Jordan showed off most of the strengths and weaknesses weve observed through watching him play all season long. He has decent size for a point guard, and is generally a shifty guy who does a good job masking his athletic shortcomings by keeping defenders off-balance with his herky-jerky style of play. Despite looking out of control at times-- for example going air-borne with the ball in his hands before deciding exactly to do with it-- Jordan is almost always in full control of the game. He makes lightning quick decisions, and has an absolutely terrific sense for finding the open man. He has great poise as a true floor general should, usually making all the correct reads, and this calmness transcends over to his teammates as well, who do a good job of executing in the half-court. His team looks well coached and gets great spacing on the floor, sharing the ball with each other the way old-school basketball fans love to see out of a college team. At the heart of that mentality is their coach on the floor, Jared Jordan
Jordan is a master at running the pick and roll, thanks to his outstanding timing, ball-handling and decision making skills. He does an excellent job making post-entry passes, either with a perfectly placed lob, a one-handed bullet, or a no-look bounce pass off the dribble right into the hands of a moving cutter for an easy layup. His court vision is exquisite as you might guess by his NCAA-leading 8.9 assists per game, and he does not turn the ball over as evidenced by his 2.65/1 assist to turnover ratio.
In terms of creating his own shot, Jordan has a nice array of hesitation moves he can go to to compliment his excellent ball-handling skills, but generally speaking, he does not show great potential as a slashing threat at the NBA level. His first step is average, and he lacks the extra gear needed to explode into the lane before defenses can rotate. Already in the MAAC conference he struggles finishing in the paint due to the way big men can recover on him, so it wouldnt be a stretch to assume that hed get his shot blocked regularly if he were to try the same moves in the NBA.
Whats concerning is that-- unlike other marginally athletic NBA point guards--Jordan doesnt have a great stroke from the perimeter to make up for his shortcomings in the slashing department. This makes you wonder just how effective hell be able running a team if he cant keep defenses honest with either his shooting or shot-creating. Earlier in his career, Jordan was a very average shooter, hitting only 37 3-pointers in his first two seasons of college basketball, at a 30% clip. Last year, he upped his shooting numbers to 37.4%, but this season he again came down to earth by hitting 31% of his outside shots. Pulling up off the dribble is where he struggles the most, even with space, while hes a lot better shooting with his feet set. Defensively, the picture doesnt get much better, as hes lacking plenty in the lateral quickness department, and really struggles staying in front of his man already at the mid-major level.
The MAAC tournament kicks off this weekend in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and Jordan would help himself plenty if hed be able to guide his team to a first-round matchup in the NCAA tournament where he can display his skills against better competition than hes seen thus far this year. While always entertaining to watch, the MAAC is generally not considered one of the stronger mid-major conferences, particularly in terms of the defenses weve seen in games of his this year. A strong showing in a big time matchup against a highly regarded point guard in the tournament could do wonders for his stock. As things stand, hell probably have to prove himself in Portsmouth and likely the NBA pre-draft camp in Orlando. No one can question the fact that hes an absolutely outstanding basketball player, but there are quite a few question marks about his NBA potential that he will need to answer over the next four months first.