It's not every year you see a player from Rutgers make it to the NBA. In fact, only 10 Scarlet Knights have ever played in the league, the last being former center Hamady N'Diaye, a second round pick in 2010. Kadeem Jack, however, could be joining that short list. Coming off a senior season in which he averaged 13.0 points and 6.4 rebounds in 31.1 minutes-per-game, the 6-foot-9 forward has an outside chance at making an NBA roster.
But what can a team expect from the former Scarlet Knight on an NBA court?
At 6-foot-9 and 235 pounds, Jack has the body to play in the NBA. Still, he doesn't have the size to overpower people, meaning he'll have to adjust to being more of a combo forward.
To do that, he'll have to continue to become a better shooter, something that isn't his greatest strength. As a senior, Jack struggled to find consistency and shot just 42 percent, a significant drop from the 50 percent mark he finished with as a junior. However, part of that dip had to do with Jack's desire to expand his range. after attempting just three 3-pointers the previous two seasons combined, the Queens, NY native hoisted up 48 treys as a senior, connecting on just 31 percent of them.
Those shots may have hurt Jack's efficiency, but they may be a starting point for him to expand his range. If he can continue to improve his 3-point shooting, he'll have a much higher chance of sticking around.
More importantly, the former Scarlet Knight needs will also need to improve at the free throw line. He shot just 58 percent there as a senior, down from 69 percent the season before.
It's possible those numbers were affected by a thumb injury he sustained prior to the start of last season, which kept him out of Rutger's first two games. Now healthy, Jack has to prove he can hit shots from the floor and the line on a regular basis.
Although Jack in known for his effort, his general lack of consistency on offense is a concern. While he scored 15 or more points 13 times as a senior (including five games with at least 20), Jack also failed to reach double-digits 10 other times, scoring just two points twice. That is a little concerning.
Defensively, Jack isn't a great shot blocker (career 1.0 average) but he is athletic, versatile and plays with great energy. His biggest challenge on that end will be guarding quick wing types in addition to bigger forwards.
As for the rest of his game, Jack is a solid rebounder (6.6 average the past two seasons) who doesn't have the bulk to control the boards at the next level, and an average passer.
Bottom line, Jack isn't a surefire bet to stick around. But don't count him out making a roster. He has a good chance of being added to a team's summer league squad, where he'll need to prove he can be an energy guy off the bench who can make a shot.