Vance Jackson, a 6’9″ 220-pound forward from New Mexico announced his intent to transfer to the University of Arkansas Wednesday.
The news came as a surprise to many Arkansas fans, as Jackson’s name did not appear on many target lists, and he had only been in the transfer portal for two days before announcing his destination. The senior averaged 11.1 points and 5.2 rebounds per game this past season at the University of New Mexico, where he also shot 34.2% from the three point line.
At 6’9″, Jackson provides some much-needed scoring in the frontcourt for the Razorbacks. He is very comfortable around the wing and has a good spot-up jumpshot, while his ballhandling is also above average for a player his size. Once he gets inside, Jackson has crafty footwork to create open looks or draw fouls.
Because of his shot-making ability, ballhandling skills, size, and scoring versatility, Jackson provides flexibility for what Head Coach Eric Musselman wants to do with lineups. He could play any spot on the floor in the positionless basketball scheme Musselman implements, leading to the potential of size-heavy lineups or more small ball. This takes the pressure off of Musselman having to rely on too many bigs, or ones that are not ready to play.
Last season, the Razorbacks were forced to play with a four guard lineup for most of the year due to lack of quality depth in the frontcourt. No matter who Musselman and staff seemed to play, there was constant inconsistency and a lack of height.
He will provide another quality rebounder with size, and a scorer who can step out and spread the floor for the pace and space style Musselman wants to run. Jackson is also athletic enough to switch screens and guard any position on the defensive end.
Musselman now has one last roster spot to fill, assuming Mason Jones does not return from testing NBA Draft waters.