USC’s GG Jackson taken in 2nd round of NBA Draft by Memphis

South Carolina forward Gregory Jackson II (23) is defended by Alabama guard Jahvon Quinerly (5)...
South Carolina forward Gregory Jackson II (23) is defended by Alabama guard Jahvon Quinerly (5) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023, in Columbia, S.C. Alabama won 78-76 in overtime. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)(Sean Rayford | AP)
Published: Jun. 23, 2023 at 1:21 AM EDT
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BROOKLYN, N.Y. – Freshman forward Gregory “GG” Jackson II was selected No. 45 overall by the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2023 NBA Draft on Thursday night at the Barclays Center. The Columbia, S.C., native becomes the 40th player in program history picked in the NBA Draft.

He’s the first Gamecock selected in the NBA Draft since Sindarius Thornwell in 2017 (selected No. 48 overall in round two by the Milwaukee Bucks).

In his one season as a Gamecock, Jackson earned a spot on the SEC All-Freshman Team after averaging 15.4 points (9th in SEC) and 5.9 rebounds per game (13th in SEC). His scoring average was the fifth-most in the nation by a freshman. He led the team in scoring 17 times, scoring in double-figures a team-best 25 times in 32 games played. His 11, 20-point games were the most by a Gamecock freshman since South Carolina joined the SEC in 1991-92. He had a team-high three double-doubles this season.

Jackson tallied a career-high 30 points vs. No. 16/17 Auburn (Jan. 21). After missing his first eight shots, he finished the game 10-of-13 (76.9 percent). It was the first 30-point game by a Gamecock freshman since Bruce Ellington, who had 31 points on Dec. 22, 2010 at Furman. Jackson was named CBS Sports/USBWA National Freshman of the Week after scoring 24 points and pulling down nine rebounds in a win over Eastern Michigan (Dec. 30). He pulled down a career-high 16 rebounds in a win over WKU (Dec. 22). It was the most rebounds in a game by a Gamecock since Chris Silva had 17 boards on March 5, 2019 in a victory at Texas A&M.

The consensus top player in the 2023 class, Jackson reclassified in late July to become a part of the 2022 class. A five-star prospect, he ranked No. 6 in the final 247Sports and No. 7 in the final On3 player rankings for the 2022 class. Jackson became the highest ranked incoming freshman in program history and joined former Gamecock standout PJ Dozier (currently with the Sacramento Kings) as the only five-star signees all-time at South Carolina (recruit rankings started in early 2000s).