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Scouting Tray Jackson, where he could fit into Michigan’s rotation

Jackson averaged 6.5 points per game at Seton Hall last season.

NCAA Basketball: Seton Hall at Villanova Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Friday was an amazing day for the Michigan Wolverines men’s basketball program. Not only did they land a portal commitment from one of the most talented guards in college basketball in Caleb Love, they also picked up power forward Tray Jackson.

This is a homecoming for Jackson, who is from Ypsilanti and played prep ball in Detroit. He’s had stints at Missouri and Seton Hall; in his last season with the Pirates, he averaged 6.5 points and 2.2 rebounds in 14.6 minutes per game.

One of the better games of his collegiate career happened at the Crisler Center, when Jackson had 13 points off the bench to help Seton Hall pull of an upset over No. 4 Michigan in the program’s first ever road win over a non-conference top-five team.

As Ant Wright mentioned recently, Jackson didn’t take a lot of shots last season (4.9 a game), but he was pretty efficient, making 50.5% of his twos and 37.5% of his threes.

Jackson will likely play the 4 quite a bit at Michigan, as he has the length to match up with Big Ten frontcourts at 6-foot-10, while also being able to stretch the floor. He has a solid handle and pretty jump shot with a quick release. He’s solid as the screener who can making a move in the lane or pop out for a three, and he’s a decent cutter as well.

He’s mostly been a bench contributor his collegiate career who can excel in short spurts, putting up double-digit points in a hurry while guarding opposing forwards well. Jackson can finish in the mid-range, he’s a good offensive rebounder, and he can finish through contact well.

He’s not going to wow you all the time or be a star by any means, but he’s a solid role player who can be an important contributor for the Wolverines.

Jackson joins a Michigan group that never really figured out the 4 last season, and looking at next year’s roster, there’s a bit of a logjam at the position.

Terrance Williams II has a lot of experience, but struggled during his first year as a starter. Will Tschetter eventually took his starting job and was good in short spurts, but got exposed against experienced front courts. Tarris Reed Jr. was pretty effective at the 4 in the two-big lineup but with Hunter Dickinson gone, he’ll might play the 5 exclusively. And we can’t forget about redshirt forward Gregg Glenn, who projects as a 4 long-term, and incoming freshman Papa Kante, who could be a 4 or 5.

Michigan now has another option at the 4 in Jackson, who could thrive as a small ball 5 as well. He’s got three seasons of college ball under his belt and at 23 years old, he’s one of the older guys on the team.

At his absolute floor, I expect Jackson to be one of the first guys off the bench who can shoot threes and guard bigs. If he excels in that role, I could see him eventually starting as well, playing alongside Reed Jr. in the front court and popping for threes after screening for Love or Dug McDaniel.

Michigan still needs to find a consistent answer at the 4. Jackson might be that answer and, at the very least, he gives Michigan another veteran role player. In a world where every program loses players to the draft, the transfer portal or both every offseason, veteran role players are pretty valuable to have in college basketball.