When NBA rosters expanded from 15 to 17 players during the 2017 offseason, it created two spots for players on “Two-Way Contracts.”
These players split time between the G League and the NBA, able to spend up to 45 days with their NBA team.
With NBA training camps just underway and the 2018 G League Draft set for October 20, the current G League roster focus remains on these two-way players. The two-way players who will spend time with both the Philadelphia 76ers and the Delaware Blue Coats during the 2018-19 season are second-round draft pick Shake Milton and third-year pro Demetrius Jackson.
In each edition of Two-Way Tuesday, either Milton or Jackson will be in the spotlight.
This week, the rookie Milton gives way to Jackson. The focus: Jackson’s collegiate playing history against other players currently on Two-Way Contracts around the league.
Jackson, who played at the University of Notre Dame, competed in 12 career college games against players who are also now signed to NBA Two-Way Contracts. All but one of those games came against Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) opponents. The lone non-conference matchup occurred during the first round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament when sixth-seeded Notre Dame battled 11th-seeded Michigan in Brooklyn. Jackson and Notre Dame opposed a Wolverines squad that featured Duncan Robinson, who is currently on a two-way deal with the Miami Heat. Check out Jackson’s numbers from that Michigan game–as well as the ACC contests–below.
Demetrius Jackson (Notre Dame, 2013-2016):
Isaiah Hicks, North Carolina (New York Knicks/Westchester Knicks)
Jackson’s Totals: 6 GP, 27.7 MPG, 12.2 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 2.7 APG
Games of Note:
March 14, 2015: 90-82 Notre Dame win in ACC Tournament Final
- Jackson scored 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting and had a team-high three steals.
- Hicks scored a bench-high 9 points in 14 minutes for UNC.
March 27, 2016: 88-74 Notre Dame loss in NCAA Tournament Elite Eight
- Jackson scored a game-high 26 points in the loss to Hicks and the Tar Heels.
- Sweet Sixteen two nights prior: Jackson had two steals in the final minute, including one in which he then scored the go-ahead basket with 14.7 seconds remaining, to beat Wisconsin 61-56.
Amile Jefferson, Duke (Orlando Magic/Lakeland Magic)
Jackson’s Totals: 4 GP, 33.8 MPG, 11.0 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 2.5 APG
Games of Note:
January 4, 2014: 79-77 Notre Dame win (South Bend, IN)
- Jackson, a freshman, hit a three to spark a 20-4 run for the Fighting Irish. “I thought that was the biggest shot of the game,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “If we get a stop, we could have gone up by 12. That was a huge shot.”
- Jefferson, a sophomore, had nine rebounds off the bench for Duke.
March 13, 2015: 74-64 Notre Dame win in ACC Tournament Semifinal
- Jackson scored 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting and played a team-high 39 minutes.
- Upset alert: The Irish were ranked #11 in the country, while Duke was ranked #2.
- Notre Dame then defeated #19 North Carolina the next day to capture the ACC Tournament title. The Irish ultimately fell to an undefeated Kentucky squad, 68-66, in the Elite Eight.
Damion Lee, Louisville (Golden State Warriors/Santa Cruz Warriors)
Jackson’s Totals: 2 GP, 38.5 MPG, 24.0 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 4.0 APG
Game of Note:
February 13, 2016: 71-66 Notre Dame win (South Bend, IN)
- Jackson tied a then career high with 27 points to help knock off #13 Louisville.
- ”Demetrius was off the charts,” Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. “I don’t know why he isn’t mentioned for player of the year in our league more.”
- Lee led the Cardinals with 13 points, including a three-pointer with 16 seconds left to cut the Notre Dame lead to 69-66.
Mangok Mathiang, Louisville (Charlotte Hornets/Greensboro Swarm)
Jackson’s Totals: 1 GP, 37 Minutes, 21 Points, 5 Rebounds, 3 Assists
March 4, 2015: 71-59 Notre Dame win (Louisville, KY)
- Jackson led #12 Notre Dame in scoring with 21 points, including a perfect 7-for-7 from the free throw line in a battle of Top-25 teams.
- The Irish had been off for eight days, and the team didn’t arrive in Louisville until 1 a.m. on game day because of mechanical issues with its original plane.
- Mathiang fouled out in just four minutes of action for #16 Louisville.
Duncan Robinson, Michigan (Miami Heat/Sioux Falls Skyforce)
Jackson’s Totals: 1 GP, 40 Minutes, 11 Points, 5 Rebounds, 2 Assists
March 18, 2016: 70-63 Notre Dame win in NCAA Tournament First Round
- Robinson scored nine points for Michigan, which led 41-29 at halftime.
- Jackson and the sixth-seeded Irish then defeated 14th-seeded Stephen F. Austin, 76-75 on a Rex Pflueger tip-in at the buzzer, to advance to the Sweet Sixteen.
- Robinson, who played at Division III Williams College (MA) before transferring to Michigan, has a chance this season to become the first Division III player to play in the NBA since Devean George, who last played in 2010.