December 2, 2020

Independent analysis and commentary on UVA athletics

ACC Offseason Refresh – #8 Georgia Tech

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In a sanctions-marred season, barred from both ACC and NCAA postseason eligibility, the Yellow Jackets sneakily finished fifth in the league last year at 11-9 behind a strong defense and a breakout season by guard Michael Devoe. They’re a trendy pick to finish as a top-tier party crasher this year, what will Pastner need to do to achieve it?

Coach: Josh Pastner; 232-140 in 11 Seasons Overall; 65-67 (31-43) in 4 seasons at Georgia Tech

2019-20 Record: 17-14 (11-9); 5th in ACC

2019-20 KenPom Efficiency:

National: AdjO: 103.1 (171st of 353)
AdjD: 91.8 (16th of 353)
ACC: AdjO: 99.5 (9th of 15)
AdjD: 98.6 (5th of 15)

 

Roster Roundup

Departures:

SG Shembari Phillips (Graduated)
14 G, 5.2 mpg, 0.1 ppg, 0.8 apg, 29% 3P%
G/F Asanti Price (Transferred to JUCO)
15 G, 14.5 mpg, 2.7 ppg, 2 rpg, 13% 3P%
PF Kristian Sjolund* (Transferred to UTEP)
21 G, 9.5 mpg, 3 ppg, 1 rpg, 36% FG%
F/C Evan Cole (Transferred to Utah Valley)
27 G, 12.6 mpg, 4.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 47% FG%
C James Banks III (Graduated)
31 G, 29.6 mpg, 9.5 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 53% FG%

Returners:

PG Bubba Parham (SR)
31 G, 26.6 mpg, 5.2 ppg, 1.8 apg, 30% 3P%
PG Jose Alvarado (SR)
24 G, 33.5 mpg, 14.4 ppg, 4 apg, 34% 3P%
G/F Michael Devoe (JR)
28 G, 35.1 mpg, 16 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 43% 3P%
F Jordan Usher (RS JR)
23 G, 26.6 mpg, 8.2 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 21% 3P%
F Khalid Moore (JR)
29 G, 17.1 mpg, 3.3 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 33% 3P%
F/C Moses Wright (SR)
31 G, 30.4 mpg, 13 ppg, 7 rpg, 53% FG%

Additions:

G Kyle Sturdivant (SO Transfer, USC)
21 G, 8.3 mpg, 2 ppg, 1.2 apg, 21% 3P%
G Tristan Maxwell (3-star FR) 
PF Jordan Meka (3-star FR) 
C Saba Gigiberia (3-star FR)
C Rodney Howard (SO Transfer, Georgia)
24 G, 7.3 mpg, 1.3 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 57% FG%

*Projected starters in bold

Outlook

The Jackets are getting a fair bit of preseason hype based upon their strong finish to last year’s regular season, but I’m not buying it yet. They lose only big man James Banks from the main rotation, so that’s the source of the love: perceived stability after with finishing above .500 in the league last year.

Rising senior Jose Alvarado is a plus PG, junior Michael Devoe is the real deal on the wing, and senior Moses Wright is a plus big man. It’s a very good Top 3, but that’s arguably it. USC transfer Jordan Usher has potential at forward, but he needs to take a big step forward, as does wing forward Khalid Moore. The rest of the team is a questionable assortment of bench guys: Bubba Parham (a VMI transfer who looked lost at the ACC level), two P5 transfers in Sturdivant and Howard who barely sniffed the floors at their last stops, and a couple of low rated freshmen. I know folks want to hype them up as a dark horse party crasher, but I see little reason why they’ll be any better than they were last year. They lost James Banks who was their best rim protector and anchor of their top defense, and they don’t add any difference makers, Plus, do you really trust Pastner to really coach them up any more than he already has?

They capitalized on a down ACC last year, along with maybe some “us against the world” motivation due to their sanctions, but the middle of the league is much tougher this season. They’ll be scrappy at home in Atlanta, will go maybe 7-3 in home games, but once again I bet they struggle badly on the road, 10-10 in the league and the NIT is probably a safe bet.