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Banks III, Devoe Represent Tech at ACC Media Day

Georgia Tech press conference transcript  | @GTMBB Twitter timeline

Charlotte, N.C. – Georgia Tech senior center James Banks III and sophomore guard Michael Devoe, as well as head coach Josh Pastner, represented the Yellow Jackets at the Atlantic Coast Conference’s annual Operation Basketball media day on Tuesday at the Marriott City Center, where more than 400 media from the ACC area and around the nation attended.

Banks, a 6-10 senior from Decatur, Ga., is a transfer from Texas who returns for his second season with the Yellow Jackets after earning a spot on the ACC’s All-Defensive Team a year ago. Banks led the conference in blocked shots (2.5 per game), led the Jackets in rebounding (7.7 per game) and was No. 2 in scoring. Devoe, a 6-5 combo guard from Orlando, Fla., was the team’s No. 3 scorer (9.7 points per game) and No. 2 assist producer (2.5 per game) while connecting on 39.3 percent of his three-point field goal tries as a freshman.

Head coach Josh Pastner enters his fourth season on The Flats, looking to lift the Yellow Jackets after a 14-18 season and a 10th-place finish in the ACC a year ago. Tech is four weeks into its pre-season practice, with four weeks remaining until the Jackets open the season Nov. 5 at NC State. But first, the Yellow Jackets host an exhibition game Oct. 20, at 2 p.m. against NCAA Division II member Georgia College.

As has been the case in his first three years on The Flats, Pastner is relying on the Yellow Jackets to be excellent defensively while working hard on the off-season to improve on the offensive end.

“In our three years here, we’ve been very, very good defensively. If you look at our numbers, our first and third year we’ve been nearing an elite defensive team,” said Pastner. “Second year I felt we were a good (not elite) defensive team, but we’ve hung our hat on the defensive end. Three straight years we’ve had a first-team all-defensive guy, and two of the three years, not all three years, we’ve led the ACC in shot blocking. We’ve had Ben Lammers both years, and now James Banks. Part of it’s our philosophy defensively and what we do and what we recruit to and how we play, but that’s a big part of who we are and our identity is what we do on the defensive end.”

Georgia Tech at ACC Operation Basketball

Georgia Tech at ACC Operation Basketball

Banks and Devoe, along with leading returning scorer Jose Alvarado, a 6-foot junior guard, accounted for 48.4 percent of Tech’s points, 41.6 percent of its rebounds and 47.2 percent of its minutes.

Also returning are fast-rising 6-9 junior forward Moses Wright, who finished the season with 25 points against Notre Dame in the ACC Tournament, and 6-7 sophomore sharpshooter Kristian Sjolund. Altogether, Tech returns eight of its top 11 players, who combined for 73.2 percent of the team’s points, 66.4 percent of its rebounds and 73.7 percent of its minutes. Those eight players combined to start 123 games.

The Jackets also will benefit from a pair of transfers – 6-7 forward Jordan Usher from Canton, Ga., who becomes eligible in December after a season and a half at Southern California, and 5-11 guard Bubba Parham, an all-Southern Conference performer eligible immediately after spending two seasons at VMI.

“In order for us to have success, we wanted to get old and then eventually stay old. That’s been important to us,” said Pastner. “And so we’ve been able to do that through recruiting and getting high school kids – a young man like Michael Devoe, and then to grow with him, and then on the other hand also to get transfers from other four-year institutions. This year’s team, we’re older. We have great experience, and that’s both from guys growing within the program and then getting transfers who have already been in college. So it’s part of our formula for what we’re trying to do to have success.”

 

ACC Network has launched!

The ACC Network is a linear and digital platform dedicated to 24/7 coverage of ACC sports that launched on Aug. 22, 2019. It will exclusively televise approximately 450 live events each year, including 40 football games (beginning with Georgia Tech’s 2019 season opener at Clemson on Aug. 29), as well as 150 men’s and women’s basketball contests.

Don’t get shut out! For more information and to learn if your cable/satellite/digital provider is carrying the ACC Network, visit GetACCN.com. Georgia Tech fans whose cable/satellite/digital providers aren’t carrying the ACC Network are urged to contact their providers and ask for the ACC Network to be a part of their subscription.

ABOUT GEORGIA TECH MEN’S BASKETBALL

Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team is in its fourth year under head coach Josh Pastner. Tech has been a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1979, won three ACC Championships (1985, 1990, 1993), played in the NCAA Tournament 16 times and played in two Final Fours (1990, 2004). Connect with Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball on social media by liking their Facebook Page, or following on Twitter (@GTMBB) and Instagram. For more information on Tech basketball, visit Ramblinwreck.com.

Season tickets for men’s basketball can be purchased here.

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