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Georgia Tech #ProJackets Basketball Report

THE FLATSJosh Okogie has been identified as the best-kept secret for the Phoenix Suns … Jose Alvarado to sit out the next FIBA window for the Puerto Rico national team … Alvarado’s best attribute may not be his defense … more in this week’s #ProJackets Report.



When it comes to having a “best-kept secret” on their roster in terms of talent, B/R believes free-agent signing Josh Okogie might be the man for that title.

“There aren’t a ton of options in Phoenix, as teams that follow an NBA Finals trip by pacing the Association in wins don’t exactly keep any cards up their sleeve. Even this selection is a little iffy, since Josh Okogie’s lack of offensive skill threatens to derail his career.

However, there is still time for the 23-year-old to turn things around, and the fact the Suns still deemed him worthy of a guaranteed deal shows just how effective he is on defense.

This past season, Jackson graded out with a plus-6.1 Defensive RAPTOR, per FiveThirtyEight. The only player in the entire league to grade out better in that metric was three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert.

Okogie’s on-ball defense is the equivalent of an NFL shutdown corner, and he can be just as disruptive as a helper. If the Suns find the right offensive niche for him—off-ball cutter, spot-up shooter, transition finisher—his career could still take off.”

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With the crisis in Nigeria basketball finally put to bed, head coach Mike Brown wants to see the team make a quick burst off the blocks in the fourth window of the 2023 FIBA World Cup qualification. As Nigeria go into the series of games in Ivory Coast this weekend, Brown wants his wards to stem the tide of losing starts, which has plagued the team over the last two qualifying windows (they didn’t play in the third window).

Brown has named a strong 15-man roster, including NBA stars Chimezie Metu of the Sacramento Kings, and Josh Okogie of the Phoenix Suns. Also on the roster was Miye Oni, who last played for the Utah Jazz but is now a free agent. From the G-League came Michael Gbinijie of the Oklahoma City Blue and Uchenna Iroegbu, who played for the College Park Skyhawks to make a total of five US-based players.

Metu was the only NBA player in the last phase of the qualifiers in Rwanda where D’Tigers won two and lost two, leaving them lying fourth position in the group and in a precarious position for qualifying. Only the top two teams from each of the two groups, and the best third-placed team, qualify.

Although not in Abidjan with the team, Brown remains very hands on and his imprint is very much all over it. Apart from picking the players, he also hand-picked the coaches, led by former Tech point guard Mfon Udofia, who has stood in previously and led the team to an unbeaten run.

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Jose Alvarado, who had been training and playing with the Puerto Rican national team in the FIBA World Cup qualifiers, decided to take some time off to focus on the upcoming NBA season.

Here is the statement he published on Twitter:

Alvarado has decided to forgo this portion of the World Cup qualifiers in a show of commitment to his teammates and the Pelicans’ organization.

This had to be a tough decision for Alvarado, who was playing well for Puerto Rico and bringing a lot of excitement to their national team.

This shows the type of chemistry the New Orleans Pelicans are building, as Jose felt compelled to be there with his teammates every step of the way, which may have been somewhat compromised had he continued playing for Puerto Rico.

More from Pelican Debrief



Jose Alvarado may be known for his stifling defense, but his shooting is coming along and he was already one of the best playmakers in the league for a rookie.

Bball Index recently put together a chart that illustrated who the best rookie passers in the league were last season.

The chart shows who created shots for their teammates at a high rate and which players created the easiest shots. Some of the names you’d expect, like rookies Cade Cunningham and Josh Giddey, who both started, played huge roles and had high usage rates on bad teams.

One face you might not expect to see on the chart is Jose Alvarado, who didn’t secure a spot in the rotation until later in the season and was coming off the bench:

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Rice was the first pick in the 2022 Draft and he did not disappoint. For the season: Rice averaged 17.5 points per game, 6.3 rebounds per game, and 3.3 assists per game.

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Team: New Orleans Pelicans
Number: 15
NBA Experience: 3rd year
Years at Georgia Tech: 2017-21
Hometown: Brooklyn, N.Y.
Status: Active
6-0, 179 lbs
2023-24 Stats
7.1 ppg
2.3 rpg
2.1 apg
41.2% FG
Record: 49-33
Standing: 7th place, -8.0 GB
Streak: L1
Last 10: 5-5
Team: Maine Celtics
Number: 5
G League Experience: 3rd year
Years at Georgia Tech: 2018-20
Hometown: Atlanta, Ga.
Status: Active
6-10, 250 lbs
2023-24 Stats
5.3 ppg
4.7 rpg
1.5 bpg
54.2% FG
Record: 21-13
Standing: 2nd place, -1.0 GB
Streak: W1
Last 10: 8-2
Team: Memphis Hustle
Number: 10
G League Experience: 2nd year
Years at Georgia Tech: 2017-21
Hometown: Orlando, Fla.
Status: Active
6-4, 183 lbs
2023-24 Stats
13.9 ppg
3.9 rpg
3.1 apg
47.4% FG
Record: 15-19
Standing: 12th, -9.0 GB
Streak: W1
Last 10: 3-7
Team: Windy City Bulls (G League)
Number: 14
NBA Experience: 12 seasons
Years at Georgia Tech: 2009-10
Hometown: Atlanta, Ga.
Status: Active
6-9, 265 lbs
2023-24 Stats
6.2 ppg
4.7 rpg
0.7 bpg
66.7% FG
Record: 15-19
Standing: 13th place, -7.0 GB
Streak: L1
Last 10: 4-6
Team: Phoenix Suns
Number: 2
NBA Experience: 5 seasons
Years at Georgia Tech: 2016-18
Hometown: Snellville, Ga.
Status: Active
6-4, 213 lbs
2023-24 Stats
4.6 ppg
2.6 rpg
1.1 apg
41.7% FG
Record: 49-33
Standing: 6th place, -8.0 GB
Streak: W3
Last 10: 7-3
Team: free agent
Number: 30
NBA Experience: 16 seasons
Years at Georgia Tech: 2006-07
Hometown: Memphis, Tenn.
Status: Active
6-8, 235 lbs
2023-24 Stats
4.2 ppg
3.0 rpg
1.7 apg
60.2% FG
Record: 49-33
Standing: 6th place, -8.0 GB
Streak: W3
Last 10: 7-3


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