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Georgia Tech #ProJackets Basketball Report

THE FLATSJose Alvarado had a career night and a record-breaking performance for New Orleans … Josh Okogie taking advantage of opportunities in Phoenix … Thaddeus Young and the Raptors remain upbeat … Michael Devoe has another big night in the G League … Derrick Favors staying ready for NBA return … more in this week’s #ProJackets Report.

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ALVARADO HAS CAREER NIGHT VS. NUGGETS

It was a great night for former Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket Jose Alvarado. He set a career-high in points with 38 in the New Orleans Pelican’s big victory over the Denver Nuggets on Sunday evening and hit eight three-pointers in the process.

Alvarado played 27 minutes off the bench for the Pelicans and shot the ball 12-19, but it was his three-point shot that made the biggest difference in the game for New Orleans. Alvarado was 8-11 from three-point range in the game and was just phenomenal every time he took the court tonight.

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OKOGIE MAKING MOST OF OPPORTUNITY DURING SUN’S INJURY-RIDDLED STRETCH

Joining a completely new NBA environment after spending four years in the same place requires an adjustment. That’s especially true for Josh Okogie, who went from playing consistent minutes during his time on non-contending Minnesota Timberwolves teams to struggling for playing time on a Phoenix Suns squad with title aspirations.

But Okogie’s first brush with free agency prepared him for a different role, as long as it meant being on a winning team. That adjustment process is something he’s acknowledged since the start of his time in Phoenix.

“It kind of showed me, like, ‘Okay, the work’s never done,’” he said at Media Day. “I never thought it was done, but it just showed me, ‘Okay, whatever year it is, whatever the situation is, you just gotta keep working.’ And when the opportunity presented itself with the Suns, I just thought it was a no-brainer. A team like this, who was trying to win, that’s what I’m trying to do.”

Lately, however, thanks to a glut of injuries to the Suns’ guards and wings, Okogie has gotten more run, and he’s made the most of it. Something that coach Monty Williams hoped for back in training camp is starting to come to fruition.

“I think he can be a guy that comes off of our bench and just goes in and shuts somebody down,” Williams said. “He’s a guy that hasn’t found his niche in the league just yet where it’s consistent, but that doesn’t mean it can’t, and we hope that over the course of time, he makes it hard on me to keep him off the floor.”

Over his last six games, during which Phoenix has continued to miss Chris Paul, Cam Johnson and Jae Crowder, Okogie has done that, averaging 5.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.2 steals in 15.2 minutes per game. In the last three with Torrey Craig sidelined, Okogie stepped it up to 7.0 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.7 steals in 19.0 minutes per game — all while being a team-high +10.3.

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Okogie provided nine points (4-12 FG, 0-4 3Pt, 1-2 FT), 11 rebounds, six assists and three steals across 26 minutes during Sunday’s 133-95 victory over the Spurs.

Okogie led the team in rebounds off the bench, finishing one point and four assists shy of a triple-double while setting season-high marks in all three categories as well as minutes played and steals. Okogie has scored five or more points three times this season.

Okogie played all 12 minutes of the second quarter, ending it with two points, six rebounds, three assists, a steal and zero turnovers. His +25 accounted for the full 36-11 avalanche the Suns drowned the Spurs in.

Okogie followed that performance with a team-high 28 points off the bench Wednesday night in a 125-98 loss to the Celtics.

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YOUNG SAYS RAPTORS REMAIN CONFIDENT IN STAFF

Raptors forward Thaddeus Young discusses the small margins between wins and losses, the teams chemistry and why slumps can’t change the impact of performance.

You’ve been around a lot of veteran teams in your 16 years. Are you not– you can’t be surprised at how the Lakers have sort of found themselves in the last seven or eight games after a rather slow start because they’re– they know what they’re doing.

THADDEUS YOUNG: Yeah. I mean, they have a veteran– a great veteran leader, Bron, obviously AD. So having those two guys and then having other guys out there that’s actually played in the league for a little bit, it helps, Russ obviously. So when you have three of some of the greatest players that have played this game, things’ll shift. Things’ll start going in your favor because you have guys that know how to play.

So for us, we’ve just got to go out there and just make sure that we impose our will on the game and make sure we try to take two of the three out of the game. But for those guys, things will always shift in their favor because they have so much veteran experience and veteran leadership.

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DEVOE WITH ANOTHER BIG PERFORMANCE IN G LEAGUE

Michael Devoe finished with 19 points (7-10 FG, 2-4 3Pt, 3-4 FT), five assists, four rebounds and three steals in 26 minutes during Sunday’s 117-89 win over the Oklahoma City Blue.

Besides being one of the leading scorers on a very efficient clip, Devoe showcased his defensive ability finishing with three steals. However, he did have trouble with ball security, leading the team in turnovers with four.

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FAVORS CONTINUES TO TRAIN FOR RETURN

Back in September, General Manager Sam Presti pulled the trigger on a trade designed to tidy up the franchise’s books. Oklahoma City would send Favors, along with three other Thunder players, to the Houston Rockets for Marquese Chriss, Sterling Brown, David Nwaba, and Trey Burke.

Every player in that transaction would end up being waived, including Favors who would be waived just 17 days after joining the Rockets.

Since then, everything has been quiet for the once-steady rotation player. Favors is still sitting on the waiver wire as a free agent, waiting on an opportunity to show he can still contribute.

On his Instagram page, Favors is promoting videos of himself working out on the same campus where he played college ball: Georgia Tech.

Just two weeks ago, he posted footage of himself getting up some shots with a caption that read, “Embrace adversity and keep good faith,” perhaps referring to the difficulties of being an aging center trying to work his way back into a league that is experiencing a youth movement and a shift in paradigm regarding his position.

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#PROJACKETS IN THE NBA/G LEAGUE IN 2023-24

PLAYERDATANUMBERSTEAM
JOSE ALVARADO
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
JAMES BANKS III
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
MICHAEL DEVOE
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
DERRICK FAVORS
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
JOSH OKOGIE
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
THADDEUS YOUNG
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

 

Yellow Jackets in Professional Basketball

Courtesy of Eurobasket LLC

 Jose Alvarado (6’0”-PG-1998, graduated ‘2021, plays pro in the NBA) led New Orleans Pelicans to a victory over the Denver Nuggets (14-10) 121-106 in the NBA on Sunday night. He was MVP of the game. Alvarado scored 38 points (!!!) in 27 minutes; quite an impressive performance considering it’s only his second season in pro basketball. The New Orleans Pelicans have a solid 15-8 record this season. It was his team’s fourth consecutive victory in a row. But this is still an early stage of the season and everything may happen. It’s Alvarado’s first year with the team. Alvarado has relatively good stats this season 10.0ppg, 2.4rpg, 3.3apg and 1.2spg.

Adam Smith (6’1”-PG-1992, graduated ‘2016, plays in Spain) could not help Bilbao (3-1) in their last game. Despite his good performance the league leader Bilbao was edged84-81 at home by the lower-ranked (#3) Igokea. Smith was the second best scorer with 14 points. He also added 5 rebounds and 5 assists. It was Bilbao’s first loss after three consecutive victories. There are only two games left until the end of the Basketball Champions League Regular Season. So now every game will be critical. It’s Smith’s first season with the team. Smith has relatively good stats this year 13.0ppg, 3.5rpg and 3.3apg in four games he played so far.

Ben Lammers (6’10”-C-1995, graduated ‘2018, currently in Germany) contributed to an easy victory against the seventh-ranked BG Goettingen (4-3) crushing them 99-71 in the German BBL last Sunday. Lammers scored 13 points, grabbed 5 rebounds and made 4 blocks in 21 minutes. ALBA Berlinis placed first in the BBL. This season Lammers averages 6.3ppg, 4.3rpg and 1.3bpg.

Jordan Usher (6’7”-F-1999, graduated ‘2022, plays pro in Turkey) was not able to help Besiktas Icrypex Istanbul in their game against Merkezefendi (4-5) in the Turkish BSL, despite his very good performance last Saturday. Usher was the top scorer with 22 points. He also added 6 rebounds; not bad, considering it’s only Usher’s first season in pro basketball. But Besiktas Icrypex Istanbul was edged75-74 on the road by the higher-ranked (#5) Merkezefendi. His team will play only one more game in the Regular Season. And now that game is very crucial. It’s Usher’s first year with the team. Usher has relatively good stats this season 14.1ppg, 3.4rpg and 1.1apg in eight games.

Josh Okogie (6’4”-G-1998, graduated ‘2018, plays in the NBA) contributed to an easy victory against the San Antonio Spurs (6-18) crushing them 133-95 in the NBA in Sunday night’s game. Okogie scored 9 points, grabbed 11 boards, passed 6 assists and added 3 steals in 27 minutes. The Phoenix Suns have a solid 16-8 record this season. But the season just started, so everything may happen. It’s Okogie’s first year with the team. This season he averages 2.4ppg and 2.0rpg. Okogie is a naturalized Nigerian.

Josh Heath (6’1”-PG-1994, graduated ‘2017, currently in Belgium) contributed to a Stella Artois Leuven Bears’ victory against the third-ranked Limburg United 84-76 in the BNXT League last Saturday. Heath scored 11 points and added 8 assists. This year he averages 10.0ppg, 2.7rpg and 8.0apg in three games.

Experienced Thaddeus Young (6’8”-F-1988, graduated ‘2007, plays pro in the NBA) was not able to secure a victory for the Toronto Raptors in their game against the Boston Celtics in the NBA. He scored 6 points and grabbed 6 rebounds in 16 minutes. His team were defeated 116-110 in the NBA. This season Young averages 5.5ppg, 4.0rpg and 1.9apg.

Avi Schafer (6’8”-C-1998, graduated ‘2019, plays in Japan) helped SeaHorses Mikawa win their game against the leader Hitachi SRT 97-91 in the Japanese B1 League in Saturday night’s game. He scored 7 points. This year Schafer averages 5.3ppg and 3.8rpg in 16 games. He is a naturalized Japanese.

Anthony McHenry (6’8”-SF-1983, graduated ‘2005, currently in Japan) helped Shinshu BW win their game against the sixth-ranked Kyoto Hannaryz 90-85 in the Japanese B1 League last Sunday. He recorded 9 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists and made 3 blocks in 25 minutes. This season McHenry averages 8.8ppg, 5.9rpg, 3.2apg and 1.2spg.

Brandon Alston (6’5”-G-1995, graduated ‘2019, plays pro in Finland) couldn’t help Korihait in their game against Honka in the Finnish Korisliiga. Alston cannot count Friday’s game as one of the best ones. He recorded only 2 points and grabbed 4 rebounds. His team lost 73-80. This year Alston averages 6.5ppg, 2.5rpg and 1.5apg in two games.

Other former Georgia Tech players, who play in pro basketball:

  • Derrick Favors (6’10”-F-1991) is a free agent
  • Moses Wright (6’9”-F-1998) plays for Zhejiang Golden Bulls in Chinese CBA
  • Alade Aminu (6’10”-F/C-1987) plays for Gigantes de Carolina in Puerto Rican BSN
  • James Banks III (6’10”-F/C-1998) plays for Texas Legends in the NBA G League
  • Trae Golden (6’3”-PG-1991) plays for Beijing Royal Fighters in Chinese CBA
  • Marcus Georges-Hunt (6’5”-F-1994) plays for Kuwait in Kuwaiti D1
  • Charles Mitchell (6’8”-F/C-1993) plays for Obera in Argentinian La Liga
  • Evan Jester (6’7”-F-1999) signed for Atlanta Aliens in the ABA
  • Tadric Jackson (6’2”-G-1994) signed for Atlanta Aliens in the ABA
  • Abdoulaye Gueye (6’9”-C-1994) plays for Samsunspor in Turkish TBL
  • Robert Sampson (6’8”-F-1992) plays for Tokyo HT in Japanese B3 League
  • Glen Rice Jr. (6’6”-F-1991) played for Power in the Big3
  • Gani Lawal (6’9”-F/C-1988) plays for Runa Basket in Russian Superleague 1
  • Michael Devoe (6’5”-G-1999) plays for Ontario Clippers in the NBA G League

Notice: The list above includes only some of alumni playing currently in pro basketball. Check complete list of Georgia Tech basketball alumni.

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