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Georgia Tech #ProJackets Basketball Report

THE FLATSJordan Usher has made a big splash and won high praise with his new team in Australia … It’s not the stats that matter for Suns’ Josh OkogieThaddeus Young makes community investment for XFL team … Jose Alvarado may miss some training camp with injury … more in this week’s #ProJackets Report.

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JORDAN USHER COMING UP BIG DOWN UNDER

After trailing by as much as 17 points during the third quarter, the Wildcats produced a spirited last-term fightback to pinch a stunning 93-89 win over New Zealand.

First-year import Jordan Usher finished with a game-high 26 points including several clutch moments during his 16-point final term.

He hit a three-pointer with less than five minutes on the clock to give Perth the lead for the first time since the opening stages.

It was the first of eight lead changes in a frenetic finish, with the energetic forward also having his hand in the last when he stole the ball off his opponent before dunking it.

The win still wasn’t enough to claim the Blitz title from Melbourne United, who also finished unbeaten but won more quarters across the tournament.

Three-time NBL MVP Bryce Cotton (21 points) was influential as usual, while Frenchman Alex Sarr (12) fellow recruit Keanu Pinder (13 rebounds) also had a massive impact.

More from Wildcats.com

 

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THREE-TIME NBL MVP COTTON FULL OF PRAISE FOR USHER

Three-time NBL MVP Bryce Cotton was full of praise for new Perth Wildcats teammate Jordan Usher and believes the whole team can feed off his energy.

Cotton and Usher, who has aspirations to win the NBL’s Defensive Player of the Year award named after club great Damian Martin, have gone head-to-head on the court during week one of the Wildcats’ training camp.

The 31-year-old said he was “definitely” happy with to have the exciting American import on his team.

“He guarded me for a couple of segments, he’s definitely quick and strong but I’m happy he’s on my team,” Cotton told SENWA’s Scotty and Goss.

“He can all the Defensive Player of the Year (awards) he wants, it has nothing to do with me.

“I’m definitely happy with him, he’s athletic, he’s a great defensive defensive and the energy that he plays with is something that we’re going to be able to feed off, plus he can knock down the outside shot.”

Usher said earlier in his week during his first press conference as a Wildcat training with Cotton would take his game to another level.

 

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IT’S NOT THE STATS THAT MATTER FOR JOSH OKOGIE, IT’S THE PRODUCTION

December and January saw Okogie average 17.5 minutes and he began to find his groove on both ends of the floor. He shot 33.3% from deep and posted a 106.6 defensive rating. He came out of his offensive shell in an embarrassing loss to the Boston Celtics. The lone bright spot was his 28 points, 4 three-pointers, and 7 rebounds in 23 off of the bench.

It was his highest scoring output of the season.

Injuries, coupled with the trade for Kevin Durant that left the wing depth for the Suns decimated, led to Okogie starting in 25 of his last 26 regular season games. With the opportunity came more production. He raised his three-point shooting percentage to 33.5% for the season by shooting 37.3% during that timeframe. He was playing 28.9 minutes and contributing on both ends of the floor.

‘Call Me Non Stop’ proved time and again that he had the ability to play bigger than he was. His affinity for rebounding, especially on the offensive boards, placed him amongst players much larger.

More from Bright Side of the Sun

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REPORT: ANKLE INJURY TO ALVARARDO COULD IMPACT HIS TRAINING CAMP

The injury bug continues to hit the New Orleans Pelicans hard, as a recent report reveals guard Jose Alvarado suffered an ankle injury during a workout. The extent of the injury is unknown at this time, although NBA Insider Shams Charania says his availability for training camp is in question according to his sources.

Alvarado was held out of this year’s FIBA World Cup for the Puerto Rican National Team as a precaution from his injury during the NBA season. In February, he suffered a stress reaction to his right tibia that caused him to miss the remainder of the season. The goal of holding him out during the FIBA World Cup was to ensure he’d be healthy when training camp started. That is now in jeopardy.

More from SI.com

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THADDEUS YOUNG PARTNERS WITH XFL RENEGADES ON COMMUNITY TICKET PROGRAM

The Arlington Renegades have launched a Community Ticket Program that will benefit local organizations during the 2024 XFL season and beyond. In launching the initiative, the team announced a partnership with NBA veteran and Reform Ventures founder Thaddeus Young as an inaugural member of the program.

The Community Ticket Program provides local businesses the opportunity to give back to their communities and non-profit organizations that serve youth, educational initiatives, and life-changing resources where they work and live. Businesses that join the program will purchase game tickets and unique fan experiences, and the Renegades will manage those tickets by donating them to local organizations on behalf of their partners.

More from XFL News Hub

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#ProJackets on Social Media

Eurobasket #ProJackets Report

Courtesy of Eurobasket LLC

Robert Sampson (6’8”-F-1992, played in 2013-13, plays pro in Vietnam) could not help Nhatrang Dolphins (12-6) in their last game. Despite Sampson’s very good performance Nhatrang Dolphins was edged98-95 on the road by the leading Heat. He had a double-double by scoring 25 points and getting 20 rebounds. Sampson also added and 3 steals in 50 minutes. Sampson has individually a very good year with high stats. He averages 22.5ppg, 15.2rpg, 2.1apg, 2.3bpg and 1.9spg in 21 games he played so far. Worth to mention he played also at Eurobasket Summer League, which helped him get the job in pro basketball.

Experienced Gani Lawal (6’9”-F/C-1988, played in 2007-10, plays in Mexico) was not able to help Plateros de Fresnillo (4-8) in their last game on Monday. Despite his good performance the fifth-placed Plateros de Fresnillo (4-8) was defeated 79-75 in Chihuahua by the higher-ranked Dorados (#4) in the West group. Lawal recorded a double-double by scoring 14 points and getting 19 rebounds. He also added 2 blocks. It’s Lawal’s first season with the team. Lawal has relatively good stats this year 11.2ppg and 8.2rpg. He is a naturalized Nigerian.

Abdoulaye Gueye (6’9”-C-1994, played in 2014-15, currently in Turkey) led Sigortam.net to a victory against the 15th-ranked Final Spor (0-1) 83-79 in the Turkish TBL (second division) on Saturday night. He recorded 14 points and grabbed 6 rebounds in 31 minutes. It was his first game for Sigortam.net this season. His team is placed seventh in the TBL. Gueye’s team will play only one more game in the Regular Season. And that game will be critical.

Other former Georgia Institute of Technology players, who play in pro basketball:

  • Jose Alvarado (6’0”-PG-1998, played in 2017-16) plays for New Orleans Pelicans in the NBA
  • Josh Okogie (6’4”-G-1998, played in 2016-18) plays for Phoenix Suns in the NBA
  • Thaddeus Young (6’8”-F-1988, played in 2006-07) plays for Toronto Raptors in the NBA
  • Ben Lammers (6’10”-C-1995, played in 2014-18) signed for Gran Canaria in Spanish Liga Endesa
  • Jordan Usher (6’7”-SF-1998, played in 2019-22) plays for Perth Wildcats in Australian NBL
  • Adam Smith (6’1”-PG-1992, played in 2015-16) plays for Bilbao in Spanish Liga Endesa
  • Khalid Moore (6’7”-F-2000, played in 2018-22) signed for Lavrio in Greek GBL
  • Ja’von Franklin (6’7”-F, played in 2023-23) signed for Borac CA in Serbian KLS
  • Josh Heath (6’1”-PG-1994, played in 2014-17) signed for Spirou Basket Charleroi in Belgian Pro Basketball League
  • Charles Mitchell (6’8”-F/C-1993, played in 2014-16) signed for Obera in Argentinian La Liga
  • Moses Wright (6’9”-F-1998, played in 2017-21) played for Toronto Raptors in the NBA Summer League
  • Michael Devoe (6’5”-G-1999, played in 2018-22) played for Portland Trail Blazers in the NBA Summer League
  • Glen Rice Jr. (6’6”-F-1991, played in 2009-12) played for Power in the Big3

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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