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Georgia Tech #ProJackets Basketball Report

THE FLATS – In season 17, Thaddeus Young keeps finding ways to help Raptors … Jose Alvarado still making impact despite diminished role … Josh Okogie demonstrates value in niche stat … Moses Wright becomes key piece for Olympiacos … more in this week’s #ProJackets Report.

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YOUNG FOREVER FINDS WAYS TO HELP RAPTORS

There were times this season — there were times last season — when Thaddeus Young looked like he was done playing productive basketball at this level.

There is little shame in that. Young is 35, and in his 17th season in the league. He has outlasted all but four of his draft classmates, and those guys were picked second, third, fourth and fifth overall. When he came in for the Toronto Raptors over the last two years, though, he was a step slow in his defensive rotations, turning potential charges into blocking fouls. His jumper, which rarely stretched out to the 3-point line, had all but abandoned him. He was excised from the rotation permanently last year. Frankly, if not for his $8 million salary being potentially useful in trades, he might have been waived before free agency last summer, when he only would have been guaranteed $1 million.

Circumstances are what they are, and Young is still around. And all that makes his latest run sweeter. The Raptors have no depth up front, and starting centre Jakob Poeltl has been out of the lineup for 11 games with a sprained ankle. Young’s latest game, a 16-point, six-rebound, six-assist effort against the Chicago Bulls in which he spent most of his 32 minutes battling either Nikola Vučević or Andre Drummond, both legitimate centres with ample strength, was a masterclass in positioning on both ends of the floor. Young was giving up 35 and 54 pounds to the Bulls big men, respectively. He showed off his experience, able to float into a passing lane at just the right moment. The Raptors, missing three starters, won.

More from The Athletic

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ALVARADO STILL MAKING HUGE IMPACTS

New Orleans guard Jose Alvarado is a sparkplug off the Pelicans bench. How the Pels have used that energy has varied greatly recently. Alvarado has been in and out of the rotation lately but has remained ready to play when his number is called. Take the Pelicans’ victory against the San Antonio Spurs on Friday for example. Alvarado did not play the entire first half and the first few minutes of the second half.

Coach Willie Green inserted Jose into the lineup about midway through the third quarter, with the Pels down by double-digits. Alvarado’s impact was so immediate that he played every second for the remainder of the game. Jose finished with eight points, three assists, two steals, and two rebounds. Coach Green praised Alvarado for his stay-ready approach to games.

“He (Alvarado) was extremely impactful. A ton of credit goes to Jose and Coach Brandon Demas,” Green told reporters after the Spurs victory. “They continue to work, whether he’s playing five minutes, ten minutes, 20 minutes. It’s evident in his play. He came out tonight, put him in for the second half, and he really turned things around. We’re grateful.”

Alvarado’s minutes over the last few weeks have tapered off with the emergence of rookie Jordan Hawkins and various lineup tweaks the Pelicans have implemented. Over the last 12 games, Jose has been a healthy scratch three times from the lineup. In three other games, he played less than 15 minutes combined. Still, Alvarado is finding ways to impact the game when he’s on the floor.

More from SI.com

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NICHE STAT DEMONSTRATES OKOGIE’S VALUE TO SUNS

That doesn’t mean we can’t stop and marvel at an unexpected statistical area where two Suns sit atop the standings, and how it has positively impacted this team.

Those two players would be Josh Okogie and Jordan Goodwin, who on the surface don’t really have a lot in common. Okogie at this stage is one of the longest-tenured Suns players, and his job is to defend at a high level and knock down a 3-pointer every so often. This team’s version of Torrey Craig or Jae Crowder before him.

Goodwin on the other hand is the backup point guard, and also the only true floor general on the roster. About the only comparison here is the fact head coach Frank Vogel doesn’t really use Goodwin in this way all that much off the bench, preferring instead to see him also act as a disruptor on the court in much the same way Okogie is.

So far this season that has worked, as Okogie (1.8) and Goodwin (1.7) are the one-two combo when it comes to loose balls recovered per 36 minutes. Is this a niche stat? Absolutely. Can you make the argument that it is also a little bit pointless? Sure, if you want to. But to do that would be to not realize how and why these two players lead the entire league in this category.

More from Valley of the Suns

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MOSES WRIGHT GIVING A LIFT TO OLYMPIACOS

Carrying a safe lead most of the way, Olympiacos drew a lopsided win, 81-57, versus Promitheas in Patras, on Sunday.

Recent addition Moses Wright tallied a game-high 16 points with 7/10 makes in Dimitris Tofalos Arena. More double-digit scoring contributions in Round 17 of Greece’s Stoiximan Basket League Regular Season, Alec Peters chipped in 12 points, Filip Petrusev had 11 points, and Isaiah Canaan added ten points. Running the point, Thomas Walkup registered seven points, seven assists, two rebounds, and one steal.

More from Eurohoops.net

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#ProJackets in the NBA/G League 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
6.9 ppg
2.2 rpg
1.8 apg
41.8% FG
Record: 33-22
Standing: 6th place, -6.0 GB
Streak: W2
Last 10: 7-3
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
6.1 ppg
6.6 rpg
1.8 bpg
48.4% FG
Record: 11-9
Standing: 7th place, -2.0 GB
Streak: W2
Last 10: 6-4
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
13.3 ppg
2.2 rpg
2.9 apg
52.0% FG
Record: 10-10
Standing: 10th, -5.0 GB
Streak: W1
Last 10: 6-4
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
6.9 ppg
5.4 rpg
0.6 bpg
74.4% FG
Record: 6-12
Standing: 14th place, -6.0 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
5.0 ppg
2.8 rpg
1.1 apg
41.5% FG
Record: 33-22
Standing: 5th place, -6.0 GB
Streak: W2
Last 10: 7-3
THADDEUS YOUNG
Team: free agent
Number: tbd
NBA Experience: 16 seasons
Years at Georgia Tech: 2006-07
Hometown: Memphis, Tenn.
Status: Active
6-8, 235 lbs
2023-24 Stats
5.0 ppg
3.3 rpg
2.2 apg
62.1% FG
Record: 33-22
Standing: 5th place, -6.0 GB
Streak: W2
Last 10: 7-3

Georgia Tech Eurobasket Report

Yellow Jackets currently playing pro basketball

Moses Wright (6’9”-C-1998, played in 2017-21, plays pro in Greece) led Olympiacos to a victory over the closely-ranked Promitheas (9-8) crushing them 81-57 in the Greek GBL on Sunday night. He was MVP of the game. Wright scored 16 points and grabbed 6 rebounds in 24 minutes. It was his first game for Olympiacos this season; quite an impressive performance considering it’s only his third season in pro basketball. His team is placed second in the GBL.

Ben Lammers (6’10”-C-1995, played in 2014-18, plays in Spain). He could not help Draemland Gran Canaria (12-6) to beat Buducnost (8-10) in the Eurocup. Lammers scored only 4 points and added 4 passes. Draemland Gran Canaria lost 77-90 on the road to the lower-ranked (#7) Buducnost. His team will play only one more game in the Eurocup Regular Season. And that game will be critical. This year Lammers averages 7.7ppg, 4.4rpg, 1.3apg, 1.1bpg and 1.1spg in 18 games he played so far.

Jose Alvarado (6’0”-PG-1998, played in 2017-16, currently in the NBA) contributed to an easy victory against the Toronto Raptors (18-33) crushing them 138-100 in the NBA last Monday. Alvarado recorded 11 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals in 26 minutes. The New Orleans Pelicans have 30-21 record this season. It was his team’s fourth consecutive victory in a row. This season Alvarado averages 7.0ppg, 2.1rpg and 1.8apg.

Experienced Trae Golden (6’3”-PG-1991, played in 2013-14, plays pro in China) was not able to help Sichuan Blue Whales (4-35) in their last game. Despite his very good performance the bottom-ranked Sichuan Blue Whales were crushed125-98 in Guangzhou by the much higher-ranked (#10) Loong Lions. Golden was the top scorer with 25 points. He also added 6 rebounds and dished 6 assists (was perfect 9-for-9 from the free throw line !!!). It was Sichuan Blue Whales’ ninth consecutive loss in a row. Golden has individually a very good year with high stats. He averages 33.3ppg, 5.5rpg and 7.7apg in 38 games.

Ja’von Franklin (6’7”-F-1998, played in 2023-23, plays in Serbia) was not able to secure a victory for Borac CA (8-11) in their game last Saturday. Despite his very good performance Borac CA was defeated 74-65 at home by the much higher-ranked Cedevita Olimpija Ljubljana (#3). Franklin was the top scorer with 15 points. He also added 8 rebounds in 27 minutes. It’s Franklin’s first season with the team. Franklin has relatively good stats this year 10.5ppg, 6.3rpg and 1.2spg.

Adam Smith (6’1”-PG-1992, played in 2015-16, currently in Spain), who plays in the Spanish Liga Endesa couldn’t help Surne Bilbao Basket (16-1) in their last game. Despite Smith’s good performance the league leader Surne Bilbao Basket was badly defeated96-76 on the opponent’s court by the lower-ranked (#6) Murcia. He scored 10 points. Smith has relatively good stats this year 11.5ppg, 1.6rpg, 2.8apg and 1.1spg in 21 games.

Thaddeus Young (6’8”-F-1988, played in 2006-07, plays pro in the NBA) couldn’t help the Toronto Raptors in their game against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA. Young scored 6 points, had 5 rebounds and dished 4 assists in 19 minutes. His team were defeated 135-127 in the NBA. This season he averages 5.0ppg, 3.3rpg and 2.2apg.

Khalid Moore (6’7”-F-2000, played in 2018-22, plays in Greece) contributed to Lavrio’s victory against the closely-ranked Maroussi 75-71 in the Greek GBL in Monday night’s game. Moore scored 10 points and grabbed 4 rebounds. He has relatively good stats this year 10.2ppg, 6.9rpg, 1.4apg and 1.2spg in 17 games.

Jordan Usher (6’7”-SF-1998, played in 2019-22, currently in Australia), who plays in the Australian NBL couldn’t help Perth Wildcats (16-9) in their game last Sunday. Despite his good performance Perth Wildcats were defeated 89-78 in Auckland by the lower-ranked New Zealand Breakers (#6). Usher scored 11 points in 21 minutes. He has relatively good stats this season 12.8ppg, 3.5rpg and 1.3apg.

Josh Heath (6’1”-PG-1994, played in 2014-17, plays pro in Belgium) contributed to a Spirou Basket Charleroi’s victory against the tenth-ranked Leuven Bears 82-78 in the BNXT League on Friday night. He scored 12 points and added 5 passes (was perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line). This year Heath averages 7.2ppg, 2.6rpg, 3.9apg and 1.2spg in 18 games.

 

Other former Georgia Tech alumni who play in pro basketball:

  • James Banks III (6’10”-F/C-1998, played in 2018-20) plays for Maine Celtics in the NBA G League
  • Derrick Favors (6’10”-F-1991, played in 2009-23) plays for Windy City Bulls in the NBA G League
  • Michael Devoe (6’5”-G-1999, played in 2018-22) plays for Memphis Hustle in the NBA G League
  • Josh Okogie (6’4”-G-1998, played in 2016-18) plays for Phoenix Suns in the NBA
  • Avi Schafer (6’9”-C-1998, played in 2017-19) plays for SeaHorses Mikawa in Japanese B1 League
  • Brandon Alston (6’5”-G-1995, played in 2017-19) played for Batumi in Georgian Superleague few monts ago
  • Anthony McHenry (6’8”-SF-1983, played in 2001-05) played for Shinshu Brave Warriors Nagano in Japanese B1 League last year
  • Marcus Georges-Hunt (6’5”-F-1994, played in 2012-16) plays for Kuwait in Kuwaiti D1
  • Charles Mitchell (6’8”-F/C-1993, played in 2014-16) plays for Obera in Argentinian La Liga
  • Evan Jester (6’7”-F-1999, played in 2017-19) plays for Atlanta Aliens in the ABA
  • Tadric Jackson (6’2”-G-1994, played in 2014-18) played for Atlanta Aliens in the ABA last year
  • Robert Sampson (6’8”-F-1992, played in 2013-13) played for Nhatrang Dolphins in Vietnamese VBA last year
  • Gani Lawal (6’9”-F/C-1988, played in 2007-10) plays for Plateros de Fresnillo in Mexican LNBP
  • Abdoulaye Gueye (6’9”-C-1994, played in 2014-15) plays for Sigortam.net in Turkish TBL

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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