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Georgia Tech #ProJackets Basketball Report

THE FLATSMoses Wright has won all six games he has played for Olympiacos … Should the Suns give Thaddeus Young a run? … And what of Josh Okogie? … more in this week’s #ProJackets Report.

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MOSES WRIGHT HAS NIGHT TO REMEMBER

While Olympiacos Piraeus scored a paltry 7 first-quarter points against Panathinaikos AKTOR Athens to trail 7-17 after 10 minutes, Moses Wright had to watch on from the bench. But, his introduction into the game would soon see the Reds turn things around.

Wright got his first minutes on the night with 8:55 minutes to go in the second quarter and it didn’t take long for him to start impacting things, stealing the ball from a sideline pass before racing away for a big dunk that generated a huge roar inside Peace and Friendship Stadium. That slam cut the deficit to five points, 14-19.

Shortly after, the 25-year-old attacked Panathinaikos star Mathias Lessort and managed to get his layup to go while being fouled. When he converted the free throw to make it a three-point play, the score was 18-19.

The truth is that there was no stopping Wright for a stretch in the second quarter, as he scored inside once again before netting another two baskets to keep Olympiacos close, 24-26. He was perfect from the field, too, going 5-for-5 from the field and 1-for-1 from the line en route to 11 points.

More from Euroleague Basketball (includes highlight video)

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SHOULD SUNS GIVE THADDEUS YOUNG A RUN?

The buyout market brings excitement, although I’ve never truly understood why. Players acquired post-trade deadline typically aren’t the level of players who are going to make a meaningful impact on the roster of the team that acquires them unless that team is in “tanking for next season” mode and their star players are “injured”.

When the Phoenix Suns picked 35-year-old Thaddeus Young up off of waivers, it was clear that he met a need of the team. Back-up rebounding depth had been concerning for the team, and Thad is a known beast on the boards. At 6’8” and 235 pounds, the former 12th pick in the 2007 NBA Draft has made a career of pushing people off of the block and using his athleticism to be effective.

Relegated to a bench role for the past three seasons, Young has averaged 6.3 rebounds per game in his 726 games as a starter. His skills have diminished with age, however, and he has truly entered journeyman status. Phoenix is his fourth team in three years. He is averaging 3.5 rebounds in 15.4 minutes played since 2021-22.

Now he is a member of the Suns, and as I stated before, they are a team that needed help rebounding from the second team unit. Prior to his signing with Phoenix on February 20, the Suns were 18th in the league in bench defensive rebounding. They had a roster spot and he filled a need.

In 10 games since joining the Suns, Thaddeus Young has seen a total of 29 minutes played in 2 appearances. This has the fan base clamoring. Why are we not seeing more of Thaddeus? It’s a valid question.

When you ask the Suns community what they think, 62% believe Young should be getting more minutes than Drew Eubanks at the backup center.

More from Bright Side of the Sun

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AND WHAT OF OKOGIE?

Okogie signed a two-year $5.7 million contract with the Suns in the 2023 offseason, but the second season is a player option. The 2018 first-round pick left Minnesota after his rookie contract expired and has spent the last two in Phoenix making the minimum or just over. Okogie could opt in for next season, but the Suns would look to move his expiring contract if they do not see a future.

The 6’4 wing has plenty to prove. He just missed nearly three weeks with an abdominal injury, but his place in the rotation has been inconsistent since mid-December. Okogie has continued to get playing time, but it ranges from 25 to five minutes per game.

For the season, he averages 4.9 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 0.9 steals in 17.0 minutes each night. The 25-year-old is shooting 41.3 percent from the field and 29.7 percent on his 3-point attempts. He is known for his plus defense, but his lack of shooting has been a consistent issue in keeping him on the floor.

Josh Okogie is still young with the potential to improve. Expect him to get another shot next season in Phoenix or elsewhere, but his chances are running out. If his defense slips, the 6’4 wing could be out of the league quickly.

More from Valley of the Suns

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#ProJackets on Social Media

Georgia Tech Eurobasket Report

Yellow Jackets currently playing pro basketball

Moses Wright (6’9”-C-1998, played in 2017-21, plays pro in Greece) contributed to an easy victory against the sixth-ranked Apollon Patras (3-19) crushing them 93-63 in the Greek GBL last Sunday. He recorded 10 points and grabbed 9 rebounds in 20 minutes. Olympiacos S.F.P. Piraeus (7-3) is placed fifth in Winners Stage group. Wright’s team will play only one more game in the Regular Season. And that game will be critical. Wright has relatively good stats this year 10.7ppg, 5.0rpg and 1.2apg in six games he played so far.

Ben Lammers (6’10”-C-1995, played in 2014-18, plays in Spain) could not help one of league’s weakest teams Draemland Gran Canaria (16-10) in their last game on Sunday. Despite Lammers’ good performance Draemland Gran Canaria was edged93-92 on the road by the higher-ranked Lenovo Tenerife (#6). He scored 11 points and grabbed 6 rebounds. It’s Lammers’ first season with the team. This year Lammers averages 8.1ppg, 3.4rpg and 1.3bpg.

Jose Alvarado (6’0”-PG-1998, played in 2017-16, currently in the NBA) was the major contributor in a New Orleans Pelicans’ victory against the Miami Heat (39-33) crushing them 111-88 in the NBA in Friday night’s game. Alvarado scored 17 points, grabbed 7 rebounds and dished 6 assists in 32 minutes; quite an impressive performance considering it’s only his third season in pro basketball. The New Orleans Pelicans have a solid 45-28 record this season. This year Alvarado averages 6.9ppg, 2.3rpg, 2.1apg and 1.1spg in 51 games.

Experienced Thaddeus Young (6’8”-F-1988, played in 2006-07, plays pro in the NBA) contributed to a Phoenix Suns’ surprising victory against the Denver Nuggets (51-22) 104-97 in the NBA last Wednesday. He recorded 6 points and grabbed 9 rebounds. The Phoenix Suns have 43-30 record this season. This year Young averages 3.0ppg and 3.7rpg.

Adam Smith (6’1”-PG-1992, played in 2015-16, plays in Spain) helped Surne Bilbao Basket edge the tenth-ranked Baskonia (14-12) 82-80 in the Spanish Liga Endesa on Sunday night. He scored 8 points in 20 minutes. Surne Bilbao Basket (21-3) is placed first in the Liga Endesa. Smith has relatively good stats this year 11.3ppg, 1.5rpg and 2.7apg in 26 games.

Brandon Alston (6’5”-G-1995, played in 2017-19, currently in Estonia) was not able to help Parnu in their game against Prometey in the Lat-Est BL. Alston recorded 8 points and added 5 passes. His team was crushed by 27 points 101-74. This season Alston averages 9.0ppg, 1.7rpg and 2.7apg.

Avi Schafer (6’9”-C-1998, played in 2017-19, plays pro in Japan) helped SeaHorses Mikawa win their game against the eighth-ranked Kyoto Hannaryz 70-53 in the Japanese B1 League last Sunday. Schafer recorded 6 points and grabbed 9 rebounds in 22 minutes. This year Schafer averages 2.2ppg and 2.7rpg in 11 games. He is a naturalized Japanese.

Josh Heath (6’1”-PG-1994, played in 2014-17, plays in Belgium) was not able to secure a victory for Spirou Basket Charleroi (1-2) in their last game on Saturday. Despite his good performance Spirou Basket Charleroi was defeated 78-72 on the opponent’s court by the higher-ranked Groningen (#3). Heath was the second best scorer with 12 points. This season Heath averages 7.9ppg, 2.4rpg, 4.2apg and 1.3spg.

Khalid Moore (6’7”-F-2000, played in 2018-22, currently in Greece) couldn’t help Lavrio in their game against Aris in the Greek GBL. Moore recorded 5 points and grabbed 4 rebounds in 30 minutes. His team was crushed by 24 points 84-60. This year Moore averages 9.5ppg, 6.4rpg, 1.4apg and 1.1spg in 22 games.

Marcus Georges-Hunt (6’5”-F-1994, played in 2012-16, plays pro in Kuwait) led his Kuwaiti team Kuwait to a victory against the closely-ranked Kazma 101-87 in a derby game in the West Asia Super League last Tuesday. Georges-Hunt recorded 15 points and added 7 assists. Georges-Hunt has relatively good stats this season 13.8ppg, 4.0rpg, 3.5apg and 1.2spg. He is a naturalized Virgin Islander.

Other former Georgia Tech alumni who play in pro basketball:

  • Josh Okogie (6’4”-G-1998, played in 2016-18) plays for Phoenix Suns in the NBA
  • 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
  • Avi Schafer (6’9”-C-1998, played in 2017-19) plays for SeaHorses Mikawa in Japanese B1 League
  • Trae Golden (6’3”-PG-1991, played in 2013-14) plays for Sichuan Blue Whales in Chinese CBA
  • Marcus Georges-Hunt (6’5”-F-1994, played in 2012-16) plays for Kuwait in Kuwaiti D1
  • Tadric Jackson (6’2”-G-1994, played in 2014-18) played for Atlanta Aliens in the ABA last year
  • Evan Jester (6’7”-F-1999, played in 2017-19) plays for Atlanta Aliens in the ABA
  • Charles Mitchell (6’8”-F/C-1993, played in 2014-16) plays for Chihuahua Dorados in Mexican LBE
  • 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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