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Georgia Tech #ProJackets Basketball Report

THE FLATS – What’s next for Thaddeus Young after his short stint in Phoenix? … Jose Alvarado looks back on his third season in New Orleans … Moses Wright’s Magic Moment … Josh Okogie looks back in year 6 in the NBA … Marcus Georges-Hunt helps Kuwait Club to second straight Gulf League title … more in this week’s #ProJackets Report.


WHAT’S NEXT FOR THADDEUS YOUNG?

He didn’t get much chance to become engrained in the offensive and defensive schemes. That is what a buy-out player typically is. They are a “break glass in case of emergency” player, not someone who is going to eat up minutes and dominate. There is a reason they are a buyout guy.

Due to the lack of consistent production ahead of him, however, we wanted more Thaddy. We received glimpses of what the world with Drew Eubanks could look like, and we liked what we saw.

There would be no place for him in the rotations, however. Frank Vogel did not want to harm the confidence of Eubanks entering the postseason, and that led to Young sitting on the bench for the majority of his time in Phoenix.

There isn’t much to talk about as it pertains to Young. Just look at the above statistics. He scored 23 total points in his 10 appearances with the team. But still, he gave us hope. He might be undersized at the five, but his basketball IQ appeared to be better than that of Drew Eubanks. That is why we wanted to see him get more opportunities to play.

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JOSE ALVARADO’S SEASON IN REVIEW

He’s the plucky 6-foot underdog with the undrafted background, but New Orleans’ backup point guard Jose Alvarado is rarely underappreciated in the Crescent City. His regular season individual statistics may not jump off the page, but his impact on winning was undeniable: the Pelicans went 38-18 in his 56 regular season games, but just 11-15 in the 26 he missed. Those records were also reflected in the fact that the New York City native finished second on New Orleans in aggregate plus-minus (+240), behind only Trey Murphy (+265) – which in itself is a testament to how effective the squad’s bench became. As was the case for fellow Pelicans reserves Murphy, Naji Marshall and Larry Nance Jr., Alvarado was sidelined by injury early in 2023-24, but contributed greatly to a second unit that commonly erased deficits or expanded leads.

New Orleans was just 6-7 before Alvarado debuted, then went 15-7 over its next 22 games. He shot a career high in three-point percentage and led the Pelicans in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.93), before struggling in the playoffs vs. Oklahoma City. He wasn’t alone in that regard.


FANS CHOOSE WRIGHT BLOCK AS FAVORITE MOMENT

The 2023-24 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague has been home to some of the most outstanding basketball plays on the planet. EuroLeague fans spoke as they voted Moses Wright of Olympiacos Piraeus as the winner of the 2023-24 Magic Moment of the Season presented by Motorola.

During Game 3 of the playoff series between Olympiacos and FC Barcelona, Tomas Satoransky of Barca fed Jan Vesely for what looked to be a clear dunk attempt. Wright had other ideas, sending the ball to the fourth row with a huge block. At that moment, Olympiacos led Barca 67-63 with less than 3 minutes left and the crowd at Peace and Friendship Stadium erupted in joy, feeding off Wright’s outstanding energy and post-block reaction. It goes down as one of the best blocks ever in the EuroLeague Playoffs.


JOSH OKOGIE REFLECTS ON 6TH NBA SEASON

Josh Okogie, a basketball player from Nigeria, was previously selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves as the 20th overall choice in the 2018 NBA Draft.

Prior to the 2022–2023 season, Okogie moved to Phoenix following four seasons with the Wolves.

His ability to be an impact player made his signing well-received. Another year when Okogie strengthened the story about his powers was 2023–2024.

For the 2023–24 season, Okogie went back to Phoenix, but the Suns managed to incorporate all of their summer additions into their lineups and plans.

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GEORGES-HUNT HELPS KUWAIT CLUB RETAIN GULF LEAGUE TITLE

Kuwait Club successfully defended their throne as rulers of the FIBA WASL-Gulf League by way of a 99-92 decision over rivals Manama in the winner-take-all Game 3 of the Final, Monday night at the Khalifa Sport City in Isa Town.

Delivering solidly as well in the win were the usual suspects led by Marcus Georges-Hunt, who produced 19 points, spiked by a pair of triples, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists. The seasoned winger already had 13 points in the first quarter alone to help his side to a 33-22 start.

Kuwait Club and Manama are two of the three Gulf League teams bound for the FIBA WASL Final 8. The other is sub-zone third-placers Kazma from Kuwait as well.

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WRIGHT REACTS TO VIRAL MOMENT, EUROLEAGUE FINAL FOUR

Amid the small chaos that followed Wednesday’s incident between Panathinaikos Athens coach Ergin Ataman and some Fenerbahce fans that waited outside the team hotel, Olympiacos Piraeus big man Moses Wright became inadvertently viral thanks to just his simple presence.

Wright appeared on some of the videos recording the incident, just casually walking with a big smile and paying small to zero attention to the craziness that was going on around him. It looked like something out of a meme.

“I was just trying to get some food,” Wright told Eurohoops. He didn’t have a comment to make on the incident itself, since, well, he was too rightfully busy with his food-pursuing quest to pay any attention to what was going on.

It was a moment of fine laugh with Wright during the Media Day Thursday, ahead of the Final Four. It will be his first ever appearance in the tournament so, naturally, he can’t hide his excitement.


 

#PROJACKETS ON SOCIAL MEDIA

 

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Georgia Tech Eurobasket Report

Yellow Jackets currently playing pro basketball

Moses Wright (6’9”-C-1998, played in 2017-21, plays pro in Greece) was the major contributor in Olympiacos’ victory against the sixth-ranked Kolossos HH (10-17) crushing them 100-66 in the Greek GBL last Sunday. He had a double-double by scoring 16 points and getting 12 rebounds. Wright also added 2 blocks in 36 minutes; quite an impressive performance considering it’s only his third season in pro basketball. 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 Second Stage. And that game will be critical. Wright has relatively good stats this year 11.9ppg and 5.7rpg in 11 games he played so far.

Ben Lammers (6’10”-C-1995, played in 2014-18, plays in Spain) could not help Draemland Gran Canaria (20-14) in their last game on Sunday. Despite Lammers’ good performance Draemland Gran Canaria was defeated 74-67 on the road by the much lower-ranked Coviran Granada (#15). He was the top scorer with 14 points. Lammers also added 3 shots. The Regular Season already ended. It’s Lammers’ first season with the team. This year he averages 7.3ppg, 3.6rpg and 1.3bpg.

Michael Devoe (6’5”-G-1999, played in 2018-22, currently in Israel), who plays in the Israeli Winner League was not able to help one of league’s weakest teams Maccabi Urban Ramat Gan (18-9) in their last game. Despite his very good performance Maccabi Urban Ramat Gan lost 71-82 in Tel Aviv to the second-ranked Hapoel Tel-Aviv. Devoe was the top scorer with 23 points. He also added 7 rebounds in 27 minutes; not bad, considering it’s only Devoe’s second season in pro basketball. It was Maccabi Urban Ramat Gan’s third consecutive loss in a row. The Regular Season already ended. Devoe has individually a very good year with high stats. He averages 19.5ppg, 4.5rpg, 2.5apg and 1.5spg in two games.

Experienced Gani Lawal (6’9”-F/C-1988, played in 2007-10, plays pro in Colombia) led Bucaros de Bucaramanga to a 1-point victory over the closely-ranked Motilones (5-3) 84-83 in the Colombian Liga Wplay last Thursday. He was MVP of the game. Lawal recorded a double-double by scoring 25 points and getting 18 rebounds. It was the game of the round between two top 4 ranked teams. Bucaros de Bucaramanga (6-2) is placed second in the Liga Wplay. There are only two games left until the end of the Regular Season. So now every game is very crucial. This season Lawal has very high stats. He averages 15.6ppg, 10.5rpg, 1.3apg and 1.1bpg. Lawal is a naturalized Nigerian.

Brandon Alston (6’5”-G-1995, played in 2017-19, plays in Estonia) was not able to secure a victory for Parnu (5-2) in their last game. Despite Alston’s very good performance Parnu lost 59-68 at home to the lower-ranked (#4) Rapla. He was the top scorer with 18 points. Alston also added 3 assists in 28 minutes. This year Alston averages 6.3ppg, 2.5rpg and 2.2apg in 10 games.

Avi Schafer (6’9”-C-1998, played in 2017-19, currently in Japan) couldn’t help SeaHorses Mikawa in their game against Dolphins in the Japanese B1 League. Schafer scored only 4 points and grabbed 4 rebounds. His team was defeated 84-75. This season Schafer averages 3.1ppg and 3.2rpg. He is a naturalized Japanese.

Abdoulaye Gueye (6’9”-C-1994, played in 2014-15, plays pro in Turkey) led Sigortam.net to a victory against the sixth-ranked Final Spor 79-71 in the Turkish TBL (second division) last Tuesday. He scored 14 points and grabbed 4 rebounds in 31 minutes. Gueye has relatively good stats this year 11.0ppg, 6.7rpg, 1.5apg and 1.1spg in 40 games.

Other former Georgia Tech alumni who play in pro basketball:

  • Adam Smith (6’1”-PG-1992, played in 2015-16) plays for Surne Bilbao Basket in Spanish Liga Endesa
  • Jose Alvarado (6’0”-PG-1998, played in 2017-16) plays for New Orleans Pelicans in the NBA
  • Derrick Favors (6’10”-F-1991, played in 2009-23) plays for Windy City Bulls in the NBA G League
  • James Banks III (6’10”-F/C-1998, played in 2018-20) plays for Maine Celtics in the NBA G League
  • 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 Phoenix Suns in the NBA
  • Khalid Moore (6’7”-F-2000, played in 2018-22) plays for Lavrio in Greek GBL
  • Jordan Usher (6’7”-SF-1998, played in 2019-22) plays for Perth Wildcats in Australian NBL
  • Ja’von Franklin (6’7”-F-1998, played in 2023-23) plays for Borac CA in Serbian KLS
  • Josh Heath (6’1”-PG-1994, played in 2014-17) plays for Spirou Basket Charleroi in Belgian Pro Basketball League
  • Marcus Georges-Hunt (6’5”-F-1994, played in 2012-16) plays for Kuwait in Kuwaiti D1
  • Evan Jester (6’7”-F-1999, played in 2017-19) plays for Atlanta Aliens in the ABA
  • Trae Golden (6’3”-PG-1991, played in 2013-14) plays for Ahly Benghazi in Libyan D1
  • Charles Mitchell (6’8”-F/C-1993, played in 2014-16) plays for Chihuahua Dorados in Mexican LBE
  • Glen Rice Jr. (6’6”-F-1991, played in 2009-12) plays for Brillantes in Venezuelan SPB

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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