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Technical Tidbits 4/18: Basketball Gets Visit From International Prospect and ProJackets in the Playoffs

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Pastner and Co. are looking across the pond to fill out the roster

NBA: Playoffs-Utah Jazz at Los Angeles Clippers Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia Tech Baseball’s recent woes continued last weekend as the Yellow Jackets were swept by visiting Louisville. There’s no shame in losing to a Louisville team that is 31-4 and ranked #2 in the polls but the series loss extended Tech’s current losing streak to 7 games and put the Jackets below 0.500 for the first time this season. Saturday’s loss was particularly excruciating as the Yellow Jackets out hit the Cards 11-3 and had a 2 run 9th inning lead. Unfortunately, 3 Cardinals came across in the top of the 9th and Tech walked away with the loss. The Jackets will look to get back to 0.500 with a pair of midweek games against instate rivals. First up will be a home tilt at 6:00 tonight against Mercer.

In his efforts to scour all corners of the globe to fill out the 2017-18 basketball roster, Coach Josh Pastner appears to have zeroed in on French prospect Joel Ayayi. The guard was on campus last weekend for an official visit and is expected to make his college decision soon. He has also visited Gonzaga and reportedly has heard from Baylor, Oklahoma, and Xavier. Ayayi is a bit of a raw prospect but the 17 year-old is young, has great length (6’-4” with a 6’-6” wingspan), and has every athletic tool a coach could want. Right now, most scouts view Ayayi as something of a combo guard with the potential to grow into a more pure, pick and roll point guard. While Pastner already has a pair of point guards on next year’s roster with Jose Alvaredo and Justin Moore, there really is no such thing as having too many capable point guards in today’s era of college basketball.

Finally, the NBA Playoffs started on Saturday and the Institute is well represented in the post season field. Four Yellow Jackets are on playoff rosters, tied for 11th most of any college and 4th in the ACC (behind Duke - 9, UNC - 8, and Syracuse - 5). Anthony Morrow (2004-2008) is a little used reserve for the 8th seeded Chicago Bulls. Starting at PF for the Indiana Pacers, Thaddeus Young (2006-2007) is making his return to the playoffs after spending the last four seasons on lottery bound Philadelphia, Minnesota, and Brookyln teams. In the first round, he will be facing off against the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers, who feature a Yellow Jacket of their own in Iman Shumpert (2008-2011). Shumpert did not play in Game 1 on Saturday but came in and played 20 big minutes last night in Game 2 after J.R. Smith left with an injury. Out west, Derrick Favors (2009-2010) is going to have to step up in a big way for the Utah Jazz to make a playoff run. Favors saw his role decrease this season due to injury and the emergence of Rudy Gobert as an All-NBA caliber center. However, with Gobert’s injury early in Game 1, Favors is expected to start at center and anchor the Jazz lineup in Game 2.