Returning sophomore Jose Alvarado and freshman Michael Devoe are expected to lead the backcourt for Georgia Tech this season and will both be called upon to be impact players. Alvarado was a major bright spot for the Jackets a year ago, before an elbow injury against Duke ended his season early. Devoe, a high-profile four star recruit comes in with the chance to immediately be one of the best scorers on Tech’s roster. Both players have the ability to play both on-ball and off-ball, meaning they both will likely be bringing the ball up the court and should have no problem being on the court at the same time.
Hailing out of Brooklyn, Alvarado came into the program hoping to build upon the New York City legacy, built before him by Kenny Anderson and Stephon Marbury. Despite being a three star recruit, those close to the program knew the Jackets had grabbed a big time player and a big time winner. He immediately stepped in as one of Tech’s most important players, starting every single game before a season ending injury against Duke. Alvarado ended the season 4th in the nation among freshman in minutes per game.
Alvarado played significant minutes for a reason. Not only did he fill the stat sheet, but he stepped up as one of the leaders of the team. It had been a while since the Jackets had a true floor general point guard, but Alvarado started to show Tech fans he could be that guy throughout his freshman campaign.
Alvarado is a gritty, high energy player that never quits on a play and has winning in his DNA. Despite his size, this intensity makes him an above average defender with quick hands and great awareness. At 1.8 per game, he was fourth in the ACC in steals and the top freshman in the conference.
Alvarado was third on the team in scoring, averaging just over 12 points per game. Alvarado trailed just Tadric Jackson and Josh Okogie, both of which are gone, making Jose the leading returning scorer. Alvarado couldn’t be identified as floor general if he didn’t get his teammates involved. He was the Jackets leader in assists last season at 3.1 per game.
It is often said that players make their biggest development from their freshman to sophomore season and Tech fans will certainly hope that this applies to Jose Alvarado. Alvarado showed flashes of brilliance, but also made plenty of freshman mistakes. If he is able to cut down on those mistakes, he has the opportunity to identify himself as one of the top guards in the conference.
Mike Devoe is without a doubt the highest profile recruit to commit to Josh Pastner and possibly the highest in years. Ranked as high as 45th in the nation, Devoe was a consensus four-star recruit with offers from schools all over the country.
Devoe played his senior season at Montverde Academy, one of the top basketball prep schools in the country. He played alongside RJ Barret, the number one recruit in the nation, and the two of them led Montverde to the high school national championship. After playing alongside and against such high level talent, Devoe should have no issue stepping in and being ready for the top competition that he’ll see in the ACC.
Devoe does a little bit of everything out on the court. He’s a crafty player that has an innate knack for scoring. He has excellent court vision and gets his teammates involved. He can find his way to the basket, but is also an excellent shooter. His senior year, he made 63% of his field goals, including 52% from behind the arc.
Unfortunately, a foot injury has left Devoe on the sidelines for much of the offseason. It is still yet to be seen how much this will impact his readiness for the start of the season, but head coach Josh Pastner stated he should be back for the opener against Lamar.