On Tuesday Georgia Tech got a huge commitment from VMI transfer guard Donald “Bubba” Parham. Parham spent two years at VMI so will have two years remaining of eligibility. He is from the Atlanta area (Snellville) and will be applying for a hardship transfer exemption so he may be able to play starting in 2019.
Georgia Tech has had one consistent weakness for at least the last 8 years, three point shooting. Bubba is in a good position to change that. He shot 39.7% from deep last year on nearly 300 attempts. This is exactly the kind of player that Georgia Tech needs after shooting just 30.7% from deep last season. As a whole he is a great offensive player averaging 21.4 points and 3.5 assists per game. He is the kind of creator that GT sorely lacked at many times last year. This will hopefully turn out like the Adam Smith transfer which gave Tech it’s only major three point threat in the last 8 years and led to a significantly improved offense.
The downside with Parham is his defense. He struggles on that side of the ball and at just 5’11” and 155 pounds he doesn’t have much flexibility to guard a bigger player either. The good news is that Coach Josh Pastner switches up defenses a lot and features an aggressive matchup zone that can hide smaller defenders as long as they’re willing to put in the effort.
If Bubba gets immediate eligibility, then he will immediately join a three man guard rotation with Jose Alvarado and Mike Devoe. His three point shooting will give everyone else on the team some room to work as the opposing defense can’t totally sag off like they did at times this year. Having both Alvarado and Parham on the floor at the same time would be tough with a man defense, but with zone you could even potentially have all three guards on the floor at the same time.
That leaves one scholarship left for next season with commitments from Jordan Usher (tranfer from USC), Asanti Price, and Parham (transfer from VMI). Given the losses of Abdoulaye Gueye and Sylvester Ogbonda this team is likely still looking for a big man. Pastner’s preference is probably a high school recruit, but a transfer with multiple years of eligibility is probably also a possibility. This recruiting class started disastrously, but is turning out alright.