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Georgia Tech Basketball: ACC Media Roundup

A Couple of Interviews and Predictions

NCAA Basketball: ACC Tip Off Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia Tech basketball at the media days started with Michael Devoe and Jordan Usher interviewing on Packer and Durham and then the full press conference with those two and Josh Pastner. Devoe and Usher are both seniors and expected to be the best players on the team so they were natural choices to send to the media day.

As usual these interviews didn’t really tell us too much, they weren’t revealing strategies or who’s going to get playtime early. The first questions focused on the loss of Moses Wright and Jose Alvarado to the NBA. Usher and Devoe say that they still stay in touch with Jose and Moses and are cheering for them to succeed. Both players made clear that while winning the ACC Championship was great, they weren’t looking back. They are gunning for another Championship this season.

Pastner said that he’s looking to Usher and Devoe to be the leaders of the team this year, like Jose was last year. Jordan and Mike claimed they were up to the challenge. They’re good friends, but have very different leadership styles. Usher is always intense and focused while Devoe is much more laid back. Usher described them as Yin and Yang.

Both Pastner and the players expressed excitement at the opportunity to have the offseason schedule mostly back to normal. That was an issue last year for both GT and many other teams, but it’s a relief to be back in a rhythm. Usher and Devoe mentioned that it’s especially important for the newcomers to get used to the system and get more opportunity to show what they can do.

One final note, with the new Covid regulations allowing vaccinated coaches to not wear face masks Pastner has officially retired the face shield.

Media Predictions

ACC Men’s Basketball Predicted Finish

  1. Duke
  2. Florida State
  3. North Carolina
  4. Virginia
  5. Virginia Tech
  6. Louisville
  7. Syracuse
  8. Notre Dame
  9. NC State
  10. Georgia Tech
  11. Clemson
  12. Miami
  13. Wake Forest
  14. Pitt
  15. Boston College

The media predicted Georgia Tech to finish just 10th in the ACC. Last year GT finished 4th in the regular season before winning the ACC Tournament. This reflects both the loss of Jose and MOses, but also writer’s expectations that the ACC will start to get stronger again after a few down years for the league.

The Yellow Jackets were part of the 8-12 group that all finished pretty close in the prediction.

Preseason 1st All-ACC Team

  1. Buddy Boeheim, Syracuse
  2. Keve Aluma, VT
  3. Paolo Banchero, Duke
  4. Armando Bacot, UNC
  5. Isaiah Wong, Miami

The preseason first team starts with four names you should remember from previous seasons (Boeheim, Aluma, Bacot, and Wong) and one freshman, Paolo Banchero, the number 3 recruit in the country. All of these seem reasonable picks for the 1st team and there was a big drop-off between Wong and the 2nd team.

Preseason 2nd All-ACC Team

  1. Michael Devoe, GT
  2. Kihei Clark, Virginia
  3. Prentiss Hubb, Notre Dame
  4. Mark Williams, Duke
  5. Wendell Moore Jr., Duke
  6. Caleb Love, UNC
  7. Malik Williams, Louisville

The 2nd team is led off by GT’s own Michael Devoe. This is a much more interesting list. The whole list is made up of veterans who would need to take a solid step forward to reach this level. We’ll see who actually can make this step up.