When Mike Devoe stepped foot on the Flats three years ago, he arrived with much fanfare. A consensus four-star recruit from basketball powerhouse Montverde Academy, he was the type of player Georgia Tech was unaccustomed to landing. With the size, athleticism and shooting ability that translates to the NBA level, integrating into the team concept and structures that coach Pastner has put in place has always been the biggest challenge for Devoe. Now after the departures of all-ACC teammates Moses Wright and Jose Alvarado, this is finally his team.
After a solid freshman season, Devoe took a huge jump as a sophomore, improving in all major categories and solidifying a solid backcourt with Alvarado. But as a junior his numbers plateaued as a result of vast swings in his play from game to game. Devoe is a combo guard, but he’s at his best initiating the offense and getting to lane off ball screens. Last year he found himself increasingly parked in the corner as a spot up shooter while Alvarado ran the show. While Devoe does possess a great three-point shot, he’s not great at moving off the ball and this felt like a bit of a shoe-horned way to utilize him. He had games where he got cold from beyond the arc, and I think that affected his play in other areas, often looking indecisive in the offense. The numbers bear that out, as he became more of a volume 3-pt shooter with his efficiency numbers going down in all categories from the prior season.
While I expect some aspects of the offense from last year to carry over, Tech is replacing Alvarado with Jared Sturdivant in the starting lineup. The ball should be in Devoe’s hands a lot more given the relative inexperience of the rest of the backcourt. I think that will be a good thing, as his ability to create for himself and his teammates is the catalyst that allows him to play with energy on defense and freedom on offense. There won’t be an option this year to defer to Wright or Alvarado; Devoe is going to be looked at as the star of his team just as he was when he flourished in high school.
Going into 2022, I think the Jackets will see the very best version of Michael Devoe.