Returning players for 2021-22

GT_EE78

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g0lftime

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Mike can be NBA material. He has improved his ball handling every year especially going to his right. That would make him more of a complete player.
 

orientalnc

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So May 30th has passed, Devoe hadn't declared for the draft last week, is he on the final list? Not sure where to look for it.
According to an article I read several weeks ago the NBA said they would release the list shortly after June 1. As for Devoe not having declared, we do not know if that is correct. Announcing his intention on Twitter does not enter his name officially. Even if the has declared, he can withdraw his name and return to GT. As far as we know, nothing has changed for him as it relates too the NBA.
 

Techster

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I thought Devoe improved as the year went on last season. He ironed out a few things, and was more aggressive to the basket and making decisions in the lane. It will be Devoe's team next season if he returns, and I expect Usher to be 1B. As @MidtownJacket mentioned, I would not be surprised to see Devoe run our offense at times.

I am REALLY excited about the trajectory of Usher's game. The athleticism and explosiveness has always been there, but it seemed something clicked and his basketball game finally caught up with his physical abilities. His development was reminiscent of Moses's development his 3rd year. IMO, of the upperclassman we have for next season, Usher is probably the one with the higher NBA ceiling given size, his ability to play multiple spots in the NBA on defense, and ability in the open court. His versatility has obviously been beneficial for our team last season. Usher was probably our best overall player to close out the season.

I know we've always expected Sturdivant to take over Jose's spot running the point, but the addition Devion Smith has changed the equation a bit. This all depends on Smith's ability to get up to speed with what our staff wants and his ability to gel with our players. As high as I am on Usher's physical abilities, Smith may just give Usher a run for his money in that department...except Smith has more speed and explosiveness. Smith has ELITE speed and change of direction. If he can give us what Alvarado did, and I don't expect it next season, he will be a top 5-10 PG in the country some day. GT fans need to be excited about Smith's future at GT...he is going to be an electric player. As of right now though, I expect Sturdivant to start the season at the point given his experience in our system...oh, and Sturdivant is a pretty good player himself.

Gigi, IMO, is the key to what kind of season we'll have next year. I don't expect him to be Banks or Lammers in terms of his role in our offense, but if he can give us 8+/- points, and 5-8 rebs a game, that's fine. However, if he can be a good to very good rim protector, that totally changes what our staff can do with personnel. In the few minutes we saw Gigi, he's shown flashes of someone that can stretch the defense and get by his defender. If you watched some of his HS highlights, he definitely has a Euro game to him. He can pass, and he can facilitate when the balls is in his hands. Our staff emphasizes defense, so if he can't hold his own in the post, he won't see very many minutes to make any of that happen. Of all the players on our roster, Gigi stands to gain the most this offseason.

The freshmen will be interesting in terms of how they can battle for minutes. I know it's a big step up from HS to ACC basketball, but Coleman and Kelly just may already be some of our best shooters on the roster. Kelly doesn't get mentioned much, but he just might be another Anthony Morrow in the gym range type player...but Kelly can also create shots off the dribble. I'm really excited to see what he brings. Our staff brought in guys whose trendlines and ceilings are very high. Coleman is just gonna be a beast. 6'6 with loads of skill and a very good shot to go with and NBA frame and athleticism.

Then you have guys like Parham, Moore, Maxwell...perimeter players that will battle for minutes. I fully expect Parham and Moore to get minutes, but those minutes might be harder depending on what the freshmen bring to the table. Although Moore's offensive production wasn't eye popping, his ability to fill in the gaps where needed, and his defensive ability are important.

IMO, we have good problems. Finding minutes for talented players is always a welcomed headache for coaches. This will be fun team next season...whether that translates into a Top 5 ACC finish is another story, but there will certainly be plenty of exciting moments for us to enjoy. More than anything, it's really nice to not feel like the bottom has fallen out and we have to rebuild after losing players the caliber of Alvarado (most likely) and Moses.
 

GT_EE78

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That list cannot be complete since it does not list Moses as a draft entry.
In a normal year i wouldn't expect a graduated senior to be listed with declared undergrads on an undergrad list, yet Jose is listed.
If the list Should include potentially returning seniors then i'd agree then maybe it is incomplete.
or would Moses be excluded since he now has an agent?
 

jayparr

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I thought Devoe improved as the year went on last season. He ironed out a few things, and was more aggressive to the basket and making decisions in the lane. It will be Devoe's team next season if he returns, and I expect Usher to be 1B. As @MidtownJacket mentioned, I would not be surprised to see Devoe run our offense at times.

I am REALLY excited about the trajectory of Usher's game. The athleticism and explosiveness has always been there, but it seemed something clicked and his basketball game finally caught up with his physical abilities. His development was reminiscent of Moses's development his 3rd year. IMO, of the upperclassman we have for next season, Usher is probably the one with the higher NBA ceiling given size, his ability to play multiple spots in the NBA on defense, and ability in the open court. His versatility has obviously been beneficial for our team last season. Usher was probably our best overall player to close out the season.

I know we've always expected Sturdivant to take over Jose's spot running the point, but the addition Devion Smith has changed the equation a bit. This all depends on Smith's ability to get up to speed with what our staff wants and his ability to gel with our players. As high as I am on Usher's physical abilities, Smith may just give Usher a run for his money in that department...except Smith has more speed and explosiveness. Smith has ELITE speed and change of direction. If he can give us what Alvarado did, and I don't expect it next season, he will be a top 5-10 PG in the country some day. GT fans need to be excited about Smith's future at GT...he is going to be an electric player. As of right now though, I expect Sturdivant to start the season at the point given his experience in our system...oh, and Sturdivant is a pretty good player himself.

Gigi, IMO, is the key to what kind of season we'll have next year. I don't expect him to be Banks or Lammers in terms of his role in our offense, but if he can give us 8+/- points, and 5-8 rebs a game, that's fine. However, if he can be a good to very good rim protector, that totally changes what our staff can do with personnel. In the few minutes we saw Gigi, he's shown flashes of someone that can stretch the defense and get by his defender. If you watched some of his HS highlights, he definitely has a Euro game to him. He can pass, and he can facilitate when the balls is in his hands. Our staff emphasizes defense, so if he can't hold his own in the post, he won't see very many minutes to make any of that happen. Of all the players on our roster, Gigi stands to gain the most this offseason.

The freshmen will be interesting in terms of how they can battle for minutes. I know it's a big step up from HS to ACC basketball, but Coleman and Kelly just may already be some of our best shooters on the roster. Kelly doesn't get mentioned much, but he just might be another Anthony Morrow in the gym range type player...but Kelly can also create shots off the dribble. I'm really excited to see what he brings. Our staff brought in guys whose trendlines and ceilings are very high. Coleman is just gonna be a beast. 6'6 with loads of skill and a very good shot to go with and NBA frame and athleticism.

Then you have guys like Parham, Moore, Maxwell...perimeter players that will battle for minutes. I fully expect Parham and Moore to get minutes, but those minutes might be harder depending on what the freshmen bring to the table. Although Moore's offensive production wasn't eye popping, his ability to fill in the gaps where needed, and his defensive ability are important.

IMO, we have good problems. Finding minutes for talented players is always a welcomed headache for coaches. This will be fun team next season...whether that translates into a Top 5 ACC finish is another story, but there will certainly be plenty of exciting moments for us to enjoy. More than anything, it's really nice to not feel like the bottom has fallen out and we have to rebuild after losing players the caliber of Alvarado (most likely) and Moses.
great response!! One of the best that I have ever read!!!
 

orientalnc

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I thought Devoe improved as the year went on last season. He ironed out a few things, and was more aggressive to the basket and making decisions in the lane. It will be Devoe's team next season if he returns, and I expect Usher to be 1B. As @MidtownJacket mentioned, I would not be surprised to see Devoe run our offense at times.

I am REALLY excited about the trajectory of Usher's game. The athleticism and explosiveness has always been there, but it seemed something clicked and his basketball game finally caught up with his physical abilities. His development was reminiscent of Moses's development his 3rd year. IMO, of the upperclassman we have for next season, Usher is probably the one with the higher NBA ceiling given size, his ability to play multiple spots in the NBA on defense, and ability in the open court. His versatility has obviously been beneficial for our team last season. Usher was probably our best overall player to close out the season.

I know we've always expected Sturdivant to take over Jose's spot running the point, but the addition Devion Smith has changed the equation a bit. This all depends on Smith's ability to get up to speed with what our staff wants and his ability to gel with our players. As high as I am on Usher's physical abilities, Smith may just give Usher a run for his money in that department...except Smith has more speed and explosiveness. Smith has ELITE speed and change of direction. If he can give us what Alvarado did, and I don't expect it next season, he will be a top 5-10 PG in the country some day. GT fans need to be excited about Smith's future at GT...he is going to be an electric player. As of right now though, I expect Sturdivant to start the season at the point given his experience in our system...oh, and Sturdivant is a pretty good player himself.

Gigi, IMO, is the key to what kind of season we'll have next year. I don't expect him to be Banks or Lammers in terms of his role in our offense, but if he can give us 8+/- points, and 5-8 rebs a game, that's fine. However, if he can be a good to very good rim protector, that totally changes what our staff can do with personnel. In the few minutes we saw Gigi, he's shown flashes of someone that can stretch the defense and get by his defender. If you watched some of his HS highlights, he definitely has a Euro game to him. He can pass, and he can facilitate when the balls is in his hands. Our staff emphasizes defense, so if he can't hold his own in the post, he won't see very many minutes to make any of that happen. Of all the players on our roster, Gigi stands to gain the most this offseason.

The freshmen will be interesting in terms of how they can battle for minutes. I know it's a big step up from HS to ACC basketball, but Coleman and Kelly just may already be some of our best shooters on the roster. Kelly doesn't get mentioned much, but he just might be another Anthony Morrow in the gym range type player...but Kelly can also create shots off the dribble. I'm really excited to see what he brings. Our staff brought in guys whose trendlines and ceilings are very high. Coleman is just gonna be a beast. 6'6 with loads of skill and a very good shot to go with and NBA frame and athleticism.

Then you have guys like Parham, Moore, Maxwell...perimeter players that will battle for minutes. I fully expect Parham and Moore to get minutes, but those minutes might be harder depending on what the freshmen bring to the table. Although Moore's offensive production wasn't eye popping, his ability to fill in the gaps where needed, and his defensive ability are important.

IMO, we have good problems. Finding minutes for talented players is always a welcomed headache for coaches. This will be fun team next season...whether that translates into a Top 5 ACC finish is another story, but there will certainly be plenty of exciting moments for us to enjoy. More than anything, it's really nice to not feel like the bottom has fallen out and we have to rebuild after losing players the caliber of Alvarado (most likely) and Moses.
This post might not be the GOAT, but it has some very thoughtful ideas well stated.

Smith is freaky athletic and leaves the floor like he has wings. What CJP wants his PG to do is manage the floor and keep the entire team involved. As exciting as he is, Smith will need to play within the team concept. Bubba did that beautifully and made us a better team in the process. Right now we have three guys who can play the point and I am excited about that. If Jose stays in the draft, we will be OK. Not better, but OK.

I am really excited about the visuals Smith & Usher will provide in the open court. It should be like having Ish back, but playing two spots. With students in the gym the place should be wild.
 

MtnWasp

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My thinking is that you fit your scheme to the best five players. I don't think you leave your third best player on the bench to play your 7th best player to make a position or scheme fit. Better talent creates the match-up difficulties regardless of size or position. A super-talented small player can be a match-up nightmare against a less talented bigger player.

This reminds me of a story I heard Bobby Knight tell one time. It was the year that Michael Jordan entered the draft. The Portland Trailblazers had the first pick. Knight got a call from a Portland front office guy that he knew, and he asked Knight who Portland should draft. Knight told him the it was an easy pick, that Micheal Jordan was the best player in the draft. The Portland front office guy said, "But, we need a Center." Knight said that he didn't hesitiate and said, "Then play Michael Jordan at Center." The Portland brass snorted and assumed Knight was joking, but Knight said, "Seriously, Michael Jordan is the best Center in the draft.

Portland drafted Sam Bowie and the rest is history.

Not that we have a Michael Jordan, but the roster has it's best, most talented players.

GT played small ball at times last year and they defended the post primarily via perimeter ball pressure and denying the entry pass. It worked more than it didn't.

While it is nice to have some bigs on the roster that could provide flexibility if we are getting destroyed by some unfavorable match-up, I look at the roster and how it is constructed and see that the staff is going to have some interesting decisions.

Last season, Gt played mostly 2 or three PGs at the same time and I don't anticipate that changing next season.

Smith, Sturdivant, Usher, K. Moore (from tape, J. Moore also), and maybe Meka (?) are geared to run up-tempo. The first three in particular could potentially create substantial match-up advantages playing up-tempo.

Devoe, Gigiberia, Howard are geared for half court action.

I foresee a lot of rotation experimentation next year. What I can't see is either Smith or Sturdivant sitting very much. Sturdivant plays like Jarrett Jack in an uncanny fashion and although he did not shoot much last season, his percentages were good. He is poised for an expanded role. And while Smith did not shoot well last season, he plays like an angry F-16 fighter with a ton of swag. I can't see that talent sitting either. If Pastner allows the team to play up-tempo, those two guys could really blossom.

If Devoe returns as expected, I see the 4 best players on the team as Devoe, Usher, Sturdivant and Smith. I think it benefits the team that those guys get minutes. I don't know about #5, but I suspect that Deebo will make a case. Having a reliable spot-up shooter really seems to me to compliment the other guys on the floor.

As for Khalid Moore, Pastner has shown a lot of trust in this player who has put in a ton of ACC minutes and I don't see that changing next season. He expanded his game substantially last year on the offensive end but his shooting numbers remained poor. But he is a difference maker on the defensive end and he can defend practically any position on the court. Moore's stats don't pop, but his +/- demonstrates clearly that he iis one of those glue guys that makes everything work. Finally, Pastner has shown a lot of loyalty to Seniors. I don't know if Khalid will start, but I think he gets his same minutes off the bench.

Just based on the strengths of the roster, I wonder if we make the transition to positionless ball this season?
 

orientalnc

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lv20gt

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My thinking is that you fit your scheme to the best five players. I don't think you leave your third best player on the bench to play your 7th best player to make a position or scheme fit. Better talent creates the match-up difficulties regardless of size or position. A super-talented small player can be a match-up nightmare against a less talented bigger player.

If we assume our 5 most talanted are the following.

Sturdivant, Smith, Devoe, Coleman, and Usher. You wouldn't be trading the third best player. You'd be trading your 5th best, likely one of Sturdivant or Smith. And the issue is not only would they be the 5th best, they'd be the 5th best providing something the line up already has. Diminishing returns is a thing and whoever is worse between the two will just be filling similar roles and so their addition, even as the 5th best would be less. While we played with 2 PGs last year it was primarily more 1.5 with Jose and Mike, especially as the year went on, because we learned that Moore's defense was more valuable than Bubba's ball handling.

As far as the Michael Jordan thing goes, it's a nice quip but MJ wasn't going to play center. Knight knew that, but what he said sounded better than, "draft MJ and trade whatever scrub you have at SG for a solid big and you'll be better off".

Small ball worked for us last year because we had a combination of Jose and Moses who were 4th year extremely experienced players, and both great individual defenders. While ball pressure played a big role in how we prevented teams from exploiting our weakness, Moses played a huge role in that as well. Neither of those are back, and with our 5 most talented we don't have the same level experience either in the ball pressure or in the post defense. Also while it worked to a decent degree, I'm pretty sure it was our worst defense under Pastner. It's just the offense was by far and away our best and the difference worked in our favor.

Also, and we saw this last year, you can't really just plug in one of the bigs when you're getting punished by a bad match up. If the defense is geared around playing that super small lineup then suddenly putting in Howard or Gigi for whoever would require both that individual to come in ready to play, which makes little sense to believe would be a thing, and you would need the other 4 players to be able to adjust which is extremely unlikely with the limited practice time in college. Could it work despite that? Sure. Maybe Deebo is just a bigger Steph and Smith is the second coming of AI without the attitude problems. Even then though, we'd still be better off with Howard/Gigi over Sturdivant (and probably that's even more true the better the new players are). Because it's not about the 1st or 2nd starter. It's about the 5th starter, and that will almost always be more about what the team needs than strictly individual talent.
 

jayparr

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My thinking is that you fit your scheme to the best five players. I don't think you leave your third best player on the bench to play your 7th best player to make a position or scheme fit. Better talent creates the match-up difficulties regardless of size or position. A super-talented small player can be a match-up nightmare against a less talented bigger player.

This reminds me of a story I heard Bobby Knight tell one time. It was the year that Michael Jordan entered the draft. The Portland Trailblazers had the first pick. Knight got a call from a Portland front office guy that he knew, and he asked Knight who Portland should draft. Knight told him the it was an easy pick, that Micheal Jordan was the best player in the draft. The Portland front office guy said, "But, we need a Center." Knight said that he didn't hesitiate and said, "Then play Michael Jordan at Center." The Portland brass snorted and assumed Knight was joking, but Knight said, "Seriously, Michael Jordan is the best Center in the draft.

Portland drafted Sam Bowie and the rest is history.

Not that we have a Michael Jordan, but the roster has it's best, most talented players.

GT played small ball at times last year and they defended the post primarily via perimeter ball pressure and denying the entry pass. It worked more than it didn't.

While it is nice to have some bigs on the roster that could provide flexibility if we are getting destroyed by some unfavorable match-up, I look at the roster and how it is constructed and see that the staff is going to have some interesting decisions.

Last season, Gt played mostly 2 or three PGs at the same time and I don't anticipate that changing next season.

Smith, Sturdivant, Usher, K. Moore (from tape, J. Moore also), and maybe Meka (?) are geared to run up-tempo. The first three in particular could potentially create substantial match-up advantages playing up-tempo.

Devoe, Gigiberia, Howard are geared for half court action.

I foresee a lot of rotation experimentation next year. What I can't see is either Smith or Sturdivant sitting very much. Sturdivant plays like Jarrett Jack in an uncanny fashion and although he did not shoot much last season, his percentages were good. He is poised for an expanded role. And while Smith did not shoot well last season, he plays like an angry F-16 fighter with a ton of swag. I can't see that talent sitting either. If Pastner allows the team to play up-tempo, those two guys could really blossom.

If Devoe returns as expected, I see the 4 best players on the team as Devoe, Usher, Sturdivant and Smith. I think it benefits the team that those guys get minutes. I don't know about #5, but I suspect that Deebo will make a case. Having a reliable spot-up shooter really seems to me to compliment the other guys on the floor.

As for Khalid Moore, Pastner has shown a lot of trust in this player who has put in a ton of ACC minutes and I don't see that changing next season. He expanded his game substantially last year on the offensive end but his shooting numbers remained poor. But he is a difference maker on the defensive end and he can defend practically any position on the court. Moore's stats don't pop, but his +/- demonstrates clearly that he iis one of those glue guys that makes everything work. Finally, Pastner has shown a lot of loyalty to Seniors. I don't know if Khalid will start, but I think he gets his same minutes off the bench.

Just based on the strengths of the roster, I wonder if we make the transition to positionless ball this season?
Another very good response!!
 

iopjacket

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It’s fun to read our knowledgeable fans (at least they know much more than me) debate over next year’s lineup. We played small ball last year with Moses who is listed as 6’9”, 233 lbs. on the roster. If we don’t play one of our three big men, the center position will be manned by either Khalid Moore at 6’7”, 200 lbs. or Jordan Usher at 6’7”, 213 lbs. which at least to me seems too small.
 

GT_EE78

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It’s fun to read our knowledgeable fans (at least they know much more than me) debate over next year’s lineup. We played small ball last year with Moses who is listed as 6’9”, 233 lbs. on the roster. If we don’t play one of our three big men, the center position will be manned by either Khalid Moore at 6’7”, 200 lbs. or Jordan Usher at 6’7”, 213 lbs. which at least to me seems too small.
it's a risk we face. A suitable transfer big could still declare for the portal up to the end of this month.
 

crut

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YlJacket

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It’s fun to read our knowledgeable fans (at least they know much more than me) debate over next year’s lineup. We played small ball last year with Moses who is listed as 6’9”, 233 lbs. on the roster. If we don’t play one of our three big men, the center position will be manned by either Khalid Moore at 6’7”, 200 lbs. or Jordan Usher at 6’7”, 213 lbs. which at least to me seems too small.
I agree with you that we would be too small but on the other side one of the 3 young uns' is going to have to earn the minutes and not just be given the minutes because they are tall/broad. They are going to need to make a major step forward from what we saw in games last year or we may go too small.

You would like to think a small ball group could get out and run - and we seem to have some high end athletes that could do that - but you leave yourself open to both the teams that are totally focused on getting back on D without any focus on offensive rebounding (UVA) or the teams that treat offensive rebounding like volleyball (UNC).
 
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