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Which bench post player contributes most in 2020-21?

Discussion in 'Georgia Tech Basketball' started by bos, May 4, 2020.

  1. David Didenko

    0 vote(s)
  2. Rodney Howard

    8 vote(s)
  3. Saba Gigiberia

    22 vote(s)
  4. Jordan Meka

    14 vote(s)
  1. bos

    bos Helluva Engineer

    With James Banks graduating and Evan Cole transferring, Tech is left with a big hole to fill under the basket.

    As of now it appears Moses Wright will start at the 5 with Jordan Usher next to him at the 4. This leaves an opportunity for a younger player to get some solid minutes of the bench and possibly even start. The question is, who will it be?

    Let's take a look at the four candidates.

    Jr. - David Didenko - There were rumors swirling this off-season that he was in the portal, but that never proved to be true. Didenko remains on the roster as one of the most scrutinized scholarship players, due mainly to his poor statistical year at a Florida Community College prior to Tech. He was given a few minutes in a couple games last year and, although he didn't look ACC caliber, he showed potential (at least for a reserve role). As a junior, Didenko is the most veteran big on the bench right now, albeit with little experience. He is likely undersized to play center, but could spell Usher at the 4. It was surprising that Tech did not play him more in 19-20 season knowing they'll need him experienced for this upcoming year. He is believed to be roster's dead weight right now, but could be the most offensively skilled big off the bench (which speaks more of the other guys).

    So. - Rodney Howard - Transfer from UGA who will only play this year if NCAA approves a one year transfer rule later this month. Howard played in 24 games with limited minutes (7.3 per) for the Bulldogs. He started playing basketball late in his life and unfortunately it shows. However, he does have tons of potential due to his size and ability to run the floor. He will need to work on his touch, but can contribute defensively right away which is what he will be counted on. In a sample size he had 3.4 blocks per 40 mins (Banks had 3.3) his freshman year. He could provide 12-15 minutes off the bench and back up Wright when he is in foul trouble.

    Fr. - Saba Gigiberia - A legit 7 footer from Georgia who will be an incoming freshman this year and tallest player on Tech's team since Luke Schenscher in 04-05. He has not contributed much in high school due to attending one of the top prep programs in the country loaded with talent. However, unlike may incoming bigs he has the size (240-250lbs) to play right away. Regardless of how Rodney Howard's situation plays out, Saba is sure to get minutes of the bench this year. If anything he can use his big body to impact the game defensively and on the boards. Reveno has a lot to work with here.

    Fr. - Jordan Meka - Another incoming freshman who may challenge Usher as the most athletic guy on the team. A quick youtube search of him and you're sure to see some highlight dunks. However, Meka was marred with injuries his senior year and just didn't look quite as good of a prospect he did before. If he adds good weight and comes in at full strength, he could be the next Moses Wright. He needs work with his jumper and anything away from the basket, but he could be a solid defender and rebounder.

    Given Rodney is able to play this year, which of these four receives the most minutes? My bet would be Saba Gigiberia. I believe Tech needs a true 5, and he is just that.

    Can Reveno work his magic and turn one of these guys into a stud? What do you guys think?
    augustabuzz likes this.
  2. Peacone36

    Peacone36 ACCBasketballReport.com Contributing Writer

    Bubba Parham or Khalid Moore.
  3. whitegoldsphinx

    whitegoldsphinx Helluva Engineer

    it will be interesting watching Bubba play the post. ;)
    augustabuzz, okiemon, bos and 2 others like this.
  4. Peacone36

    Peacone36 ACCBasketballReport.com Contributing Writer


    haha, you miss one word in the question and it makes all the difference.
    GTRhino24, bos, lauraee and 1 other person like this.
  5. bos

    bos Helluva Engineer

    I actually lol'd when I saw your response because I thought it was a joke given the inexperience of the options provided. You should have played it off.
    augustabuzz, lauraee and Peacone36 like this.
  6. tsrich

    tsrich Helluva Engineer

    I'm now picturing Bubba hitting sweet hook shots in the post.
  7. GT_EE78

    GT_EE78 Helluva Engineer

    Why do you think they will be on the bench as the 5th starter spot remains to be filled?
    (assuming we don't sign a grad trans 5)
    I'd ask who is the fifth starter first.Maybe it's one of them
    Bubba's 5 pts in 27 mpg might not be enough with his difficulty at stopping taller guards on the perimeter.
    If Khalid improves he might slide in at 3 with Usher at 4.I'd give him the edge
    then - i'd guess saba gets the most minutes out of that group
  8. bos

    bos Helluva Engineer

    It's likely that Bubba or Khalid will be the 5th starter at this point. Pastner may only play 6 guys.

    But you're right, I have no idea and Saba could just as easily be the starting center.
  9. GTrob21

    GTrob21 Helluva Engineer

    Coach Rev
  10. lv20gt

    lv20gt Helluva Engineer

    I really don't see that. Bubba would be going tiny and that would be a situational lineup, not something you go to as your base. That would only make sense if Bubba was another scorer similar to Jose and Mike but he hasn't proven to be close to that. Otherwsie it's simply trading too much defense and rebounding for too little ball handling and scoring to be a normal lineup. Moore makes more sense in theory as he has the size at the SF to help offset the rebounding problems and the defense you lose in a lack of a shotblocker can be made up in increased wing pressure. The issue is he hasn't really shown the rebounding ability needed for that lineup and his offense was so bad last year that it really doesn't justify it. And if he improves his offense in the offseason to the point it does justify it then I think the question turns to what does Usher give us as a small ball 4 to warrant him starting over a true center.

    Thematically one of the common themes of Pastner's tenure here has been a true shotblocking center anchoring the defense and a common issue we've had is not having a true backup so we relied on our starter very much. I see very little chance that we have two true centers and make our base a small ball one where we effectively chose to play a second PG over playing a center.
  11. bos

    bos Helluva Engineer

    I don't like it either, but it's very possible. CJP does not like to rotate too many guys.

    If you go back to the NIT season, Pastner's most sucessful year with Tech, that's pretty much what he did. Heyward and Heath were basically just ball handlers and defenders. Justin Moore also played sparingly, but this is pretty much the entire lineup. If Maxwell can provide scoring off the bench, that would be major help.

    Corey Heyward - 6'1"
    Josh Heath - 6'2"
    Josh Okogie - 6'4"
    Quinton Stephens - 6'9"
    Ben Lammers - 6'10"

    Tadric Jackson - 6'2"

    2020-2021 possible

    Jose Alvarado - 6'0"
    Michael Devoe - 6'5"
    Khalid Moore - 6'7"
    Jordan Usher - 6'7"
    Moses Wright - 6'9"

    Bubba Parham - 5'10"
  12. LargeFO

    LargeFO Helluva Engineer

    I voted for Saba with the caveat that I expect Howard to be sitting out this year...
    augustabuzz likes this.
  13. lv20gt

    lv20gt Helluva Engineer

    What? Those two team compositions are nothing alike. Lammers was a true center, averaged 3.4 blocks per game, won ACC defensive player of the year. In general that '16 lineup had much better rebounding and shot blocking than your proposed one. Lammers, Q, and Okogie were across the board better rebounders than their counterparts. It doesn't really matter that the heights are similar, or in Moore's case better. The actual play isn't similar.
  14. Fatmike91

    Fatmike91 Helluva Engineer

    Our best team will be when Moses is at the 4. So therefore I expect either Saba or Howard to get quality minutes at the 5.

    That's the scenario where we're a very good team.

  15. bos

    bos Helluva Engineer

    I agree with you. My argument is that Pastner successfully played a small rotation of 6 guys before, albeit with more length.

    All I'm saying is, if Howard sits out a year (likely) and Saba/Meka are too raw, it's possible that lineup is what we see. However, I definitely don't see Khalid as an improvement at 3 than either one of those at 5. Not with the way he played last year.
  16. Ramblingon

    Ramblingon Helluva Engineer

    I see Saba and Meka both getting smaller minutes in the middle, but enough to have Moses at the 4 for some of the time. Then it looks like Usher will be there for most of his minutes.
  17. Techster

    Techster Helluva Engineer

    Howard looks likely to sit next season since they're punting the immediate eligibility rule for another year.

    I think Saba is gonna come in and surprise a lot of GT fans. I don't expect him to start, but I do think he can make an impact early as a sub, and grow into a bigger role as the season progresses. I got to sit down and watch some film on him, and I was pleasantly surprised with what I saw. LOTS of tools for Reveno to work with. His passing will already be better than James Banks's passing the day he steps on campus. Saba's passing reminds me a lot of Daniel Miller's passing. Good feel for moving the ball and finding the open guy.

    Defensively, he's not as explosive in the post like Banks, but he takes up a LOT of room. That's the 7'4 wingspan. If he doesn't give us blocks, he definitely going to alter a LOT of shots. You can easily see that in the games he played for Prolific Prep. He was playing against a lot of elite HS post guys, and almost always made them uncomfortable with shots down low. Saba has a solid base, and wide shoulders. Great frame for adding healthy weight and not impeding his speed. Good at screening, and is great at flashing to the basket for a good 1-2 combo, but his finishing needs a LOT of work. Some good post moves, but his game offensive game is probably his weakness. Fortunately, anything he adds on the scoring column is a plus. I see him giving us some easy put backs for bonus buckets each game. He's also good at positioning for rebounds, in fact, if you watch him, he tends to favor rebound positioning over trying to get open to receive the pass.

    I was pleasantly surprised at his ability to get up and down the court. He's not going to beat a point guard down the court, but he eats a lot of court with his length, and he pretty mobile for a 7+ footer. I was even more pleasantly surprised at his willingness to do the little things to help his team.

    All in all, I would not be surprised to see Saba get about 15-20 minutes a game based on what he can do on the defensive end, rebounding, passing, and willingness to do the little things (screening, going after loose balls, hustle up and down the court, etc.). I wouldn't place too much emphasis on his Prolific Prep tape. Watch his game during the FIBA tournaments when he had extensive minutes. I think he was able to show more of his skillset during those games as he was a bigger piece of his international team as opposed to being a complementary piece on an absulutely loaded prep team.
    augustabuzz and jayparr like this.
  18. lv20gt

    lv20gt Helluva Engineer

    But you're completely ignoring about why those 6 man rotations were viable. It was because positional flexibility that allowed for players to temporarily play out of position for short periods. For example last year when Banks or Wright had to come out Usher could slide to the 4. As a temporary measure. The 6 man rotation you proposed doesn't have that same ability. Not only are Moses and Usher playing out of position initially, making foul trouble more likely, when one of them comes out there is no ability for the remaining 5 to create a functional lineup. Usher can't play the 5 and Moore can't play the 4. If Pastner sticks with a 6 man rotation, which I don't think he will, and Howard isn't eligible, then it's 100% that Saba is one of those 6 probably with a dynamic similar to last year just trading Banks for Saba and Moore not playing too much. However, I think we'll go at least 7 and probably 8 deep next year consistently.

    I'm sure we'll see a small ball lineup with Moses at the 5 and Usher at the 4. We could probably get away with it against weaker OOC teams and situationally against ACC teams for 5-10 minutes a game.
    GTHomer and jayparr like this.
  19. YlJacket

    YlJacket Helluva Engineer

    IMHO we will see Moses at the 5 for more than 5-10 min per game. If Saba can play 20 min for an ACC game that is a great upside and I will love it. But if Howard isn't eligible our strength will be on the wings and we will have to play very differently than we have the last several years with a true defensive center.
    Peacone36 likes this.
  20. jbix80

    jbix80 Helluva Engineer

    I just hope Moses can stay out of foul trouble, especially if he plays the 5 against traditional centers.
    NorthsideJacket likes this.

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