Junior guard Brandon Alston comes to the Yellow Jackets as a graduate transfer with two-years of eligibility.
One of the newer members of the Georgia Tech basketball program as a graduate transfer, Brandon Alston. A native of Vienna, Virginia, Alston spent the first part of his career at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Alston spent three seasons with the Mountain Hawks playing in the 2014-15 and 2016-17 seasons. He missed the 2015-16 season due to a torn ACL that he suffered in September of 2015. Due to the injury, Alston will now have two-years to play at Tech and is eligbile to play immediately as a grad transfer.
Over the two seasons he played, Alston averaged 5.8 points and 1.8 assists per game. Alston projects to be a depth piece over his final two collegiate seasons.
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During his freshman season, Alston was a quality but not great shooter. He shot at a .380/.359/.737 clip averaging 4.9 points per game. That season he appeared in 30 games for the Mountain Hawks, starting just one. Following his year off due to the ACL tear, Alston saw an improvement in his field goal percentage but drops in his three-point percentage and free-throw percentage.
When it comes to the advanced statistics, it’s easy to see where Alston will be the Yellow Jackets rotation and the impact he could have.
Last season, Alston had a usage percentage of 18.5%, on the Yellow Jacket that would’ve ranked sixth out of players who played in 15 or more games. Despite being used just 18.5% of the time, he had an offensive win share of 0.6. While that ranked 6th on the Mountain Hawks, that would’ve ranked third on the Yellow Jackets. His overall win share was 1.3.
When looking at a breakdown of advanced shooting statistics and win share, Alston’s best comparison is that of Tadric Jackson. The two share similar statistics in true shooting percentage, effective field goal percentage as well as their three-point attempt rate and free-throw attempt rates.
The biggest difference between the two is Jackson’s ability as a passer. Jackson’s assist percentage was 18.6%, for Alston, it was just 10.3%. Jackson’s defensive abilities were also a tad better than where Alston’s currently stands. Last season, Jackson’s defensive rating of 102.2 was among the bottom five of the team. Alston’s defensive rating of 105.0 would’ve ranked dead last among players who appeared in at least half of the team’s games.
Overall, Alston’s performance efficiency rating (PER) wasn’t stellar last season, sitting at just 10.5. That being said, his PER would’ve ranked in the top half of the Jackets roster last season.
What the Yellow Jackets will need out of Alston in 2017-18 is just consistency. Last season, Alston struggled with consistency. There was just once last season where he scored double-digit points in back-to-back games. While he didn’t have a consistent amount of minutes early in the season, he did towards the end of the season and still had very little consistency. If he can find consistency, he’ll be a valuable piece for the Jackets.
Alston could be groomed this upcoming season to potentially replace Tadric Jackson who enters the season as a senior. He won’t be a game changer but if Alston could provide consistency and solid play on both offense and defense, he should find himself a nice role in the Jackets rotation.
As long as there is no severe regression, Alston should be a depth/role player for the Jackets. He may not see time in every single game, but he should appear in at least 20-25 games at the least.