Georgia Tech Basketball: Player previews – #5 G Josh Okogie

DURHAM, NC - JANUARY 04: Jayson Tatum
DURHAM, NC - JANUARY 04: Jayson Tatum /

Next up in our 2017 Georgia Tech basketball player previews is sophomore sensation #5, guard Josh Okogie.

Last season, it can be argued that there was not one freshman in the country that had a bigger impact on his team than Georgia Tech basketball‘s own Josh Okogie.

While he didn’t receive the attention of a top NBA prospect, Okogie was without a doubt one of the best freshmen in the country. He also played in arguably the best conference in college basketball, making his freshman campaign all the more impressive.

In his freshman season, Okogie averaged 16.1 points per game to go along with 5.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists a game. His 16.1 points per game ranked first on the team and was one of the best single-season averages by a freshman in the history of the program.

Not a highly recruited player coming out of high school, Okogie was considered a three-star prospect and the 192nd best recruit in the nation. Once he arrived at Tech however, Okogie performed like a five-star recruit.

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For the season, Okogie shot at a .453/.429/.740 clip. His true shooting percentage was .574 while his effective field goal percentage was .517. Overall, his player efficiency rating was 20.6 which ranked second on the team only behind Ben Lammers rating of 20.7. His 596 total points ranked third among freshman last season in the country.

A majority of Okogie’s shots last season came from close and mid-range as he commonly shied away from shots beyond the arch. The Snellville, Georgia native ended up taking just 73 three-point attempts last season while attempting a total of 428 shots on the season. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Okogie try to take advantage of more wide open looks from long distance early this season in order to get into a groove. If he can’t find a three-point shot, it narrowly limits his offensive potential both in the college and professional ranks.

That being said, even if Okgoie decides not to shoot more from downtown in 2017-18, he still should get a solid chance in raising his numbers and takin more overall shots. With Quinten Stephens and Corey Hayward both gone, a total usage percentage of 24.7% is there for the taking. While it will be taken and split between a contingent of players, Okogie will be one of the players with the ability to take the highest percentage of that usage.

As one of the Yellow Jackets best players, the ball should flow through him and Ben Lammers, which will allow other Jackets on the court to get open looks. Don’t be surprised if Okogie’s usage rate is above 30% this season.

In 2017-18, no player will have more of an impact on the team than Okogie. If the Jackets hope to go dancing this March for the first time since 2009, Okogie will play a major part in doing so. While the Jackets brought in a few talented freshman who are able to score and still have Ben Lammers and Tadric Jackson on the team, Okogie will remain the Jacket top scoring threat and could potentially be a 20+ point per game player this season.

A second strong season from Okogie could potentially get him selected in next year’s NBA Draft. Currently, has Okogie as a second-round draft pick in next year’s draft. Okogie will try to become the first Yellow Jacket since Iman Shumpert in 2011 to be drafted in the first round.