The highly touted freshman out of Orlando, Florida had an up-and-down first season with the program.
The highest touted recruit of the Josh Pastner era finished up his freshman season with the program last weekend when the Yellow Jackets lost to Notre Dame in the ACC Tournament. Devoe, a four-star, top-75 prospect out of Orlando, Florida had big things expected of him in his first season. In the end, it was an up-and-down season for Devoe that showed growing pains for the young guard but also showed some great promise. Below, we’ll break down three areas of Devoe’s game from his freshman season.
Devoe coming out of high school was known for being a great shooter and for the most part during his freshman season, Devoe looked pretty solid when it came to shooting. While his 40.1% shooting percentage was middle of the pack for the Yellow Jackets on the season, where he really shined was from beyond the arch.
It’s no secret the Yellow Jackets struggled mightily the last few seasons when it came to hitting threes and this year was no different. That being said, Devoe put in a quietly good season from three-point range. For the season, Devoe shot 39.3% from the perimeter making 42 of 107 shots, leading the team in three-point percentage. Senior guard Brandon Alston was just a few ticks behind Devoe at 38.9%. Devoe’s three-point success also put him in the top-10 of ACC shooters.
One place Devoe will need to improve in from year one to year two is at the free throw line but that could be said about most of the Jackets roster. Devoe for the season shot 71% from the charity stripe.
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Overall, Devoe for the season averaged 9.7 points per game, which ranked third on the team only behind Jose Alvarado and James Banks III. Like mentioned above, it was an up-and-down season for the true freshman and his game logs illustrate just that for most of the season. That being said, towards the end of the season, Devoe really appeared to be coming into his own, a good sign for the future. Through the Jackets last 11 games, Devoe had 7 double-digit efforts including a 22-point performance against then No.22 ranked Virginia Tech and a 20-point performance against Boston College.
As a guard and a point guard at times, Devoe’s ball security is incredibly important. As a freshman, Devoe averaged 2.2 turnovers per game which ranked second on the team only behind James Bank III’s 2.3 turnovers per game. For comparison, Jose Alvarado ranked third with 2.0 turnovers per game. The number worth knowing, however, is Devoe’s turnover percentage of 19.4% which is a little bit higher than you’d hope for. But he should see that number come down next season. For reference, Jose Alvarado as a true freshman had a turnover percentage of 18.5% and saw that percentage this past season drop to 14.0%.
But overall, Devoe’s ball security as a true freshman was pretty strong and it got better as the season went on. For the most part, his biggest struggles came against some of the country’s best teams including Tennessee, Duke, and Florida State (2x). With 19 turnovers against those three teams across four games. In 21 of 32 games, Devoe ended up having two turnovers or less including 10 games with one or no turnovers.
Defensively, Devoe was a middle of the pack player for the Yellow Jackets. For the season, he had a defensive rating of just over 100. He averaged 2.5 steals per 100 possessions and 6.0 rebounds per 100 possessions as well. Overall, both are quality numbers for a true freshman guard. According to defensive win share, Devoe was the Yellow Jackets third best defensive player for the 2018-19 season with a defensive win share of 1.6. That puts him only behind James Banks III (1.9) and Jose Alvarado (1.8). Altogether, thanks to his defense, he was a plus player in the box score as well, an average of 2.6 for the season, which ranks second best among all starters with 15 or more starts.
Overall Grade – B :
After taking into count each of these three areas, his overall improvement as the season went on, and other factors, we have awarded Devoe with a grade of a B. Overall, Devoe showed a tremendous improvement over the course of the season and by the end of the season was easily one of the Jackets best players. While he struggled at the short-and-medium range shooting at times, he was the Jackets best three-point shooter throughout the season and his defense was underrated for the most part. While neither he nor Jose Alvarado had the seasons they and many were expecting to enter the season, they should form a quality 1-2 punch at the guard position for the Jackets next season.