With the departure of rising junior guard Curtis Haywood II, the Georgia Tech basketball program is left with just three scholarship guards for the 2019-20 season.
For some, Curtis Haywood II’s transfer from the program was a bit of a shock. After all, the sophomore had just played 29 games for the Jackets in the 2018-19 season including 19 start. While we can’t speak for those inside the program, for most people, it had to come as a shock. That being said, for the Jackets the departure leaves them in a tough situation at guard.
Entering next season, the Jackets have just thre scholarship guards on the roster for 2019-20 meaning that they’ll be just an injury or two away from a potential disaster at the position. The four guards left for the 2019-20 season right now are;
- #10 Jose Alvarado – JR
- #0 Michael Devoe – SO
- #2 Shembari Phillips – SR
#10 Jose Alvarado – JR
Alvarado will be entering his junior season in 2019-20 and will be looking to take the next step in his development. This past season, Alvarado at times looked ready to take that next step in his development and become one of the better guards in the ACC. At other times, Alvarado looked simply lost and couldn’t buy himself a basket. Alvarado is going to be the undeniable team leader next season and if the Jackets are going to be competitive, he’ll need to step up his game a notch and probably will need to be around the 15 points per game mark. If he can’t do it, then the Jackets will need to turn to the next guard for that production.
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#0 Michael Devoe – SO
Devoe as a true freshman put together a quality showing. He averaged 9.7 points and really came into his own as the season went on. He may not have had the impact that some would’ve liked but overall, you couldn’t ask for much more out of the true freshman, especially on an offensively challenged team. As he enters his sophomore season, Devoe will need to become more consistent and it will be interesting to see if he will begin to take more threes next season after shooting 39% this past season from beyond the arch. Devoe will start the season as the Jackets No.2 scoring option in all liklihood and will see most of his time at shooting guard. If all goes well, it wouldn’t be shocking to see him develop into the Jackets top scoring option by the time non-conference play roles around next season.
#2 Shembari Phillips – SR
The Tennessee transfer will be entering his senior season next season and his second season with the program. This season, Phillips played in 20 games for the Jackets and started just under half of those with 8 starts. It was an offensive struggle however for Phillips as he averaged just 2.1 points per game over 11.1 minutes per game. He struggled shooting pretty much from everyone except the free throw line but only had nine attempts on the season. Overall, it’s hard to say what the Jackets have in Phillips. During his Tennessee days, Phillips looked like a potential quality bench option or rotational player for the Jackets. This season, however, he struggled mightily and it had to hurt his confidence. Both himself and the Jackets as a program will need Phillips to take a big leap heading into his senior year.
Those are the Jackets three scholarship options at guard right now. That being said, the Jackets do have two non-schoalrship options at guard on the roster heading into next season for now. They have 6-foot-5 senior Shaheed Medlock and 6-foot-0 sophomore Malachi Rice. Neither player has seen extensive playing time in their careers and both saw just two minutes on the court this season.
Additionally, the Jackets will be adding transfer Joran Usher to the program. Coming out of high school, Usher was considered a shooting guard but since announcing his transfer into the Tech program, he’s been referred to as a forward. We’ll see if the Josh Pastner decides to use User in a variety of positions next season or if they’ll keep him at forward. Either way, Usher will not be eligible to play for the Jackets until the spring of next season.