Jose Alvarado’s sophomore season with the Georgia Tech basketball program had his fair share of ups and downs as he was viewed as the Jackets top scoring option.
Entering this season, Georgia Tech sophomore Jose Alvarado had plenty of pressure on his shoulders. The Jackets in the offseason had to deal with several key departures and in the process, Jose Alvarado became the Jackets top scoring option to enter the season.
As a freshman, Alvarado looked like a potential All-ACC point guard in the future. He averaged 12.1 points as a freshman with a .448 shooting percentage including .370 from beyond the arch. It was expected that he would continue that success entering his sophomore season, if not grow upon those numbers.
That being said, the season definitely did not go to plan for Alvarado. He struggled at times in his sophomore season including going through an extensive sophomore slump. Though towards the end of the season, Alvarado began to look more like his old self for sure.
Overall, Alvarado averaged 12.5 points per game as a sophomore and had 20 games of double-digit efforts. What that means is outside of his extensive struggles just after the midseason, Alvarado was a pretty consistent and strong scorer for the Jackets.
As we’ve mentioned above, Alvarado had an up-and-down season offensively. For the season, he shot .392 from the field including .286 from long range. Both numbers were away below his freshman numbers that we posted below. That being said, Alvarado’s six-game stretch from January 26th to February 13th, really played a big role in those stats. During that streak, Alvarado shot .169 from the field and .118 from beyond the perimeter. You can read more on his struggles here. Now outside those struggles, Alvarado shot .438 from the field, just a tenth of a percent below his freshman shooting percentage. That’s how big of a role Alvarado’s slump played in his season numbers.
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Once Alvarado returned from his slump, averaging 16.1 points per game over the Jackets last seven games. He did, however, have a poor performance in the Jackets lost to Notre Dame in the ACC conference tournament with just three points.
As a point guard, Alvarado, of course, is responsible for dishing the rock around. This season, Alvarado averaged 3.4 assists per game, slightly above his freshman average of 3.1 assists per game. That being said, despite there not being a huge statistical difference, it’s a safe assumption that the Jackets offense this year was way worse than last year’s offense from top to bottom which could’ve have played a role in Alvarado’s assist numbers.
When it comes to Alvarado’s advanced statistics, they are hindered once again by his slump. That being said, over a complete season, Alvarado had an offensive rating of 100.3 which was 8 points lower than his freshman rating of 108.4. That’s despite his usage rating rising by four percent. Additionally, Alvarado did see a rise in his assist percentage as it rose from 18.6% to 21.4% which despite his average per game dropping shows that the Jackets offensive struggles played a big part in that number. Another positive sign offensively from this season was the fact his turnover percentage dropped from 18.5%, all the way down to 14.0%. Overall, Alvarado’s offensive win share did drop from 1.3 as a freshman to 1.0 this season, he also saw his offensive box plus/minus drop from 3.2 to 2.3.
Overall, Alvarado’s offensive season needs to be taken in stride. In reality, a six-game stretch pretty much drastically changed Alvarado’s statistics for his sophomore season and in reality the perception around him this season. Outside that six-game stretch, Alvarado pretty much lived up to the expectations that surrounded him and probably couldn’t have played much better. He should be in for a great junior season.
We talked about Alvarado’s offense and now it’s time to take a view at his defense. This season, Alvarado improved upon his freshman showing defensively. His defensive rating dropped from 104.3 to 99.3, ranking him among the Jackets best defenders.
While he didn’t see any huge spikes in his defensive numbers such as steals and blocks, his overall ability to guard opposing guards was noticeable on the court. It was strong enough for him to see his defensive win share go from 1.1 as a freshman to 1.8 as a sophomore.
Overall, the stats won’t say much for Alvarado. While he wasn’t tremendous defensively, he was better than average. He played strong defensively for most of the season and was a huge part of the Jackets defensive success at times.
We’ve said above and we’ll say it again. Alvarado’s six-game stretch of struggles really changed the dynamic of his season overall. Overall, Alvarado, for the most part, lived up to expectations for the Yellow Jackets. He carried the offense a ton and he played strong enough for the Jackets to have quality success on defense. Now, if the Jackets want to have more success next season, Alvarado will need to take a huge step in his development entering next season. For the Jackets to be competitive, he’ll need to average probably around 15.0 points per game. Till next season, it will be a waiting game to see if Alvarado can take that next step developmentally.