Today’s Georgia Tech basketball 2020-21 player previews takes a look at four players, two of them entering the season with likely reserve roles and two entering their first year with the program with a great deal of potential.
No.13 G Coleman Boyd (SO)
A walk-on sophomore, Boyd appeared in four games for the Yellow Jackets last season as a true freshman. In those four games, Boyd scored five points while adding on a pair of assists and a single steal on his stat sheet. In 2020-21, Boyd will once again be a deep bench option for the Yellow Jackets and probably won’t see much playing time, and likely appearing in just a handful of games over the season.
No.14 F David Didenko (JR)
A junior college transfer out of Palm Beach State College in Boca Rotan, Florida; Didenko is entering his second season with the Yellow Jackets. Last season, Didenko played in just seven games and totaled 41 minutes. His performance during his limited playing time was not great by any means. Didenko shot just 27.27% from the floor on the season, though it was a small sample size of just 3-for-11. Notably, 10 of his 11 field goal attempts came from beyond the arc, where he shot 30%. He also totaled eight rebounds on the season.
Didenko’s playing time will solely rely on his ability to shoot the ball. After struggling his last season at Palm Beach State, he struggled in his first season with the Yellow Jackets. It’s hard to see him getting a ton of playing time this season but if he can show progress when it comes to his shooting, he could play his way into more minutes.
No.23 F Jordan Meka (FR)
A member of the Yellow Jackets 2020 recruiting class, the incoming freshman was a three-star recruit out of Mt. Bethel Christian Academy (the same as Cameron Boyd) and was rated a top-250 recruit nationally, a top-50 center in the country, and a top-15 player in the state of Georgia.
At 6-foot-8 and 224-pound, Meka brings some much-needed size to the Yellow Jackets roster and will be in for some quality playing time as a true freshman this season. Meka had a tremendous career at Mt. Bethel Christian Academy and comes to Georgia Tech as a player who is expected to make an impact on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. It’s hard to say right now what his exact role will be with the Yellow Jackets but will most definitely have the opportunity to play quite a bit early and could see those minutes grow quickly if he gets off to a fast start in his career.
No.24 F Rodney Howard (SO)
A transfer from UGA, Howard is entering his first year with the Yellow Jackets with immediate eligibility and three years left to play in his collegiate career. With the Bulldogs last season, Howard played in 24 games and made two starts in the process while averaging 7.3 minutes per contest.
Howard didn’t take a ton of shots while on the floor with just 23 attempts but made 13 of those 23 shots (56.5%). However, the most impressive part of Howard’s game is his defensive abilities. Despite playing just seven minutes per game and playing in just 23 games, Howard was second on the Bulldogs last year in blocks with 15. That would’ve been good enough for third on the Yellow Jackets behind James Banks (76) and Moses Wright (35).
For the Yellow Jackets, Howard is likely to play the center position, as he enters the season as the Jackets’ second tallest player at 6-foot-10. The only player taller is freshman Saba Gigiberia who stands at 7-foot-1. While his official position on the Georgia Tech men’s basketball roster is forward/center, it seems likely he’d play more center than forward with the lack of depth at the position.
Howard enters his career at Tech as someone who has tremendous potential on both sides of the ball and could develop into quite the player for the program. The Yellow Jackets over the last several years have had a run of strong center play and Howard could be the next in line.