As Georgia Tech slumps, Michael Devoe’s scoring dipping

Georgia Tech guard Michael Devoe attempts a layup against Wake Forest Jan. 20, 2022 against Wake Forest at McCamish Pavilion. The Yellow Jackets lost 80-64. (Danny Karnik/Georgia Tech Athletics)

caption arrowCaption
Georgia Tech guard Michael Devoe attempts a layup against Wake Forest Jan. 20, 2022 against Wake Forest at McCamish Pavilion. The Yellow Jackets lost 80-64. (Danny Karnik/Georgia Tech Athletics)

Georgia Tech guard Michael Devoe’s scoring struggles continued Wednesday in the Yellow Jackets’ 80-64 home loss to Wake Forest.

ExploreShooting woes continue in loss to Demon Deacons

It is a credit to Devoe that he scored a game-high 22 points in a game that, after which, he acknowledged that he needed to shoot better. Devoe was 9-for-22 from the field. He was 2-for-8 from 3-point range, putting up attempts that were uncharacteristically well off the mark and appearing to pass up shots that he normally has taken in the past.

“Individually, for me, I’ve got to be better,” Devoe said. “I’ve got to shoot better, I’ve got to do other things better, I’ve got to be more of a leader. So a lot of it falls on me.”

Starting with the Jackets’ overtime win over Georgia State on Dec. 21, when the senior scored eight points on 2-for-11 shooting (1-for-8 from 3-point range), turned the ball over five times and fouled out for the first time since early in his sophomore season, Devoe has averaged 15.6 points per game. Again, for plenty of players at any level, averaging almost 16 points per game over a seven-game stretch might be a career highlight. Against Wake Forest, Devoe continued to find his points on drives to the basket and in transition chances.

ExploreThe AJC's complete coverage of Georgia Tech

But, it’s how it compares with his first nine games, not to mention Devoe’s history as an efficient scorer, that makes it notable.

Scoring (first nine games, past seven games): 22.4, 15.6

Field-goal percentage: 50.7%, 40.2%.

3-point field-goal percentage: 52.8%, 22.7%.

Free throws per game: 4.8, 3.1.

Turnovers per game: 2.3, 3.9.

Assists per game: 3.4, 2.3.

Shooting more than 50% from 3-point range would seem unsustainable. And, undoubtedly, the increased attention that defenses are paying to Devoe accounts for some of the drop, as does the raised level of competition as the Jackets are now in the thick of ACC play. Against North Carolina on Saturday, for instance, Tar Heels forward Leaky Black clung to Devoe and used his reach and quickness to limit him to a season-low two points on 1-for-5 shooting with a season-high six turnovers.

But it’s not all of it. Last season, for example, Devoe fared slightly better statistically against ACC competition than he did against non-conference opponents.

In that time, his rebounding and steal numbers are virtually unchanged, an indication that his effort and defense haven’t dipped.

But his frustration seems clear, and the Jackets could surely use a resurgence as their slide continues. Knowing his scoring capabilities, coach Josh Pastner wants Devoe to keep shooting.

“I’m like, Man, (if) you’ve got any space, any green light, you’ve got to let the ball go,” Pastner said Tuesday. “Don’t try to get an extra dribble or two to get in tighter margins. Let it fly.”

Daily Jackets: The AJC presents a daily look at one news item about Georgia Tech athletics to start your morning.

About the Author

Editors' Picks