Player of the Week

Michael Devoe, PG/SG, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

When you lose an ACC Player of the Year like Moses Wright and a fearless leader like Jose Alvarado, it is tough to bounce back the next season, especially if your team’s name is not Duke, North Carolina, or Virginia. Luckily for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, they have Michael Devoe. He has helped his team respond from a disappointing loss to Miami (OH) to open the season with three straight wins and catapulted the Jackets over in-state rival Georgia with 37 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists on Friday night.

The senior guard cannot seem to miss this season as he is shooting 59% from the field and a remarkable 13/20 (65%) from three-point range. Devoe is a true three-level scorer and his early season efforts are carrying the Yellow Jackets to relevance even without Wright and Alvarado. Keep an eye on Devoe as a sleeper for ACC Player of the Year and as a second-round sleeper this Summer.

Who’s Hot?

Wendell Moore, SG/SF, #5 Duke Blue Devils

Guess who is FINALLY living up to expectations in Durham. In his junior season, Moore is seeing more of the ball in his hands, and he has already posted a triple-double in just five games. He is showing off his slashing ability, which is also bringing out his best traits as a playmaker with so many stars around him.

Moore dropped 23 points in just 29 minutes against Lafayette this week and he did it efficiently on 9-14 shooting. He finally looks comfortable playing under Coach K and has an argument as his most important player in his most important season. Keep an eye on the junior star as he looks to sneak his way into the first round of the upcoming draft.

Dereon Seabron, SG/SF, NC State Wolfpack

Manny Bates was lost for the season in the first minute of the season for the Wolfpack. Many asked who is going to step up for Kevin Keatts? That question has been answered swiftly by 6’7 sophomore Dereon Seabron. The star guard is averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds in 5 games and he has only failed to post a double-double once this season.

Seabron is getting to the basket and the foul line at an absurd rate, averaging 7 free-throw attempts per game, but only making them at a 71% rate. He is also struggling from beyond the arc (11%), but he is still putting up crazy numbers without efficiency from these areas. If he can improve in these areas, Seabron will pull off some upsets single-handedly and work his way into draft discussion as only a sophomore. An underrated prospect who surely needs to be on scouts’ radars.

Who’s Not?

North Carolina Defense

The Tar Heels are struggling on the defensive end so far this season. You expect to give up some points when you play at the pace the Tar Heels play at, but 84 points per game is never ideal. Especially when Brown and Charleston averaged 85 on their own. Hubert Davis went winless in his first early season tournament as the Heels were humbled by Purdue and Tennessee on the weekend.

The good news is that Caleb Love seems to be living up to his freshman season hype in his sophomore campaign and the stretch-bigs who transferred into Chapel Hill, Brady Manek and Dawson Garcia, are adjusting well with big performances this weekend. With Michigan and UCLA on the December slate, the Heels will have to figure something out fast if they want to feel comfortable about an NCAA Tournament berth going into conference play.

Keve Aluma, SF/PF, Virginia Tech Hokies

While his numbers may not look bad at first glance, Aluma does not look like himself in the early part of this season. The most intriguing aspect of his game is his ability to dominate in the paint, but also step out and knock down three-pointers. So far this season, Aluma is 0-8 from beyond the arc and is down from over 15 PTS last season to 12 this season.

Additionally, he averaged 8 rebounds per game last season and that is also down to just over 4 per game in the early part of this season. The NIT Season Tip-Off provides an opportunity for a coming out party with Memphis and Xavier/Iowa State on the schedule, and the Hokies will need him to snap out of this funk if they are going to win these games this week.

Top 5 Games to be Thankful For

1. #1 Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. #% Duke Blue Devils, Fri. 11/26, 10:30 P.M

This game has the potential to be the game of the year and it isn’t even Gonzaga’s biggest game of the week. They will face off with #2 UCLA on Tuesday, but every scout in the NBA will be in attendance on Friday when Chet Holmgren goes up against Paolo Banchero in what could ultimately decide who is selected first in the 2022 NBA Draft. Clear you calendars Friday night and watch a potential National Championship preview with the Zags taking on the Blue Devils in Las Vegas.

2. #20 Michigan Wolverines at North Carolina Tar Heels, Wed. 12/1, 9:15 P.M.

While these teams are off to slow starts this season, this is still a fascinating matchup. They will face off for the 4th time in 5 years with the Wolverines winning the last two matchups handily. Armando Bacot versus Hunter Dickinson in the paint will be an awesome matchup with Caleb Love and Eli Brooks battling on the perimeter as well. Both teams need a win in a big way, which should bring out the best in both of them leaving us viewers the most satisfied.

3. #9 Memphis Tigers vs. Virginia Tech Hokies, Wed. 11/24, 9:30 P.M.

Youth versus experience. Top, young prospects versus experienced, college stars. The first true test for each team. This game has it all and in a neutral setting with a spot in a championship game on the line, this should be an awesome game. All eyes will be on Jalen Duren and Emoni Bates but former Wofford stars Storm Murphy and Keve Aluma, led by former Wofford coach Mike Young, will look to steal the spotlight early and often.

4. Florida State Seminoles at #3 Purdue Boilermakers, Tues. 11/30, 7 P.M.

This game pits two of the deepest teams and two of the tallest players, Zach Edey and Tanor Ngom, who stand at 7’4 and 7’2 respectively, against each other. We will also see two of the top coaches in the nation, Leonard Hamilton and Matt Painter, battling it out as well. It is tough to win in Mackey Arena, especially with Purdue as talented as they’ve ever been, but if anyone can pull it out it is Leonard Hamilton and the Seminoles.

5. Iowa Hawkeyes at Virginia Cavaliers, Mon. 11/29, 7 P.M.

This may not look so enticing from the outside, but the matchup of one of the most prolific offensive teams the last few years versus the always disruptive Virginia defense is a matchup that cannot be ignored. I love games that feature strength versus strength and this does exactly that. I cannot wait to see which philosophy comes out victorious in this underrated Big Ten-ACC Challenge matchup.

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