As we continue through the list we have our second program with multiple players. North Carolina State already has a trio, we are now going to talk the other half of the Georgia Tech starting back court, at #16 is junior point guard Jose Alvarado
One of the largest personalities in the conference, Alvarado is must see tv when it’s a big game. This is the kid that told Carmelo Anthony that NYC “is my city” while in High School. He bounced a ball off of Jalen Lecque’s face in a game before going by him for a layup. He went through Joel Berry, and then stepped over him on his way to the FT line…in the Dean Dome. He is a junk yard dog whether he is down 20, or up by 5 with two minutes to go. Few players are more respected by pundits around the country than Jose Alvarado.
If there is a concern, it’s that Jose has also been hampered by injuries since late in his freshman season. Whether it’s been an elbow, an ankle, the flu, or some other wear and tear, he just can’t seem to stay at 100%. That could change this year with VMI transfer Bubba Parham receiving a waiver yesterday. Alvarado is still going to receive 30 minutes of run, but the fall off will hopefully be less extreme for the Jackets. In 56 career games, he has averaged 34.5 minutes per game, Coach Josh Pastner tried to keep Jose fresh last season by putting the ball in Mike Devoe’s hands, but Jose is a player that needs the ball in order to be effective. I think you will see that adjustment this season.
While Alvarado’s points per game increased slightly as a sophomore, his percentages took a dip across the board. Even with the regression, Jose still averaged 12.5 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 1.8 steals per game. He has ranked in the top ten in both steals per game and steal percentage during both his seasons in Atlanta.
When I watched Jose play in Spain last month he looked fresh, he looked confident and the jumper looked like it did during his freshman season when he shot 37% from behind the arc. Last season, lower body injuries caused that percentage drop to below 29%. Now, I am not sure Jose is a 37% shooter from deep, but I know he isn’t a 28.6% shooter from three. Somewhere around 34-35% feels correct.
Georgia Tech is primed to punch a dance card this year for the first time since 2010, Alvarado’s health will be paramount to that effort. The immediate eligibility of Parham is a huge part of keeping Jose fresh and healthy for the duration of the season. Jose shouldn’t have to be relied upon to score as much as orchestrate this season, which is where he excels. Expect a regression to the mean with his percentages, and as his efficiency increases, so will Georgia Tech’s chances at success.