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Playing through contact: Josh Okogie can’t fix Georgia Tech’s offense, but he can still get buckets

Talk about a sight for sore eyes: Georgia Tech’s offense sputtered early this season without star wing Josh Okogie. In the eight games since Okogie returned to the lineup, the Yellow Jackets have still struggled to find offense, at times.

Georgia Tech still ranks outside the top 200 nationally in adjusted offensive efficiency, per KenPom; the team’s effective field goal percentage still hangs south of 48 percent. Only 27.1 percent of the team’s field goal attempts are of the three-point variety — No. 336 in the nation.

However, the return Okogie has at the least given Tech a go-to high-usage wing scorer. That’s what Okogie was billed as heading into the season; so far, he’s delivered along those lines.

 

Give Josh The Ball

Josh Okogie has used 28 percent of Georgia Tech’s possessions while on the floor this season, per Sports Reference. That’s a lot, but it’s only a modest gain over last season — 27.6 percent. The key, though, is how those possessions are being used.

As a freshman, Okogie was a low-turnover player: 12.4 percent. However, that’s dropped even further this season: 8.6 percent. Okogie is one of only five ACC players (200-plus minutes) with a usage rate above 25 percent and a turnover rate under 10 percent, according to Sports Reference. It’s good company, too:

  • Luke Maye
  • Kyle Guy
  • Joel Berry
  • Bonzie Colson

The key here: Okogie has finished more possessions by getting to the free throw line. The 6-foot-5 wing draw 6.2 fouls per 40 minutes — No. 107 in the nation, per KenPom. Despite playing in just eight games, Okogie ranks 14th in the ACC with 64 free throw attempts. He’s averaging 13.6 free throw attempts per 100 possessions.

According to Synergy Sports, Okogie ranks second in the ACC in points per possession out of the pick-and-roll: 1.14. He’s managed to do this despite shooting just 45.5 percent because he gets to the line a lot. 33.3 percent of Okogie’s pick-and-roll possessions have ended with him drawing a shooting foul — No. 1 in the ACC.

Okogie was monumental in two upset ACC wins: No. 15 Miami and Notre Dame. In both games, Okogie played 39 minutes, and went a combined 13-of-17 from the charity stripe. Against the Hurricanes, Okogie scored a game-high 30 points.

 

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