Georgia Tech roster features ACC’s most exciting rookie


Josh Okogie arrived at Georgia Tech earlier this year with little fanfare compared to some of the ACC’s higher-profile freshmen. In the early going this season, though, Okogie has been outperforming almost all of them, emerging as the league’s biggest freshman surprise.

One of three Georgia Tech players to start each of the team’s first nine games (the others are junior Ben Lammers and senior Quinton Stephens), Okogie is a strong early candidate for the All-ACC Freshman team.

At 15.3 points per game, Okogie is second, behind only NC State’s Dennis Smith Jr., in scoring average among ACC freshmen. Only Lammers is averaging more than Okogie among Yellow Jacket players.

Okogie had one for the record books against Tulane on Nov. 26 as his 38 points established a new freshman scoring mark for the Yellow Jacket program. The Georgia Tech newcomer has recorded double-digit scoring performances in seven of his first nine games with the Yellow Jackets.

In addition, Okogie is leading Georgia Tech in steals, and he’s fourth in rebounds, grabbing 3.8 boards an outing.

The biggest knock on Okogie through the first third of his freshman season is that he’s been taking a lot of shots to get his points. Okogie easily leads Georgia Tech in shot attempts, averaging more than 12 per contest. He’s making 40 percent of his attempts from the floor, including 31.6 percent from three-point range.

Okogie has been inconsistent shooting at times, particularly against some of the tougher teams Georgia Tech has played. He was just 2-of-13 in a loss to Ohio, 5-of-21 in a loss at Penn State, 3-of-9 in a loss at Tennessee and made just one of four shot attempts for three points in an overtime victory over VCU.

Okogie has also had some problems at the free-throw line as he went into Georgia Tech’s Dec. 18 contest against Alcorn State shooting just 68 percent. He sank all eight of his free throws in that particular game, however, improving his average to 72.4 percent.

First-year head coach Josh Pastner will look for Okogie to continue improving at the free-throw line, as well as with his overall shooting, as he continues to make the most of his breakthrough freshman season.