Full-court Press with Josh Okogie

Photo by Sara Schmitt

While the spotlight for Tech men’s basketball is mainly on coach Josh Pastner in his first season for the Jackets, some players are quietly having great seasons.

One such player is talented freshman guard Josh Okogie. Okogie, who attended Shiloh High School in Snellville, Ga., was rated a three-star prospect coming into college and is one of the top players in the state.

So far at Tech, he has kept performing at the level he displayed in high school. He is the second leading scorer on the team, averaging 14.1 points per game. Furthermore, when it rains for Josh, it pours. In Tech’s big wins, Okogie is usually the leading scorer; in the game against North Carolina, Okogie led the team with 26 points.

Additionally, Okogie has posted the most points in a game out of any Tech player this season with his 38 points against Tulane.

Technique: What has it been like adjusting to life at Tech?

Okogie: My first semester in the fall was really easy because I came here in the summer. But when I first got here it was kind of hard, you know, staying awake in class because classes were two hours in the summer. Then, dealing with practice, weight room — at first it was kind of difficult to manage everything, but as time went on I adjusted really quickly.

I had to grow up really fast, and I think that was the biggest adjustment for me, growing up really fast — taking it into my head that a lot of things are required from me. Nobody has time for me to be like, “Oh I’m just a freshman, so I can make mistakes.” I had to learn real quick.

Technique: You play in what is arguably the toughest conference in college basketball, so what do you think of ACC basketball so far?

Okogie: It’s exactly everything I thought it would be. It’s exciting and fun, this is why I came here. I’m just having fun with it and really enjoying this moment right now.

Technique: Since you’re just a freshman, what do you think you have to improve on for the future?

Okogie: As far as for the future, just decision making. When to attack, when not to attack. When to create plays for myself, when to create plays for others. I think that’s the biggest thing I need to work on.

Technique: There have been lots of ups and downs so far. As a team, what do you think you guys need to improve upon to be consistently competitive as the season wears on?

Okogie: As a team, just shooting. You know, every night isn’t going to be our night. Everybody can’t be hot every night, but I feel like there’s some nights where shooting can really help us and I feel like as a team we need to get better at shooting.

Technique: Where do you see yourself and the team at the end of the season?

Okogie: As far as this year, I see us in the tournament. I really feel like we still have a chance to shock some people and actually make a run and get
into the tournament.

Technique: Coach Pastner has really been dedicated to getting more fans for the team, so is there anything you want to say directly to students and fans of Tech

Okogie: The only thing I want to say to the fans is that we need a lot more support at our home games. I know they’ve been great so far, but we need more packed houses like the one for Georgia.

They were great at other games like North Carolina, [and at] Louisville they were alright, but [we need] consistency because we feed off of their energy.

Note: Tech’s highest home attendance this year was UNC at 7,754 attendees. The average for home games this year has been 5,518, according to ramblinwreck.com. McCamish Pavilion seats 8,600.