Fall 2020 Scouting Report
Skill & Craft
Mike Devoe is a highly-skilled and crafty guard. A highly reliable shooter off the catch, he had a 64.3 effective field goal percentage on spot-up – no dribble jump shots in his first two seasons at Georgia Tech, according to Synergy Sports. This places him among the best shooters in the country with his feet set. Devoe does a terrific job maximizing this skill by using extremely potent shot fakes and head fakes to get defenders off balance and drive to the rim. He is one of the craftiest attackers in the country, understanding how to time his dribbles and use body angles to get defenders off balance.
He loves to rise off his back foot, catching defenders off guard and mistiming his attempts to get his shots over defenders. With great control of the ball, balance, and coordination, Devoe is one of the more underrated basket finishers in the country. His deceptive dribble drives not only lead to his finishes at the rim but also create open jump shots and opportunities for cuts for his teammates. Despite not being known as a high-level run and jump athlete, he made 46-88 shots at the rim out of isolation, pick-n-roll, and spot-up situations last year, according to Synergy Sports which is quite an impressive combination of volume and efficiency as a driver. He was one of just 10 players in all of division one to attempt at least 20 shots at the rim when driving left out of isolation.
Of course, being a left-handed player gives Devoe some advantage in this particular situation but it shows how capable he is at attacking the rim. Besides finishing at the basket, he also did a very good job drawing contact, as exemplified by his strong free throw rate throughout his Georgia Tech career so far, made more impressive by the volume of his three-point attempts.
In general, his deadly catch and shoot jump shot, head fakes, understanding of timing and hesitations on his dribbles, and use of body angles as a finisher all add up to an extremely dangerous scoring package. However, this isn’t Devoe’s only utility on the offensive end. As alluded to earlier, he is also a capable playmaker who knows how to set up teammates in a variety of situations and has a large number of passes that he comfortably executes. Some of his best moments as a player come when he is given the keys to the offense and can use his handle and vision to create passing lanes and set up open teammates.
He is excellent at seeing cutters on the baseline and setting them up with perfectly timed bounce passes. He also likes to use wrap around and shuffle passes to find big men open at the dunker spots after drawing help defenders. Devoe also shows the ability to hit shooters on time and target with a kick out and skip passes and generally shows the ability to take on a full-time role as a point guard. Listed at 6’5, Devoe has spent his Georgia Tech career playing alongside the talented Jose Alvarado and his high school career next to Andrew Nembhard.
This hasn’t always allowed Devoe to display the full extent of his skills as an offensive initiator and play creator. However, playing on the South Beach AAU team back in 2017, Devoe was the lead guard and used his body, footwork, and court vision to consistently create advantages against opposing defenders. To this day, it was Devoe’s most impressive stretch of play. If he is allowed to show some of those skills during this coming college season, perhaps he can further his status on NBA Draft big boards and mocks.
Devoe is also an intelligent, effective defender. He has very good technique and does an excellent job mirroring his opponents. He positions himself well at the point of attack, fighting over screens and staying in between his man and the rim. He also has quick, active hands. Devoe uses these strengths to strip ball handlers and quickly react to shot attempts. Devoe is relatively often able to block and contest shots as the on-ball defender. He uses his wide body well defensively, both on the ball and in help defense. Rotating over to help discourage drives and to take away easy opportunities.
Overall, Devoe is an intelligent defender, with a pristine understanding of fundamentals and of his positioning within Tech’s scheme. He often took on some of the more difficult perimeter assignments on opposing teams and held his own amongst a variety of top NCAA players. His combination of effective on-ball defense, ability to create deflections and other defensive events, and understanding of his role in the scheme made him one of the more valuable defenders for one of the most underrated defensive teams in the country last year. As a slower-paced team, lacking the big names and flashy style of other high major schools, the Yellow Jackets did not get a lot of publicity last season. However, they finished as the 16th best defense in the country last season according to kenpom.com. Devoe contributed more than his fair share to that success.
Room for Improvement
While Devoe can use crafty hesitations, change of speed, and timing to be a successful finisher at the college level, a lot of those crafty plays will not be as effective against older professionals. He is not a very gifted leaper – does not rise quickly off the ground, nor plays with great hangtime above the rim. This means that to translate his game to the NBA, Devoe will need to be elite when it comes to his level of skill and craft. No doubt, he is already very good in these categories but further development can be achieved. Likely starting with his ability to go to his off-hand.
Currently, Devoe lacks comfort going right and often prefers to shoot across his body with his stronger left hand when he does. His jump shot from a standstill, with his feet set, is highly effective but his shooting off the dribble and off movement can use some work. While he has shot a respectable 42.5 eFG% on pull-ups over his Georgia Tech career so far, he rarely takes these shots, only showing comfort in certain situations and under particular circumstances. This will be scouted by NBA opponents and will cause further difficulty for his drives, as players will play off him once he puts it on the floor and expect him to drive to the rim.
Devoe’s most likely role at the next level as an off-ball player, who can defend both guard positions. However, to make up for his lack of dynamic athleticism, Devoe will likely need to be able to hit shots running off pin downs and other screens, something he rarely did at Georgia Tech. Devoe seems most comfortable lining up with one foot in front of the other on the catch, with his body almost perpendicular to both baselines. This specificity makes his shot prep difficult to replicate quickly, on the move, and takes away from a certain magnitude of options available to him as an offensive weapon. His lack of athletic ability and physical talent is cause for concern on the defensive end and some scouts wonder whether Devoe has the quick twitch ability to stick with smaller guards and the size to bother bigger ones.