THE FLATS – Georgia Tech’s basketball signing class grew to four Saturday when 6-9 forward Evan Cole of Cumming, Ga., signed a grant-in-aid to attend Tech and play for the Yellow Jackets, head coach Josh Pastner announced.
Cole, the Forsyth County player of the year and a three-time all-region performer on the 6A and 7A level, originally signed a letter-of-intent to attend UNC-Wilmington, but received a release when the Seahawks coach, Kevin Keatts, left the school to become the head coach at NC State.
“We’re excited that Evan will be joining the Georgia Tech basketball family,” said Pastner. “He’s highly skilled offensively, and at his size, he can shoot the ball, which helps open the floor for us with the way we like to play. He does some things that we don’t have on our current roster because of his athleticism, areas that we needed to get better at. He’s able to play some different positions on the floor. He’s more front-court, but he can be a hard match-up for teams trying to guard him. His best basketball is ahead of him, and we’ve got to do a good job developing him.”
The 230-pound Cole averaged 20 points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots per game as a senior for coach Scott Givens at South Forsyth High School, which made state playoff appearances in 2016 and 2017, the first back-to-back berths for the school since 2007-08. As a junior, he averaged 21 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks.
Cole finished his career No. 2 in career points at South Forsyth, despite missing 10 games his junior year, and No. 1 in blocked shots. He was named most valuable player in the GACA North-South All-Star Game following his senior year, hitting six three-point field goals and scoring 30 points with nine rebounds and four blocks.
Cole is somewhat of a Tech legacy. He is the stepson of former Yellow Jacket softball pitcher Jessica Sallinger Cole, a two-time All-American and three-time All-ACC performer from 2002-05. She was inducted into the Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame in 2015.
Cole will join 6-foot point guard Jose Alvarado, a three-star prospect from Christ the King High School in Brooklyn, N.Y., 6-6 wing Curtis Haywood II, a three-star sharpshooter from Yukon, Okla., by way of Brewster Academy in New Hampshire, and 6-8 forward Moses Wright from William G. Enloe High School in Raleigh, N.C., in the Yellow Jackets’ 2017-18 freshman class.
Pastner’s 2016-17 squad, which went 21-16 and advanced to the championship game of the National Invitation Tournament, lost six seniors but returns its top three scorers – 6-4 sophomore guard Josh Okogie (Snellville, Ga.), 6-2 senior guard Tadric Jackson (Tifton, Ga.) and 6-10 senior center Ben Lammers (San Antonio, Texas).
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH MEN’S BASKETBALL
Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team has completed its first year under head coach Josh Pastner by advancing to the championship game of the NIT and finishing with a 21-16 record. Tech has been a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1979, won three ACC Championships (1985, 1990, 1993), played in the NCAA Tournament 16 times and played in two Final Fours (1990, 2004). Connect with Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball on social media by liking their Facebook Page, or following on Twitter (@GTMBB) and Instagram.