ATLANTA (March 26, 2021) – The Atlanta Tipoff Club announced today the 2021 Georgia Men’s and Women’s College Players and Coaches of the Year award winners. The honorees are:

Georgia Women’s College Player of the Year

Lorela Cubaj, Georgia Institute of Technology

  • Named ACC Co-Defensive Player of the Year; the first in Georgia Tech women’s basketball history
  • Named All-ACC First Team and All-Defensive Team
  • Averaged a double-double (12.4 points, 11.7 rebounds per game)
  • Led the team in blocks (34) and was 9th in the ACC during regular season
  • Nationally, ranked 11th in rebounds and 7th in defensive rebounds per game

Georgia Men’s Co-College Player of the Year

Jose Alvarado, Georgia Institute of Technology

  • Led the ACC in steals this season at 2.85 per game, and finished his career in third place all-time at Tech with 226 and 20th place in the ACC
  • Named 2nd team All-ACC
  • Named to the All-ACC Tournament first team after leading the Jackets to the conference tournament championship
  • Ranked among the ACC’s top 10 in scoring (15.2 ppg), field goal percentage (.504), free throw percentage (No. 1 at .838), assists (4.1) and assist/turnover ratio (2.00)
  • Named ACC Defensive Player of the Year

Georgia Men’s Co-College Player of the Year

Moses Wright, Georgia Institute of Technology

  • Averaged 17.4 points, 8.0 rebounds, 53.2% field goal percentage, 2.3 assists and 1.6 blocks per game
  • Led the Jackets in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots
  • Was among the top eight in the ACC in scoring average (third, 17.4 ppg), rebound average (third, 8.04 rpg), field goal percentage (third, 53.2%), steals (eighth, 1.48 pg), blocked shots (sixth, 1.64 per game), offensive rebounds (third, 3.16 rpg) and minutes played (fifth, 35.32 mpg)
  • Named ACC Player of the Year; the first Yellow Jacket to earn the honor since Dennis Scott in 1990
  • Named to the ACC All-Defensive Team

Whack Hyder Georgia Women’s College Coach of the Year

Joni Taylor, University of Georgia

  • Named women’s basketball SEC Coach of the Year
  • Led Georgia to the SEC Championship game for the first time since 2004, after defeating No. 17 Kentucky and No. 2 Texas A&M
  • Finished 4th in the regular season standings after being selected No. 9 in the preseason
  • Defeated five Top-25 opponents, including a sweep of Tennessee for the first time since 1985
  • The Lady Bulldogs began the NCAA Tournament as the No. 3 seed in the Alamo Region

Whack Hyder Georgia Men’s College Coach of the Year

Josh Pastner, Georgia Institute of Technology

  • Led the Jackets to the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament championship, their fourth in program history and first since 1993, after finishing fourth in the regular season
  • Earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in his tenure on the Flats, and first time for the program since 2010
  • Tech’s 11 ACC regular-season wins this season matched its 2019-20 total, and its 11-6 mark by percentage (61.1 pct.) is the fourth-best in team history
  • The 22 conference wins over the last two seasons are the most for the program over a two-year span
  • Tech’s 17-9 record marks its highest winning percentage for a season since the 2004 Final Four team (28-10)

“Despite the challenges of this season, we witnessed tremendous college basketball in the state of Georgia once teams took to the court, culminating in championships and postseason tournament berths,” said Eric Oberman, executive director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. “The contributions that these winners have made to their teams are results of hard work and determination, and a drive for excellence.  We are incredibly proud to honor these athletes and coaches for their amazing accomplishments this season.”


Founded during the 1956-57 season, the Atlanta Tipoff Club is committed to promoting the game of basketball and recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of those who make the game so exciting. The Atlanta Tipoff Club administers the Naismith Awards, the most prestigious national honors in all of college and high school basketball. Named in honor of Dr. James Naismith, inventor of the game of basketball, the family of Naismith Awards annually recognizes the most outstanding men’s and women’s college and high school basketball players and coaches. Other Naismith Awards are presented to the men’s and women’s college basketball defensive players of the year, as well as lifetime achievement awards to basketball officials and outstanding contributors to the game. UCLA’s Lew Alcindor received the first Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy in 1969, while the late Anne Donovan (Old Dominion) was the inaugural women’s recipient in 1983. Corporate partners of the Naismith Awards include Jersey Mike’s and Werner Ladder.


Media Contact:

Traci Messier

Jackson Spalding for the Atlanta Tipoff Club

[email protected]