Coming into the 2013-2014 college basketball season, Georgia Tech was a fashionable NCAA Tournament “sleeper” out of the ACC. On Thursday, the prospects of that type of run from the Yellow Jackets took a big step back.
Breaking: @GTBrianGregory told media today that Robert Carter Jr has meniscus tear and is out indefinitely. Happened in Charlotte game.
— GT Men’s Basketball (@GTMBK) January 2, 2014
Georgia Tech announced (via their official Twitter) that leading rebounder Robert Carter, Jr. will be sidelined indefinitely as a result of a meniscus tear in his knee. This is a huge blow for the Jackets given that Carter, Jr. is their leading rebounder at 9.3 boards per game, and he is the only real double-double candidate on a team that is about to enter ACC conference play on Saturday.
The 6-foot-8 sophomore places in the top-50 nationally among qualified players in rebounding, and he has managed to put up that type of production in under 27 minutes per game. For the most part, Tech has been a guard-driven team offensively, but Carter, Jr. has stumbled into double-digits in scoring based largely on putbacks and “bunnies”, and that is difficult to replace in the short term.
At 9-4 with two quality wins (Illinois at home, Charlotte on the road), the Jackets probably just need to be an above .500 team in the ACC to make a quality NCAA Tournament case, but this injury damages that bid, and it’s an uphill battle for Brian Gregory and company.