Less than 72 hours after arguably their best win of the season, the Georgia Tech basketball program took a severe hit on Thursday with the announced loss of one of their best players.
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
Sophomore big man Robert Carter, Jr. has been diagnosed with a meniscus tear that will sideline him indefinitely, and this is a significant blow to Tech’s front line. Carter, Jr. has been (easily) the best rebounder for the Jackets this season, averaging 9.3 boards per game in just over 26 minutes, and that type of prowess places him in the top-50 nationally among all qualified players.
In addition to his work on the glass, the sophomore from Thomasville is also the 2nd-leading shot blocker on the team (behind Daniel Miller) at 1.3 per game, and one of only 4 players averaging double-figures in points. The word “indefinitely” certainly brings all kinds of dangerous precedent, and anything having to do with a player’s knee is worrisome. On the semi-positive side, though, he hasn’t been ruled out for the season, and if there is an injury to the knee that is “preferable”, it’s probably the meniscus.
It’s going to be very interesting to see how Brian Gregory deals with this extended absence (my guess is a lot of Kammeon Holsey), but there is no pure replacement for the big-time value that Carter, Jr. has brought this season. The timing is also brutal for the Jackets, especially given that ACC play opens on Saturday against Maryland, and that is closely followed up by the most difficult game on the schedule on the road in Durham against Duke.
Stay tuned for updates, but expect to see a big hole in the middle for Georgia Tech for the foreseeable future.