Posted: 3:21 pm Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Time on bench ‘good experience’ for Carter 

By Ken Sugiura

Robert Carter, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, college basketball

Robert Carter had surgery on his knee on Jan. 7.

Georgia Tech forward Robert Carter has not played the last nine games due to his torn meniscus, but when he returns, he may be a different player than when he last took the court. Different as in better.

Carter, whom coach Brian Gregory said is possible to play Tuesday at Clemson and probable for Saturday’s game against Virginia, has been paying close attention during his convalescence to what’s been going on the floor without him.

“It’s been amazing how much you can just see, how much you can’t really understand why people wouldn’t do certain things on the floor,” Carter said. “I know I’m not going to be perfect when I get back, but I’m just going to try to make my mistakes that I made before just minimized as much as I can.”

During his time on the bench, Carter has been anything but a passive spectator. He has been involved, shouting out encouragement and instruction to teammates on the floor and standing up and cheering.

“I hear him all the time,” forward Marcus Georges-Hunt said. “Even in timeouts, he comes up to me and he’s yelling.”

Said Gregory, “You never want a kid to go through it, but sometimes it’s really goodfor a guy to play and have it taken away and understand that it can be taken away. That’s No. 1. No. 2, he steps back, there’s no ego, there’s no playing time, there’s no points, there’s no nothing and he starts looking at the game a little differently. He starts looking at what the coaches are saying a little differently. How our players are responding a little differently. I think it cah help guys grow up a little bit and become really good leaders. Hopefuly both him and Travis (Jorgenson, out for the year with a torn ACL) can gain a lot.”

It perhaps should not be noteworthy that an injured teammate is so engaged, but it is. Players like Carter have been coddled and told how special they are since middle school and perhaps earlier, so for someone of Carter’s stature to be as team-first as he has been is, for better or worse, noticeable.

“I hate sitting out,” he said. “This whole thing’s been a good experience. I’ve learned a lot from sitting out, but I’ve never sat out before. It hurts me every time I see a ball go up and my teammates are out there battling I can’t help them. They’re a good team – they can play – but I would just like to help them as much as I can.”

After Carter’s surgery Jan. 7, Gregory estimated Carter’s chance to return before the end of the season as “very doubtful,” but he sped up the process with his rehab workouts, mostly strengthening the leg muscles around the knee. He took part in about half of the team’s Friday practice, had a strenuous workout at Wake Forest and then was to practice with the team Monday in advance of Tuesday’s game.

Gregory said Carter will be on a “pitch count” at first as trainers determine what his threshold is.

Said Gregory, “And he’s got to realize it’s going to take him, I don’t know, two, three, four games to get comfortable again out there playing and so forth. So he’ll be limited.”

A couple of takeaways from Saturday’s Wake Forest game. (I was in the process of posting it Monday afternoon just as I was about to leave for Tech and learn about Solomon Poole’s dismissal and Carter’s impending return, but something weird happened with it and it froze up, so I never posted it and now it all seems a bit dated.)

1. Chris Bolden had valuable contributions. The sophomore guard pitched in with 12 points and five rebounds and played a season-high 35 minutes. He also had five turnovers.

He scored on a last-second 3-pointer at the end of the first half, a one-handed desperation toss after he nearly lost control of the ball. You may remember he barely missed a 3-pointer at the end of overtime against N.C. State on a much cleaner look. It’s a funny game.

Bolden’s scoring over the past seven games – 14, 3, 0, 11, 3, 4, 12. Tech is 3-0 in his three double-digit scoring games and 0-4 in the other ones.

“He’s been putting in the time to shoot the ball better,” Gregory said. “We need him to step up for us, we really do, because getting eight, 10, 12, 14 points off the bench with us when we struggle at times on offense would be a huge lift.”

2. Tech shot 21-for-26 from the free-throw line for 80.7 percent, its best effort since the St. John’s game, which was 14 games ago. The Jackets are shooting 66.9 percent for the season after shooting 63.5 percent last year and 65.4 percent in 2011-12.

Having Trae Golden (76.7 percent) shoot the most free throws on the team helps. Georges-Hunt has improved from 62.9 percent as a freshman last season to 69.0 percent this season. Forward Kammeon Holsey was at 61.4 percent a year ago but is now at 74.5 percent. The two were a combined 9-for-9 Saturday.

3. Wake Forest coach Jeff Bzdelik on Daniel Miller:

“I think Daniel Miller, and I said this before our game to our players, is one of the most underrated big men in this conference and this country. He really is. He’s more athletic than what people think, he’s very efficient, he knows his role, he’s strong, he’s wide, he’s big. He seems to have a great attitude. He’s very consistent. He’s a horse in there, and I meant that out of respect. He’ll block shots and he seems like someone that, from a coaching standpoint, you can always count on to do the right thing or try to do the right thing with energy and discipline. My hat’s off to him.”

14 comments
RamblngReck
RamblngReck

It looks like we have perfected the second half fadeaway.

kman81
kman81

Radar, season ticket holders rarely post because most people wised up and quit buying tickets and supporting lousy millionaire coaches. If you don't like people who want a good coach hired, go to the Hive where you get banned for ever saying anything negative about their god, Danny Hall, the post season choker.

kman81
kman81

Gregory needs to put a shock collar on Bolden and shock him every time he takes a stupid 3 and misses by 5 feet. Gregory should be suspended for letting a guy who couldn't hit the broad side of a barn tonight take the final shot. Hunt should have been benched long before the way he played tonight.

GTQBdefender
GTQBdefender

Gregory has stayed with Bolden this year because he is part of the future.

Some have blasted both Gregory for playing him and Bolden for missing shots.

Season ticket holders making those comments?

Probably not.

GTQBdefender
GTQBdefender

I'm disappointed with myself for losing my temper this morning - not that anyone else ever bothers to express any regrets about that - but I'm sick and tired of the folks on this blog who do not attend games but want to have a say in what goes on. Johnson limits the preseason get-together with the team to season ticket holders and I agree with that. I wish the AJC would make more restrictions on who can comment. Like if u get booted for something, that u are not able to find a way around it.

GTDude
GTDude

Bolden also did some really sloppy pass and ball handling. if he fixes that he will become a star of this team!

GTinCT
GTinCT

A lot of good info here, Ken.  Thanks.


I'm wondering how Solomon's dismissal impacts recruiting.  I assume Tech can now recruit another player, but I don't know if it's too late in the process or CBG would prefer to use the slot for the following year.  Any insight?

KenAJC
KenAJC moderator

Juvenal - I think so. It wasn't?

juvenal
juvenal

was Wake supposed to be on WATL?

juvenal
juvenal

just be careful, Bro'........

TechTroll13
TechTroll13

It would be a big boost to get Carter back, even if it is only a few minutes.

BleedingGold
BleedingGold

@kman81 Funniest thing, I was thinking the same exact thing.  His shots were not even close.  All bricks.  Regards to MGH.  I think that's a little too far.  He scored 23 on Saturday.  Yeah, he had a terrible game, but he wasn't take ridiculous shots.  He just didn't have it.  None of them did, except Miller.  I'm surprised we were even in the game that late. 

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@GTinCT

Most good bball players sign in the early period in November.  I can't see Solomon leaving having any effect on the 2014 FR's

GTinCT
GTinCT

@PaulinNH OK, thanks.  I guess we have a SG coming in, so I suppose we're OK there if the guys stay healthy.