Shock, stunned, and panicked. These are some of the adjectives that might have been appropriate to describe the feelings that fans of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets basketball program may have felt upon hearing the news that junior power forward, Robert Carter Jr., is going to continue his collegiate basketball career elsewhere.
There will be a huge void left when Carter leaves. He was going to be the main man offensively for the Jackets this season. Carter’s skills put you in the mind of former college standout Rodney Rodgers, father of current player of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets women’s team, Roddreka Rodgers. Carter has the ability to bang in the paint and also has nice touch from outside.
This is a weapon that head coach Brian Gregory was surely going to put on full display next season, but this sudden transfer put an end to that. Carter might have transferred in order to give his knee some time to fully heal (don’t forget that Carter tore his meniscus and was out for 10 games last season), so if he moves to another Division 1 school, he’ll have to stay out for a year, and he can use that year to get himself 100% physically.
But the question that matters as this point is how will coach Gregory go about replacing the production of the guy who was the second leading scorer and rebounder last season, at 11.4 points and 8.4 rebounds per game.
When you look at the roster you are going to have to hope that Quinton Stephens was hitting the weight room and carbing up all offseason to put some bulk on his 6-foot-8, 184 pound frame. Ben Lammers at 6-foot-10, is going to come in and have to play big in much more of a hurry now. Then you have Abdoulaye Gueye coming in also, who will have to contribute quickly as well with his 6-foot-9 body.
The simple way to put this is there is no simple way to replace Carter. There is going to be too much inexperience on the frontline this season and Carter was supposed to be the anchor with all these youngsters coming in. Unless Brian Gregory comes up with a miracle transfer from somewhere in the country that has a similar skill set to what Carter brought to the floor, replacing him is going to be close to impossible.
Right when you thought things were getting easier for Brian Gregory going into this season, the boom gets lowered on him and the hoops program. We are going to have to wish Robert Carter Jr. good luck as he moves on, but we really need to be wishing coach Gregory good luck as well in trying to replace such a talented player.
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