If there is one player Georgia Tech couldn’t afford to lose this year, it was Josh Okogie, a setback that Jackets couldn’t afford.
Georgia Tech basketball‘s dreams of getting to the NCAA Tournament this season took a huge hit on Saturday as star guard Josh Okogie fractured a finger in his non-shooting hand. The injury came during the Jackets 65-58 loss to Georgia State in an exhibition for hurricane relief. There is no timetable for Okogie’s return.
Last season, Okogie was the Jackets biggest offensive contributors, averaging 16.1 points per game. In the upcoming season, Okogie was looking like a player who could score 20+ points per game and was ready to break on a national stage. He was even considered a second rounder by NBADraft.net.
Now, the Jackets are looking at least a couple of weeks without their best player which is bad news for a team that already isn’t expected to be the strongest team offensively in the first place.
The Jackets already lost the fourth leading scorer from last season in Quinton Stephens, who averaged 10.4 points a game. In total, the Jackets had four players who averaged double-digit points.
Now with Okogie out, a lot more of the offensive pressure will be on All-ACC center candidate Ben Lammers. Last season Lammers had a breakout season offensively, averaging 14.2 points point game. With any top scorer, teams will put a defensive emphasis on Lammers with Okogie out for the foreseeable future.
The other player that should see benefits on the offensive end with Okogie’s injury is guard Tadric Jackson. Last season, Jackson came off the bench in all but five games but still averaged 12.1 points per game.
Outside of Jackson and Lammers, the Jackets will need other players to step up their offensive game. The best point per game average for a player who didn’t average double-digits was Josh Heath with 5.3 points per game. A few name to remember as potential scoring threats is grad transfer Brandon Alston, freshman Jose Alvarado and, freshman Evan Cole.
The Jackets didn’t have an easy out of conference schedule, to begin with, and the road to the tournament just got tougher. Truthfully, nobody knows who on the Jackets outside of Lammers and Jackson will step up their game.
With not many prime scoring threats, the Jackets are left in a tough spot. It also shows that the Jackets despite looking like a team prime for a tournament appearance in the next season or two, still has very little depth.