Georges-Hunt's injury a final painful blow for Georgia Tech

Publish date:

ATLANTA (AP) Marcus Georges-Hunt's broken foot was one last cruel blow in Georgia Tech's regular season filled with misery.

Coach Brian Gregory said Friday Georges-Hunt, the team's leading scorer, is facing surgery after he fractured the fifth metatarsal in his right foot early in Tuesday night's lopsided loss to North Carolina.

The Yellow Jackets, 12-19 overall, finished 3-15 in Atlantic Coast Conference games. They were 0-10 in games decided by no more than five points or overtime, adding to the frustration for Gregory.

Gregory paused following the 81-49 loss to North Carolina when asked if this has been his toughest season.

''Yeah, it's been tough,'' he said. ''It's been tough, just due to the fact the level of competitiveness we've been able to play with and not really get anything to show for it.''

Virginia and North Carolina - twice - were the only ACC teams to win lopsided games against the Yellow Jackets.

Gregory stressed that his players never quit. The latest evidence came when Georgia Tech trailed by 23 points before rallying to force overtime in last week's 70-63 loss at Clemson.

''In a lot of ways too, for me, it's been remarkable the resolve and character of our guys to keep fighting back,'' Gregory said. ''You can say a lot of different things but you can never question that with these guys. You can't question their fight, you can't question the pride they play with when they put on those uniforms.''

Gregory said that despite the frustrating losses ''from a coaching standpoint you feel pretty good about those guys.''

''Would I like the results to be different? Hell yeah,'' he said. ''Would I like our guys to be different? No.''

Gregory said he hopes forward Quinton Stephens, who missed the North Carolina game, will return from an abdominal strain in next week's ACC tournament. Georgia Tech will play Boston College or Wake Forest on Tuesday.

Gregory also expects guard Josh Heath, recovering from an illness, to be full strength.

Guard Chris Bolden, who was suspended on Feb. 19 for the final six regular-season games and one ACC tournament game, will not travel with the team to Greensboro, North Carolina.

The tournament is the Yellow Jackets' last chance to atone for all the close losses.

With Stephens unable to play and Heath limited, the Yellow Jackets had little depth on their perimeter even before Georges-Hunt's injury.

Gregory was forced to use Robert Sampson at small forward for the first time this season.

''It was definitely hard because I hadn't played any 3 the whole year and I didn't really know what I was doing at the time,'' Sampson said. ''I kept on going through, picking up a little bit.''

Stephens, the team's top 3-point shooter, was limited in Friday's practice.

''I think we're going to err on the side of caution with him because of'' Georges-Hunt's injury, Gregory said.

''He's doing better. Our hope is he'll be full-go by the beginning of next week so he'll be ready to play on Tuesday.''