NIT Tournament

Georgia guard J.J. Frazier questionable for 2016 NIT opener

J.J. Frazier
(Photo: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports)

Georgia could potentially lose a key piece for the opener of the NIT, which would significantly change the course of action for the Bulldogs.

Frazier injured his ankle midway through the second half in the 93-80 SEC semifinal loss to Kentucky on Saturday afternoon. The injury occurred on a drive to the basket, and Frazier looked to be in agonizing pain. However, he was able to return to action after having his ankle evaluated in the locker room. His injury may have impacted the outcome of the game, as Georgia’s lead evaporated in his brief absence. Frazier had 19 points in the defeat.

Mark Fox says Frazier has been placed in a walking boot and his status is undetermined for the tournament opener on Wednesday vs. Belmont. The ankle injury originally occurred in Friday’s victory over South Carolina and re-injured against Kentucky.

Frazier is the leading scorer for the Bulldogs, averaging 17 points per game. That statistic alone makes it quite obvious that his absence could have a major effect on the outcome of a game. However, Georgia has some guard depth as seniors Kenny Gaines and Charles Mann can interchangeably fill his role, and freshman guard Turtle Jackson can also step to the forefront as he did in Saturday’s loss to Kentucky, finishing with a career high nine points.

Fox told reporters via teleconference that the team will have to see how J.J. responds to the injury, and adds “obviously, Turtle did some really nice things and earned more minutes and more opportunities.”

Georgia has quite a short turnaround to prepare for Belmont, and that may be significantly more challenging without their leading scorer and team leader. The Bulldogs will open up play at Stegeman Coliseum on Wednesday at 7pm, and the game will be televised by ESPN2.

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