Georgia Tech guard Josh Okogie
Photo: GT Athletics
Photo: GT Athletics

Josh Okogie could be out through ACC opener

Georgia Tech guard Josh Okogie will not be back on the basketball court when his six-game NCAA suspension ends after the Grambling State game Dec. 1.

Okogie, who suffered an open dislocation of his left index finger during Tech’s exhibition game against Georgia State Oct. 28, could be out through the start of ACC play, according to coach Josh Pastner. The complication is an infection of the finger.

“No issues with the bone,” Pastner said. “It’s fully healed. He has full mobility. It’s just the infection. He’s got to let the infection heal.”

In an open dislocation, a wound opens from the skin down to the joint. The infection evidently entered through the open wound caused by the dislocation.

After losing to UCLA in the season opener, Tech was able to make it past Bethune-Cookman, UT-Rio Grande Valley and North Texas without Okogie. Guard Tadric Jackson, who was serving a three-game suspension with Okogie for violating NCAA rules regarding receiving preferential treatment, came back for the North Texas game.

Without Okogie, last year’s leading scorer as a freshman, Tech has had difficulty generating offense and he is also a trustworthy defender. The Yellow Jackets have nine more games until their ACC opener (Dec. 30 at Notre Dame), including Tuesday night’s game against Northwestern in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge at McCamish Pavilion. Two more games after the Wildcats are against power-conference opponents, Tennessee on Dec. 3 at home and at Georgia on Dec. 19. Obviously, if Okogie remains sidelined during the ACC schedule, it would severely impair Tech’s ability to compete against the league.

Pastner had said on Nov. 15 that Okogie was on track to be ready to play in Tech’s seventh game of the season following the end of his suspension, against the Volunteers. The same day, Okogie was wearing a splint. However, since then he has been seen with his hand in a heavier wrap to keep the wound clean.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.