With four starters back from a team that finished the 2012-13 season with a 16-15 record (6-12 ACC), the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are expected to be an improved team this year. One of the key players for head coach Brian Gregory is sophomore guard Chris Bolden, who averaged 7.3 points per game as a freshman.
Unfortunately for Bolden his season (game-wise, at least) will begin a little later than his teammates, as the school announced on Friday that he’s been suspended for the Yellow Jackets’ first three games due to a violation of team rules.
“When a violation of our team rules occurs, our intention is always to deal with it firmly and appropriately,” Gregory said in the release announcing the suspension. “We expect the young men in our program to meet certain standards, and there has to be accountability when those standards are not met.”
Bolden will miss the team’s November 1 exhibition game and then regular season contests against Presbyterian (November 8), Delaware State (November 11) and in-state rival Georgia (November 15). Of those three contests only the game against Georgia is on the road, with the Bulldogs looking to avenge their 62-54 loss to the Yellow Jackets in last season’s meeting. Bolden will see his first action of the season on November 20 when Georgia Tech hosts Dayton, Gregory’s former employer.
Youth was a major factor in the Yellow Jackets’ struggles in ACC play last season, and with players such as Bolden, fellow guard Marcus Georges-Hunt and big man Robert Carter having a season under their belts the hope is that the program will be able to improve its standing within the conference. But that will be easier said than done, thanks to the combination of other programs in a similar position getting better (Boston College and Maryland come to mind) and three former Big East schools joining the conference (Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Syracuse).