ATHENS — Georgia will start the NIT without two of its starters, including one of its top players.
Yante Maten, who missed the final four games of the regular season with a sprained knee, is out for Wednesday night’s game against Belmont. The team said in a release that Maten suffered “an unexpected setback” from the injury.
Maten played in Georgia’s two SEC tournament games, when the Bulldogs were trying unsuccessfully to play their way into an NCAA bid. The team’s leading scorer and rebounder prior to the injury, Maten was a first-team All-SEC pick by the coaches and second-team All-SEC by the AP.
Juwan Parker, who has started all but one game in the regular season, is also out, and will not return this season.
Parker has suffered a slight tear in his right Achilles. It was the left Achilles injury that caused him to miss all of the 2015-16 season. The team’s release said Parker “will have further consultations with specialists following the season.”
The news is clearly a big hit to the Bulldogs (19-14), who are trying to salvage a disappointing season with an NIT run. Maten had 33 points in last year’s win over Belmont, also in the first round of the NIT.