Georgia Tech's Moses Wright out for 1st, 2nd Round Games of 2021 NCAA Tournament

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMarch 18, 2021

Georgia Tech forward Moses Wright (5) drives to the basket against North Carolina guard Jeremiah Francis while forward Armando Bacot (5) looks on at left during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Chapel Hill, N.C., Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Gerry Broome/Associated Press

Georgia Tech forward Moses Wright will miss his team's first-round NCAA Division I men's basketball matchup against Loyola-Chicago on Friday, per Jeff Goodman and Brett McMurphy of Stadium.

Per ESPN's Jeff Borzello, Wright would also miss a potential second-round matchup Sunday against either Illinois or Drexel should the Yellow Jackets win Friday.

No official reason has been given for Wright's absence.

Wright, who played in all 25 of the ACC tournament champion's games this year, paced the team with 17.4 points on 53.0 percent shooting, 8.0 rebounds and 1.6 blocks.

His stellar effort against Florida State in the ACC title game (15 points, eight rebounds, three blocks, two steals) helped the Yellow Jackets pull off an 80-75 upset win.

The question now is how Georgia Tech will regroup without the ACC Player of the Year.

On offense, the trio of Jose Alvarado (15.3 PPG), Michael Devoe (15.1 PPG) and Jordan Usher (11.5 PPG) could be asked to take on more of a scoring load.

Rebounding may also be more of a team effort, as no player besides Wright had more than 4.3 boards per game this year.

As far as who replaces him in the starting lineup, Georgia Tech could roll with a five of Alvarado, Devoe, Usher, Bubba Parham and Khalid Moore. Parham and Moore have split time starting 23 of the team's 25 games.

Size-wise, the 6'7" Moore and 6'7" Usher would be the two tallest Georgia Tech players on the court.

Head coach Josh Pastner runs a pretty tight rotation, to the point where only seven players averaged 10 or more minutes per game this season.

Without Wright, Kyle Sturdivant, who is seventh on the team in playing time, could see more action as the sixth man.

Pastner also has the option of simply swapping Wright out for 6'10" big man Rodney Howard, who has 1.6 points and 1.4 rebounds in 7.6 minutes per game this year. Howard has played in 18 games, starting two.

Ultimately, playing without Wright presents a huge challenge against Loyola-Chicago simply because of Ramblers big man Cameron Krutwig, a 6'9", 255-pounder who leads the team with 15.0 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.2 blocks.

We'll see what Pastner ultimately decides soon enough with the game slated for Friday at 4 p.m. ET.