Updated, 1:30 p.m.: Georgia Tech guard Jose Alvarado has been cleared to play vs. Notre Dame Saturday. Alvarado, who suffered a head injury in the Coppin State game Wednesday, had been questionable to play.
In a season in which injuries have been a constant, Georgia Tech may have to play without point guard Jose Alvarado in the ACC opener at Notre Dame on Saturday.
Alvarado, who has developed into a key cog for the Yellow Jackets in his freshman season, suffered a head injury in the team’s win over Coppin State on Wednesday. Coach Josh Pastner called him questionable to play against the Fighting Irish.
“I don’t know if Jose’s going to play or not on Saturday,” he said. “We don’t know.”
If he is unable to play, Tech will have seven available scholarship players.
Alvarado suffered the injury early in the second half going to the basket and did not return under the orders of the team’s medical staff, Pastner said. The decision could be made Saturday in South Bend, Ind. On Friday, Alvarado took part in non-contact elements of practice.
It would be a pretty significant loss for Tech, which also will play without backup point guard Justin Moore, as he has remained home in San Diego for the funeral of a family friend, Pastner said. When Alvarado left the game, Tech turned over point-guard duties for the remainder of the game to graduate transfer guard Brandon Alston, who is more of a shooting guard.
Against Notre Dame, guard Curtis Haywood (shin), forward Sylvester Ogbonda (ankle) and Moore will not be available. Center Abdoulaye Gueye, who sat out of the Coppin State game with an ankle injury, has been cleared for Saturday’s game.
Alvarado is one of two players (center Ben Lammers is the other) to start all 12 games for Tech this season, an indication of his importance to Tech. He leads the team in assists (41) and steals (24) and is third in scoring and rebounding (13.2 points and 4.6 rebounds per game).
He has been the team’s most consistent player and leads the team in winning 50/50 balls, an indication of the effort and awareness that he has given the team.