#STINGDAILY: Camp Lessons

June 25, 2013

By Matt Winkeljohn
Sting Daily

Robert Carter, Jr., and Marcus Georges-Hunt are back in familiar territory, and it’s possible that recent experiences with the unfamiliar will pay off for Georgia Tech basketball next season.

The rising sophomore forwards were among 26 players invited by USA Basketball to try out for the Under-19 team that will compete soon in the FIBA World Championships.

Georges-Hunt survived the initial cut to 16 players, but not the final trim down to 12. Carter exited Colorado Springs with the first wave amid mitigating circumstances; he had an infection under his right arm that made him gradually more ill.

Both players share a thought: that process helped.

“I learned a lot from all the coaches that were there,” said Georges-Hunt. “New terms, new ways to guard certain situations, a lot of drills I can do on my own. A different way to guard a pick and roll.”

They each learned a few things, and confirmed their beliefs that hard work invested since they arrived at Tech this time a year ago is paying off, and will continue to produce dividends.

Before a recent workout in the Zelnak practice facility, the pair shared stories. Carter, who also was invited to tryouts a year ago, felt good about the progress he’s made.

“Working out with [Tech strength and conditioning coach Mike] Bewley, I felt like I was one of the best players there. Unfortunately, I got sick,” Carter said. “I can just see myself compared to everybody else . . . I can tell I’m doing the right things.

“This year, you could see the difference. You could see how much you have improved compared to them, now much easier it is to score, how much easier it is to play defense.”

Carter’s infection has improved. In Colorado Springs, it became debilitating by the second day.

“It’s not one of those things where you can just go up to the coach in the middle of a tryout and say, ‘I’ve got an infection, and I can’t work out,'” he recalled. “I got a boil under my arm right before I left [Atlanta]. I get them every now and then . . . after they picked teams, it bust. Very painful, and it’s under my shooting arm so it was very hard for me to shoot a basketball.”

From here on out, the focus will be entirely on Tech basketball.

“Just lift and get stronger . . . work on my overall game,” Carter said of his plan. “Conditioning wise, and getting stronger, gaining more experience. I’m looking forward to having a big year.

“Everybody is coming back except Mfon [Udofia] and Pierre [Jordan], who played limited minutes. The young guys are good. We’ve got a year up under our belts.”

Georges-Hunt was somewhat surprised to learn some of the differences in international basketball. He’s looking forward, however, to getting back to the ACC.

“You’re allowed to touch the basketball when it’s on the rim; it’s not a violation. I feel like I went out there and gave it all I had. Before I went, I pulled a couple clips and watched how [other candidates] played,” he said. “I thanked [USA Basketball officials] for letting me come.

I wasn’t down [upon learning that he’d been cut]. I found out I have a lot more things to work on. I told myself it’s time to get back to Atlanta and work.”

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