The end of fall break marks the beginning of the final stretch for students in the fall semester. It also signals the approach of the college basketball season. Tech’s men’s basketball team will begin their season on November 7, and this year’s roster is quite different from last year’s.

One returning player is Travis Jorgenson, a redshirt freshman. Jorgenson played point guard in Tech’s first four games before hurting his knee against Dayton. It turned out to be a torn ACL and ended Jorgenson’s freshman season.

In the first four games played during the season, Jorgenson was averaging 4.3 points and 2.5 assists, including a career high eight points in the season opener versus Prebysterian.

Nearly a year later, Jorgenson has recovered and is ready to get back on the court.

“Just trying to come back from [an] injury is pretty tough, but I’m feeling pretty good right now. Just trying to work my way back into it,” Jorgenson said.

Jorgenson was out for six months after knee surgery, unable to shoot or do any sort of skill work. After strengthening his knee, he started practicing with contact just a couple of weeks ago, about 10 months after his surgery. Last season was disappointing, but he is looking forward to the upcoming season.

“I was a little shocked that it happened, because it’s something that you don’t really think is going to happen to you. But, you know, I’m feeling pretty optimistic now and obviously really excited for the season to start,” Jorgenson said.

Jorgenson has an excellent chance to be the team’s starting point guard. He will compete against Corey Heyward, among others, for the job.

Trae Golden, former starting point guard, has graduated, so Jorgenson will have to take more of a leadership role this year as he will  have the ball in his hands most of the time he is on the court.

While his missed time was far from ideal, he feels he is an improved player from a season ago.

“I think I’ve become a better shooter and a smarter player from watching for a year,” Jorgenson said.

His return is good news for Tech, as the Jackets saw many players leave due to graduation or transfers. The Jackets have five transfer players along with the addition of five freshmen.

“These first couple of practices, we’re just trying to get used to everyone. But by the time our first game starts, we’ll have plenty of practices, so we’ll be ready to go,” Jorgenson said.

The roster changes have had an effect on the experience and leadership in the roster as well. Four transfer players are among the eight upperclassmen on the roster.

However, Jorgenson believes that the culture in the locker room so far has been good and that the addition of so many players has not had any negative effects.

“We have good leadership from new guys and from guys who have been in the program, so I don’t think that’s much of a factor. They obviously have to adjust to the process and adjust for a new school, so it’s probably tougher on them,” Jorgenson said.

This bodes well for the Jackets, who will face solid competition against fellow ACC teams starting in the spring. Jorgenson is especially looking forward to the home opener against Georgia and has other areas of the schedule that excite him too.

“I’m very excited to go down to Orlando and playing in that tournament because it’s a good one. And once ACC play starts up, it’s going to be a tough road, so I’m excited for all that,” Jorgenson said.

It is relatively unknown how Tech will do this season. The team doesn’t have much hype, and is both receiving and losing key players. Last year, Tech showed promise at the beginning of the year, but injuries derailed their season.

The Jackets start their season on the road against Clayton State on November 7. They then come home for the home opener against instate rival Georgia on November 14.