GSU hoops still undefeated in Sun Belt

Photo by Sonny Kennedy

The Georgia State men’s basketball team is still atop of the Sun Belt Conference with a record of 7-0. It went on the road to take care of Louisiana-Monroe 66-58 last Saturday be- fore Thursday’s home game against South Alabama was postponed due to the snow earlier in the week. GSU will pay a visit to Texas-Arlington (9-10, 4-3 Sun Belt) on Saturday.

The starting five of this team can compete with anyone and the Panthers have shown they can win the blowouts as well as the nail-biters. Georgia State has a two-game lead in the conference over second-place Western Kentucky, which the Panthers beat by 23 points on the road earlier this season.


R.J. Hunter is one of the best players in the country that no one outside of the Sun Belt is talking about. He is connecting on 40.4 percent of the three-point attempts for the season and seems to be getting better as the season moves along. His best games have come at the expense of top-notch com- petition. Against Arkansas State, Arkansas Little-Rock and Louisiana-Lafayette, he put up 23, 25 and 33 points respectively. All of those games showcased his shooting ability, as he connected on more than 50 percent of his field-goal attempts in every one. Hunter is pacing the 41st best offense in the country, which is averaging 78.5 points a game.


With the defense, head coach Ron Hunter has to take the good with the bad and he has made the decision to sacrifice rebounding for the ability to pressure the ball and create havoc and turnovers. With this type of defense, the Panthers average 7.8 steals a game—good enough for 44th in the nation. They also block 5.2 shots a game, led by Curtis Washington’s average of 2.7 swats per outing. With this te- nacious defense, the Panthers give up position on the boards and are 332nd in the country in rebounding, pulling down a mere 30.7 boards a game. They consistently get outrebounded and their second-chance points are always limited.

Hunter coached barefoot on Jan. 18 against Arkansas Little-Rock to bring awareness Samaritan’s Feet, which is a charity that focuses on providing shoes to impoverished communities around the world. This is a tradi- tion that Hunter started when he was coaching at IUPUI. His commitment has garnered lots of national attention for a worthy cause.

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