Q&A with a Georgia State Site: Panther Talk


The Husky Basketball team has their first game this weekend against the Georgia State Panthers in the World Vision Classic. This is a team that the majority of you know nothing about, and thus I sought out some answers. Ben Moore the Editor-in-Chief over at PantherTalk.com has give us some answers about his team. 

1. What are the strengths of your team?

The strengths of this team are expected to be its experience in the starting lineup. The Panthers will likely start 4 Seniors and 1 Sophomore. This starting lineup brags a total of 284 career games played at the Division 1 level. We also bring a Senior off the bench who played in 30 games last season with 10 starts. The team should be able to run and defend. I believe the team will shoot better from distance as Coach Hunter wants a 3 point shot or dunk within 8 seconds of the shot clock.

2. Where are the weaknesses?

Size and free throw shooting. While the Panthers brag three players over 6’8, only 6’9 James Vincent is bigger than 225lbs. This is a concern playing in non conference. The CAA is a guard heavy league (as witnessed by VCU’s Final Four run last March). Also, the Panthers were next to last in FT shooting % in 2010-11. So far through two exhibitions, they’ve improved from last season. I’m hoping to see this team continue to improve as the season moves forward.

3. Who is the go-to-guy on the team?

The Panthers focal point is Soph. PG Devonta White. He’s the catalyst. With him in the starting lineup as a Freshman last season the Panthers were 4-1 scoring 11 points, 3.3 assists and 3 rebounds per game. He missed 10 games with a high ankle sprain and was really never got fully healthy the rest of the way. On a team with six seniors, DWhite leads the way.

4. What has Georgia State looked like in the years past?

The toughest question of them all. Georgia State basketball is in the midst of eight straight losing seasons spanning two coaching regimes in former Lefty Driesell assistant coach Michael Perry and Rod Barnes. Coach Ron Hunter is determined to change the culture and he’s done everything to rip out the old stench of losing. He’s had player change roommates, switched the home bench in the Sports Arena, had the team enter in a different way on game days, stay at different hotels on road trips and even switched when practice was in the day. He’s serious about this and he has had one losing season in 19 seasons. We trust him and we are expecting four big time signees tomorrow, including his son RJ Hunter, to keep the momentum rolling for not this season but seasons to come.

5. Do you think Georgia State has a shot in this game? If so, how can they make it happen?

A shot. I believe that if the players who have known nothing but losing can push those experiences out of the mind and focus on what is in front of them, this game can be close. If they slip back and have that “here we go again…” mentality then it could be a lopsided game. The way the Panthers offense is supposed to work, this game could be close if Washington shoots the ball below its ability. I’m still worried about the Panthers ability to pound the ball inside and connect on free throws at better than a 65% clip. I’m not expecting the Panthers to win but certainly to be entertaining vs. it’s toughest non conference opponent this season.