CAA Preview: Georgia State Panthers
Last year: 22-12 Overall (11-7 CAA) 7th in the CAA, Lost to George Mason in the CAA Tournament
What Happened: After losing the first three games they played in the World Vision Classic, the Panthers got incredibly hot and strung together 11 straight wins. Ron Hunter had the team turning heads especially when they beat VCU on the road. As the season progressed Georgia State began to cool off, going 7-6 in its last 13 games.
- Jihad Ali (G): Georgia State will be without its captain and second leading scorer from the 2011-2012 season, guard Jihad Ali. In his senior season Ali averaged a solid 12.5 points per game. He was third on the team in rebounding pulling in 6 rebounds per game and led the team in three point percentage (.365). Ali was a crucial piece of the Panther’s offense and earned a spot on the All-CAA Third Team.
- Eric Buckner (F): Georgia State also loses a player who has been touted as the best defensive player to ever sport a Panther uniform in Eric Buckner. Despite playing only two seasons Buckner holds a program record for career blocks with 167. He set a single-season school record with 118 blocked shots which was tops in the CAA and sixth most in the NCAA. His 118 blocks were also fifth most in CAA single-season history. Buckner finished the season shooting 62% from the floor, which was the best percentage in the CAA. Last season he earned All-CAA Defensive Team and Third Team selections.
- Devonta White (G): Devonta White returns to Georgia State after a solid sophomore campaign during which he lead his team in scoring with 12.9 PPG. White is a talented shooter who was first on the team in three-pointers made (54), FT-percentage (83) and was second in assists with 2.9 APG.
- Rashad Richardson (G): Rashad Richardson another junior guard played in all 34 games for the Panthers last season. His 40 made three-pointers were good enough to rank him third on the team. Richardson showed the potential to be able to take over games with lights-out shooting with performances knocking down 7 threes against Washington and Leading the team in scoring against FIU.
This Panthers team will be able to make some noise during the CAA regular season. Coming off a season where Ron Hunter surprised almost everyone with a team full of underclassman stringing together wins, it would be impossible to discount them. Unfortunately, due to the fact that Georgia State is leaving the CAA, this year’s team will not be allowed to compete in the postseason tournament. Expect this team to make some noise during the regular season as that is all they can do.
- David Kroopnick