R.J. Hunter

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VIDEO Ron Hunter dances at Georgia State’s midnight madness

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Georgia State’s Ron Hunter appears to have recovered from the Achilles tendon tear he suffered last March while celebrating the Panthers winning the Sun Belt Conference Tournament title.

On Thursday night, at the third annual GSU Jam, Hunter broke out the dance moves to the song “Hit The Quan” by iHeart Memphis.

Georgia State went on to defeat No. 3 seed Baylor in the Round of 64, thanks to a game-winning three from Hunter’s son, R.J. That shot made for one of the best moments of March Madness, as Ron Hunter fell of his rolling chair in disbelief.

R.J. Hunter is nowa a rookie with the Boston Celtics. Ron Hunter enters his fifth season with the Panthers.

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Tournament darling R.J. Hunter is heading to the NBA

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Georgia State star R.J. Hunter is heading to the NBA, the school announced on Monday.

Hunter, who just finished his junior season, is projected by Draft Express to be a late first round pick in the 2015 draft, although he struggled a bit shooting the ball as a junior. His three-point percentage fell from 39.7 to 29.8 as a junior, although his assist numbers did double to 3.5 per game as he spent more time playing on the ball than in past season.

Hunter, along with his father, became a sensation during the 2015 NCAA tournament. After Ron Hunter, who also happens to be R.J.’s head coach at GSU, tore his achilles tendon celebrating a win in the Sun Belt title game, he was relegated to a scooter to get around and a desk chair to use while coaching on the sidelines.

In one of the most unforgettable moments in recent NCAA tournament history, R.J. capped a 13-0 run in which he scored 12 points with a game-winning three to land an upset of No. 3 Baylor, a shot that knocked Ron right out of his chair:

Georgia State golf team celebrates R.J. Hunter’s game-winner (VIDEO)

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Thursday afternoon Georgia State guard R.J. Hunter made one of the biggest shots in school history, as his three-pointer with 2.9 seconds remaining gave the Panthers a 57-56 win over No. 3 Baylor. This is the second time that the Panthers have won a game in the NCAA tournament, with the first coming in 2001 under then-head coach Lefty Driesell.

Understandably there was a lot of excitement over the win, especially amongst members of the Georgia State golf team who posted a video of their reaction to the team’s Twitter account.

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Despite poor shooting night from Georges Niang, No. 14 Iowa State runs past Georgia State

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Iowa State might have been the favorite entering Monday night’s home game against Georgia State, but the No. 14 Cyclones still knew that Ron Hunter’s team was one of the most talented mid-major programs in the country. Even though the Panthers found their talented perimeter trio of R.J. Hunter, Ryan Harrow and Kevin Ware struggling in the first half — and four of its five starters with at least two fouls — Georgia State was able to stay in the game and only trailed, 35-29, at the half.

Things quickly changed in the second half.

Despite a poor shooting night from junior All-American candidate Georges Niang, the Cyclones came out running in the second frame and blew out Georgia State with a 81-58 win. Iowa State’s offense never seemed to find a rhythm in the first half, as it settled for too many perimeter jumpers and had zero transition points, but the second half was a different story, as junior guard Naz Long (17 points, 5-for-12 3PT) and his teammates finally warmed up from the perimeter and Iowa State was able to get out in transition.

You could sense Georgia State was in trouble early in the second half when its defense allowed three consecutive Iowa State transition buckets in the first two minutes, giving the Cyclones a quick double-digit lead, and the floodgates only opened from there.

Georgia State never came close to recovering, and that’s what makes Iowa State such a dangerous team.

Here were the Panthers, a talented team that likes to play uptempo and get quick shots for their three-point marksmen like Hunter, and the Cyclones were running them off of the floor by beating them at their own game.

Even though Niang shot 3-for-12 from the field, Iowa State’s other starters picked up the scoring slack as the junior forward still remained productive in other facets of the game. Niang finished with a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds, but couldn’t find the touch on his jumper all night.

Point guard Monte Morris finished with 19 points and nine assists while committing zero turnovers and shooting an efficient 7-for-9 from the floor. Dustin Hogue chipped in 15 points and seven rebounds and provided a lot of energy on both ends of the floor. Bryce Dejean-Jones slashed his way to a stat-sheet stuffing 15 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.

And just like that, even though Iowa State couldn’t get a bucket to drop for Niang and was missing Jameel McKay, Matt Thomas and Abdel Nader, it still put up 46 points in the second half and smoked a very talented Georgia State team. The Cyclones had 23 assists on 29 field goals. They moved the ball, took good shots and didn’t waste any possessions the final 20 minutes.

Credit is also due to the Iowa State defense, which did a nice job of making things difficult for Hunter, Harrow and Ware. After a 3-for-9 first half, Hunter, the Sun Belt Player of the Year favorite, finished with 21 points while shooting 8-for-20 from the field. Point guard Ryan Harrow (12 points) struggled to a 6-for-22 night from the field since the Cyclones neutralized his primary option. Ware only added four points on 1-for-6 shooting.

Last year, the Cyclones had trouble stopping talented teams from scoring from time-to-time, but they looked much improved taking away multiple talented perimeter options on Monday.

It may be an early-season game against a mid-major opponent, but this was a really nice effort from Iowa State, especially considering its current lack of depth and overcoming a physical first half.

Pregame Shootaround: No. 14 Iowa State needs to be on upset alert tonight

R.J. Hunter (AP Photo)
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Earlier today, we posted a preview of the Tip-Off Marathon, which kicks off at 7:00 p.m. tonight.

To read about all of those games, go here.

But those aren’t the only games of the night. Here’s a look at the rest of the college hoops action:

Game of the Night: Georgia State at No. 14 Iowa State, 9:00 p.m.

Georgia State is one of the best mid-major teams in the country this season, as they trot out a trio of high-major guards in Ryan Harrow, Kevin Ware and R.J. Hunter, a future first round pick. Iowa State is talented in their own right, and they will actually be playing at a bit of a disadvantage on Monday as Jameel McKay is still not eligible. The Panthers won’t have an answer for Georges Niang, but can the Cyclones slow down GSU’s perimeter attack? If the Panthers want to get an at-large bid, this is one of those games that borders on being a must-win.

Mid-Major Matchup of the Night: Belmont at Lipscomb, 8:00 p.m.

The Battle of the Boulevard. One of the nation’s best rivalries that no one knows about. Lipscomb and Belmont are not league foes anymore, but they’ve hated each other since their NAIA days. They once packed 16,000 people into an arena to see them square off in a regular season game before either had made the jump to Division I.

Story line of the Night: Texas Southern at Indiana, 6:00 p.m.

Mike Davis will make his triumphant return to Bloomington. Davis was the man that replaced Bobby Knight as Hoosier head coach, eventually getting run out of town to make room for Kelvin Sampson. They went well, didn’t it? Anyway, he’s not the head coach at Texas Southern.

Top 25:

  • Jacksonville at No. 7 Louisville, 7:00 p.m.
  • Maryland-Eastern Shore at No. 12 Villanova, 7:00 p.m.
  • Bucknell at No. 24 Michigan, 8:00 p.m.

2014-15 Season Preview: Under the radar stars

Larry Nance (AP Photo)
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source: AP
Larry Nance (AP Photo)

Beginning on October 3rd and running up until November 14th, the first day of the season, College Basketball Talk will be unveiling the 2014-2015 NBCSports.com college hoops preview package.

MORE: 2014-2015 Season Preview Coverage | Conference Previews | Preview Schedule

The term “under the radar” can be a difficult one to define with regards to college basketball. For some, lists of such players will be dominated by guys whose programs are part of the nightly highlights packages you doze off to in the early morning hours. But for others, the term “under the radar” applies to players who in November may be on the outside looking in with regards to All-America teams. Below are some players who may not be considered to be preseason All-Americans but have a shot at landing on one of those teams at season’s end.

1. Larry Nance Jr., Wyoming: When it comes to the Mountain West the traditional contenders (New Mexico, San Diego State and UNLV) tend to get most of the attention from fans outside of the region, so the son of the former Cleveland Cavalier may not be as well-known to them. But he should be, as Nance averaged 15.4 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game last season. Nance is returning from a torn ACL, but he’s expected to be at full strength when the season begins later this month.

2. Darrun Hilliard, Villanova: Hilliard was a bit miffed that he wasn’t chosen to be Big East POY at their media day, and rightfully so. The senior is coming off of his best season as a Wildcat, averaging 14.3 points and 3.6 rebounds per game. And with James Bell out of eligibility, Hilliard could be even more productive for the preseason favorites to win the Big East.

3. Shawn Long, Louisiana: Losing Elfrid Payton hurts, but in the 6-foot-9 Long head coach Bob Marlin has a very good piece to build around in an attempt to make a second straight trip to the NCAA tournament. Last year Long accounted for 18.6 points, 10.4 rebounds and 2.7 blocked shots per game.

MORE: X-Factors | Breakout Stars | Impact TransfersPreseason All-Americans

4. R.J. Hunter, Georgia State: When it comes to the best shooters in America, Hunter’s clearly on the list. He averaged 18.3 points and 4.6 rebounds per game last season, helping lead the Panthers to a Sun Belt regular season title.

5. Isaiah Taylor, Texas: Taylor was good as a freshman, averaging 12.0 points, 4.0 assists and 3.3 rebounds per game. But there’s clearly room for improvement, as evidenced by the shooting percentages (39.1% FG, 26.3% 3PT), and the Longhorns’ deep front court should result in cleaner shooting opportunities for him.

6. A.J. English, Iona: While the Gaels will have to account for the loss of Sean Armand, English returns after averaging 17.2 points, 4.3 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game as a sophomore.

7. D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Georgetown: Who was the pick to win preseason Big East POY? Smith-Rivera was, and with Markel Starks gone the Hoyas will need a big year from the junior guard. Smith-Rivera accounted for 17.6 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists per contest in 2013-14.

8. DaVonte’ Lacy, Washington State: Ernie Kent has a tough job in front of him, but it helps that Lacy has one last season of eligibility. As a junior Lacy averaged 19.4 points and 4.2 rebounds per game.

POSITION RANKINGS: Lead Guards | Off Guards | Wing Forwards | Big Men

9. Zak Irvin, Michigan: With Caris LeVert on our All-America team, we’ve essentially pegged him to make the jump that has become commonplace during the John Beilein era in Ann Arbor. But why not Irvin? Thanks to the Wolverines’ personnel losses, he’ll be in a position where he’s asked to do more offensively than just “catch and shoot.”

10. Terran Petteway, Nebraska: While Petteway was a first team All-Big Ten selection last season, that hasn’t led to his being included on many preseason All-America teams. He averaged 18.2 points and 4.6 rebounds per game last season, and if Petteway can improve from an efficiency standpoint look out.

FIVE NAMES YOU’VE HEARD BEFORE BUT DON’T SEE ON TV OFTEN

1. Keifer Sykes, Green Bay
2. John Brown, High Point
3. D.J. Balentine, Evansville
4. Daniel Mullings, New Mexico State
5. E.C. Mathews, Rhode Island