Conference: Sun Belt
Coach: Ron Hunter
Record: 24-9 (15-5 Sun Belt)
Rankings and ratings:
– Kenpom: 71
– RPI: 61
– AP/USA Today: Not ranked
Seeding: 13 seed
Names you need to know: Junior wing R.J. Hunter (20.1 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 3.8 apg) is the son of head coach Ron Hunter and a potential NBA first-round pick. Senior point guard Ryan Harrow (19.4 ppg, 3.8 apg) is a former Kentucky transfer and guard Kevin Ware (7.3 ppg, 3.2 rpg) used to play at Louisville.
Stats you need to know: Georgia State is the only team in the country with two individual players in the top 30 in points per game. The Panthers have also played good ball down the stretch as they’ve won nine of 10 entering the Tournament.
Tendencies: The Panthers give a lot of offensive freedom to Harrow and Hunter since they are talented scorers and creators. Others on the team play off of them on the offensive end. They’ll look to push the tempo and take quick hitters to get Hunter looks from 3-point range, since he gets crowded on the line in the half-court. Georgia State will play fast, but they take good shots, as they shot 48 percent from the field as a team on the year. On the defensive end, the Panthers will generate a lot of steals and average 9.2 per game, good for sixth in the country.
Big wins, bad losses: Georgia State split a pair of games with Green Bay and lost to Iowa State, Colorado State and Old Dominion in non-conference. Among the Sun Belt, Georgia State won two out of three against Georgia Southern, the league’s second-best team.
How’d they get here: Georgia State outlasted Louisiana Lafayette in the semifinals, 83-79, and beat Georgia Southern, 38-36, in the championship.
Outlook: With talented scorers like Harrow and Hunter, Georgia State won’t be a fun team to gameplan for in the Round of 64. That being said, they haven’t beaten any legitimate opponents this season and are unproven.
How do I know you?: R.J. Hunter has been a mid-major darling the last few seasons and Harrow (Kentucky), Ware (Louisville) should be familiar to college basketball fans thanks to their previous affiliations.