And now the fun begins

Here’s a short one to tide you over. The blog will be on a break next week for the Holidays.

Georgia State set a school record last night in winning its ninth consecutive basketball game.

Nine consecutive wins is quite the accomplishment. However, as has been noted by esteemed colleague Mark Bradley, and a few of you, the quality of the opponents hasn’t been that great. No one can predict that when the schedules are made, but it is what it is.

That won’t be true anymore as the Panthers dive into the meat of the CAA schedule, starting with a trifecta that should provide a good indication of how much progress this team has made under new coach Ron Hunter.

The Panthers host Drexel on Jan. 2, before hitting the road to face VCU, which made the Final Four last year, and George Mason, coached by Paul Hewitt.

Coincidentally, those teams were picked Nos. 1, 3, and 2 in the coaches’ preseason poll. Georgia State was picked to finish in 11th place.

According to kenpom.com’s ratings (through Wednesday), Drexel is No. 113, VCU No. 47 and George Mason No. 107. Georgia State is No. 80.

The Dragons are off to a disappointing 6-4 start, but have won their past four games. VCU is 9-3, winners of six consecutive, and George Mason is 7-4.

What are your predictions for how the Georgia State will handle this three-game swing, and what will it portend for the rest of the season?

41 comments Add your comment

hammer22

December 23rd, 2011
10:41 am

First? I guess so.

hammer22

December 23rd, 2011
10:43 am

I think we can beat Drexel at home. But, playing VCU and George Mason both on the road are going to be brutal. I wouldn’t be disappointed at all by going 1-2 in those three games because those are very good teams. I think we will be able to handle our own with the rest of the CAA though.

Doug Roberson

December 23rd, 2011
11:00 am

I think your prediction will be the most popular response.

Sluggo

December 23rd, 2011
11:29 am

Two of the teams in our consecutive win-streak beat us last year; therefore, I’ll take the streak without any qualifications.

As for our next three games, I think the Drexel game will come down to the wire with GSU pulling it out late. Both VCU and GMU will be tough games on the road. I believe we’ll drop the VCU game and possibly pull out the GMU game as I don’t believe in Paul Hewitt’s in-game coaching. Either way, we should be competitive with the preseason top three teams.

Outside of ODU, the remaining schedule should be favorable for the Panthers.

GSUUSOCCER

December 23rd, 2011
12:20 pm

The Drexel and GMU games are definitely winnable, but the VCU game will be the hardest test of this season thus far. A 2-1 record for the next 3 games would be awesome, but being 1-2 in the next 3 is what I see happening (I hope I am wrong).

This win streak has been a nice little Christmas present for us GSU Panther fans!

zgoldatl

December 23rd, 2011
12:39 pm

1-2 is realistic, but 2-1 would be great. Regardless, love what Coach Hunter is doing with this group of young men. Go Panthers, Bleed Blue

GStateBen

December 23rd, 2011
1:32 pm

Nice job Doug. Your esteemed colleague Mark Bradley has yet to attend a Ron Hunter coached game either.

As CRH stated he didn’t set the schedule, but a few things of note:

-Washington was a Sweet 16 team in 2010-11.
-FAU, Portland, McNeese and Rhode Island all won 20+ games last season.
-Liberty won 19 games last season.

Entering the year, this schedule looked very daunting. We can only control what we can control and we are destroying people. Average margin of victory during the 9 game win streak is 21.4 ppg.

There are some very good teams in the CAA (VCU, Mason, ODU) but there are also some terrible ones (Towson, W&M, UNC-W).

Onward and upward!

GSU Men's BB Fan

December 23rd, 2011
1:43 pm

Hey Doug,

The ratings on Ken Pomeroy’s website are not the RPI. He stopped posting the RPI a couple of years ago. He just posts the ratings from his own formula now. You might want to check out realtimerpi, rpiforecast, of Jerry Palm’s site for the RPI.

Of course I believe the NCAA releases the official RPI on a weekly basis if you wanted to wait that long.

GSU Men's BB Fan

December 23rd, 2011
1:43 pm

meant to say or no of there.

GSU Men's BB Fan

December 23rd, 2011
1:45 pm

wow…did it again…I mean to say (in my second post): “or not of there.”

Doug Roberson

December 23rd, 2011
1:48 pm

I’ve covered quite a few of the games.

BariBlue

December 23rd, 2011
1:50 pm

Honestly, I think this team can do very well against the next three opponents as long as they come back from the holidays utterly FOCUSED. Great job against Southern last night, but do not get too cocky. Like CRH said, remain grounded and keep your eyes on the prize. You all a completely capable and equipped to beat Drexel, Mason, and VCU. Lets give ‘em hell, State!

GStateBen

December 23rd, 2011
1:58 pm

Did not say you did. We understand your situation.

I was saying Mark’s research is limited to reading box score and following RPI. It’s lazy journalism. He knows nothing about our basketball program because he’s not at the games.

Panama

December 23rd, 2011
1:59 pm

We are going to have to smash someone to get respect.

So be it

Doug Roberson

December 23rd, 2011
2:00 pm

I disagree. Mark has spoken to coach hunter a few times, and he knows basketball.

GSUBB

December 23rd, 2011
2:07 pm

Both of those road games will be tough. I think we end up 1 – 2 in that stretch, with all 3 games being very close. If we go 2 – 1 the CAA will be forced to take notice and stop pointing at our schedule strength.

Any way about it, it is a fun time to be a Panther basketball fan.

Panther08

December 23rd, 2011
2:10 pm

My predicition for the next three games is that we will take 2 out of the 3. I’m hoping for 3-0 but would be happy for 2-1. #GoPanthers

Panama

December 23rd, 2011
2:16 pm

Bring on the next victim

itsmeagain

December 23rd, 2011
2:19 pm

WE WILL WIN THEM ALL!!!1!!11ONE!11

Sam

December 23rd, 2011
2:54 pm

I predict GSU will go to the final four this year. After that, who knows! Excuse me, I have to go take my medication.

AgentOrange

December 23rd, 2011
3:09 pm

GSU is in beast mode

Labyrinth

December 23rd, 2011
3:36 pm

SNORK at Sam. Gotta love it when fan(s) hang onto sense of humor, no matter how intensely we feel about the team.

Labyrinth

December 23rd, 2011
3:39 pm

By the way, Panther grad of ‘71 here.

Georgia Southern Eagle

December 23rd, 2011
3:55 pm

I believe in you Georgia State. You are our best in the state.
Way to go Panther!

Georgia Southern Eagle

December 23rd, 2011
4:09 pm

Just kidding- I’m a GState fan.

RidgeRunner

December 23rd, 2011
6:14 pm

I go for 1-2 with GMU as a possible win. VCU does not take prisoners on their home court. Thought we would go 2-1 for Washington and came out 0-3 but I think we are better in the short 9 game win streak.

Panther

December 23rd, 2011
11:47 pm

I predict 2 wins and 1 loss. VCU is going to be very difficult to beat especially at their place. Go Panthers!

GSPanther

December 24th, 2011
2:31 am

I think we beat Drexel and GM but lose to VCU.

Will get our vengeance though on dec 28.

GSU_2012

December 24th, 2011
10:17 am

3-0: CRH is a genius and GSU has arrived to the next level. We will be in the drivers seat for the CAA and getting to the NCAA tourney would be a realistic possibility.

2-1: The streak was not a fluke and the team still has reason to be optimistic about the rest of the season. We will be in the elite class among the CAA. Should finish in the top 3 of our conference and still could come out on top.

1-2: Still missing some pieces. The streak will be questioned by some as a fluke. We are not quite elite in the CAA but we can be hopeful that with the recruiting that we have coming in next year a chance to become elite is definitely there. We will have to see how the rest of the season plays out to see how excited we should be getting about the team.

0-3: The team’s win streak will be remembered as a series of 9 games in which the average team that GSU played had an RPI of 315 and the combined record of those 9 teams was 17-73. Not all hope will be lost because GSU will still have beaten teams that they should have beaten, something that previous squads did not do, however this team still has several steps to becoming the class of the CAA.

As a die-hard GSU fan I believe that we are somewhere between 2-1 and 1-2. I believe that we have better chance to beat George Mason than Drexel because I think it might take a couple of games to get back to playing a quality team. Paul Hewitt is also not a good in-game coach and that is one of CRH’s strengths. Excited to see what plays out.

GSUUSOCCER

December 24th, 2011
11:24 am

@GSU_2012

That is really good breakdown and analysis of what the future means for GSU Basketball. Whatever happens, I will still be a huge fan of Ron Hunter and what he has this team doing so far.

Go Panthers, on to Drexel!

slimseville

December 24th, 2011
11:57 am

@2012 I echo what GSUUSOCCER said. Very good breakdown. Now matter how the next three games turn out I am still very excited for the future of the team.

GaStateChris

December 24th, 2011
3:48 pm

I think these next three games will tell us a lot about not only the team we are but the schedule we have faced.

I personally am one to think that we haven’t beaten anyone yet. I would love to see GSU compete the next three games and hopefully win, but whatever the outcome, we will know much more.

STATEment

December 24th, 2011
6:26 pm

I would be very happy with a 2-1 record over the stretch, extatic with 3-0. I think it could be done.

Panthersville.com

December 24th, 2011
7:54 pm

Bradley mentioned GSU’s streak – that’s more than every sports talk radio personality in the city. I’ll take it!

GSU_Tang

December 25th, 2011
10:38 am

I think 1-2 is realistic and will be really happy if we can get 2-1. Go Panthers!!!

alum

December 26th, 2011
9:02 am

Thanks for the record coach and kids. Great post game interview from coach, Eric and Boom. Glad to know the kids are having as much fun as I am.

Stateside

December 26th, 2011
12:43 pm

Won’t be truly disappointed with anything except 0-3. But whatever the outcome, I have high hopes for this team and will continue to bleed blue. Go Panthers!

Matt

December 27th, 2011
12:51 am

I think they’ll beat Drexel and steal one from George Mason, but I don’t see them beating VCU.

GSU_MEX_ALUM

December 28th, 2011
3:32 pm

I’m hoping for 2-1, but 1-2 is probably more realistic.

TEXAS

December 29th, 2011
12:54 pm

WHEN WILL THEY RETIRE TERRENCE BRANDON’S JERSEY AT GSU? HE WAS ONE OF THE GREATEST PLAYERS TO PLAY THERE EVER, LOOK AT THE STATS!!!!!!!! WHAT ARE U GUYS WAITING ON? HE HAS ALL THE CREDITIALS(I.E. DEGREE). COME ON GSU NATION!

Georgia Southern Eagle

December 30th, 2011
1:23 pm

It will be tough game for state. If Georgia State win 1 out of 3, i will convert from GSU eagle to GSU Panther!