Archive for January, 2012

Georgia State will host UTSA in Bracketbuster game

The Georgia State men’s basketball team will host UTSA in its Bracketbuster game at 7 p.m. on Feb. 18 at the Sports Arena. This will be their first meeting in basketball since 2008. Georgia State (14-8, 6-5)  trails in the series 5-7. The Bracketbuster games are designed to matchup non-conference opponents with similar RPIs, in an attempt to improve their eligibility in the eyes of the NCAA tournament committee. The Roadrunners (14-7, 6-1 Southland), who have won their past five games and eight of their past nine, are No. 182 in the NCAA’s recent RPI. The Panthers are No. 160. UTSA averages 75.7 points per game, led by Melvin Johnson III. The Panthers are 4-2 in Bracketbuster games.

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The good and bad of Georgia State’s loss to VCU

Georgia State was beaten 59-58 by Virginia Commonwealth on Saturday at the Sports Arena. The loss snapped the Panthers’ 10-0 winning streak at home. It was also Georgia State’s (14-8, 6-5) fourth loss in its past five games.

The good

The crowd. Georgia State used the energy provided by its crowed, the loudest it has been this season in my opinion, to give itself a chance to beat the Rams in the final seconds. Hunter said he could see that his team, playing its fifth game in 11 days, was out of gas and needed a spark. So he implored the crowd to try. They responded.

Jihad Ali. The senior scored a game-high 18 points to lead the team for the second consecutive game since moving back to the sixth-man role. He says he doesn’t care if he starts or comes off the bench, but Hunter believes he’s more productive in his current role.

The 3-point shooting (part 1). The team hit 33.3 percent of its 3-pointers, including four in the game’s last three minutes. If not for those, it could …

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Who will Georgia State play in its BracketBuster game? — updated

Just spoke with Ron Hunter about last night’s loss and what’s upcoming. I posted those thoughts on twitter @ajcgsu and will have more in a story that will appear Friday on

A look at the upcoming BracketBuster game might be the perfect mouthwash for last night’s bitter loss at Drexel.

Georgia State’s hopes of appearing in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2001 will depend upon it winning the Colonial Athletic Association.

It can prepare itself for a possible postseason berth by winning its BracketBuster game, which will be played Feb. 18 at the Sports Arena.

What is a BracketBuster, you ask, and why does it have another capitalized B? No idea on the second, but here you go on the first: The Bracketbuster, contrived by ESPN, is designed to pit at-large hopefuls against each other on a nationally broadcast game. This year, the 142-team field will feature teams from 16 conferences: 12 from Colonial Athletic Association, Mid-American Conference and Southland; …

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The bad and bad of Georgia State’s loss to Drexel

Normally after each game, we break down the good and bad of Georgia State’s basketball game. After the Panthers were blown out by Drexel 68-46 on Wednesday, I’m not sure there were any good things. The team will host VCU on Saturday.

The Bad

The offense. When a team is held to one point for more than 10 minutes, it’s safe to say nothing is working. Other than James Fields’ free throw (more about that) 5 minutes gone into the second half, the Panthers did nothing on offense until a Jihad Ali jumper six minutes later. When the team can’t score, it can’t press. When it can’t press, it can’t score. The 46 points were the fewest this season and 18 points in the second period were the fewest in a half.

Coach Ron Hunter tinkered with the starting lineup for the second time in three games, putting Josh Micheaux back into the starting lineup and moving Jihad Ali back to the sixth-man role that he seemed to flourish in earlier this season. Brandon McGee remained in the starting lineup. …

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Is tonight the most important game of the year for Georgia State?

Before we get into tonight’s game, I would like to ask you a few questions:

As we hit the halfway point in the CAA season, who is Georgia State’s MVP? Who needs to step up? After tonight, what is the toughest remaining game and why? What is the team’s strength? What is its weakness? Who is the coach of the year in the CAA? The MVP? What is the key to the race?

I’m compiling info for a story running Saturday. Post comments below, or email me at


Tonight’s game at Drexel is arguably the most important of the year for Georgia State’s basketball team.

‘Why?’ you may ask. ‘The Panthers (14-6, 6-3) have already beaten the Dragons (15-5, 7-2) handily once this season.’

While it is true Georgia State beat Drexel by 14 points at the Sports Arena on Jan. 2, the Dragons haven’t lost since.

As a matter of fact, it was their only loss in their past 14 games.

Three of their past 14 wins have come by double-digits, including a 71-53 beatdown of the same Northeastern team …

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The good and bad of Georgia State’s win over James Madison

Georgia State defeated James Madison 74-58 on Monday at the Sports Arena. The Panthers (14-6, 6-3) are undefeated at home this season, a perfect 10-0. They will play at Drexel on Wednesday, before hosting VCU on Saturday.

Here is the good and bad of Monday’s win.

The Good

James Fields. The senior tied a career-high with 21 points. He had eight rebounds and three steals. He was aggressive with the ball, driving the baseline and forcing James Madison to account for him.

Josh Micheaux. Benched before Saturday’s game at Delaware because opposing defenses simply stopped guarding him because he wouldn’t shoot, he responded with 15 points and 11 rebounds. He still seemed tentative to shoot, passing up a 3-pointer in the first half. But when he got the ball back, he drained the shot and took off from there. He said he had been overthinking and needed to follow his coach’s advice and get back to having fun.

Eric Buckner. He has been playing some of the best basketball of his career the …

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The good and bad of Georgia State’s loss at Delaware

Georgia State was beaten by Delaware 77-74 in two overtimes on Saturday. It was the Panthers’ (13-6, 5-3) second consecutive loss. They will host James Madison on Monday.

The Good

Eric Buckner (part I). The senior had a double-double, with 19 points and 15 rebounds. He also had four blocks.

Brandon McGee. The senior, starting for the first time in 12 games, finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

“I thought that was big,” coach Ron Hunter said about the switch. “It opened the floor for us. Best start we’vve gotten off to in over two months. You have to guard Brandon. He played really good basketball. We are going to stay with it.”

Quick hands (part I). The team had 15 steals.

The Bad

First-half defense. In yesterday’s blog I asked if Delaware would be able to do what Northeastern did against Georgia State. Turns out they did.

Delaware missed its first 14 shots. It then hit 8 3-pointers in the final 12 minutes, 6 seconds of the first half. In the first halves of its past two …

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Will Delaware do what Northeastern did against GSU?

Georgia State was beaten by Northeastern on Wednesday largely because of the Huskies’ hot hand hitting 3-pointers (try saying that five times fast).

Northeastern dropped 11 of them on the Panthers, including eight in the first half.

While a trio hit all of them, the run started with the Huskies’ guards.

That was surprising in itself.

In CAA play, Georgia State various matchup zones have befuddled guard units.

Here’s a chart of how the opponents’ starting guards have performed against Georgia State this season:


Northeastern………………. 11 of 27……….7 of 16………35 points

Towson…………………………..3 of 8…………2 of 4………10 points

UNCW…………………………..8 of 28……….3 of 14………23 points

GMU……………………………..8 of 21………3 of 12………24 points

VCU………………………………3 of 18……..0 for 7………15 points

Drexel……………………………3 of 16……..3 of 12………13 points

W&M…………………………….5 of 17………3 of 10……..14 points

So, will Delaware be able to replicate what Northeastern did?

Odds say no, but it’s not out of the …

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Georgia State’s 2012 football schedule won’t be easy

Georgia State’s 2012 football schedule includes plenty of firsts: its first trip to Rocky Top, and its first eight games in the Colonial Athletic Association.

The schedule, released today, likely won’t be easy: aside from the Panthers going 3-8 last season, which brings its own issues in all areas, four of their conference opponents made it to the FCS playoffs last season.

The Panthers, whose bye doesn’t come until the season’s last week, will open at the Georgia Dome, either on Thursday, Aug. 30 or Friday, Aug. 31, depending upon the Atlanta Falcons’ schedule.

Season tickets are on sale. Call 866-GA-STATE for more information.

“Our schedule is a great step forward for us to go and compete in this league,” coach Bill Curry said. “We’ve got to make a great leap forward with this team, to be competitive. That’s what we intend to do. We started working the day after the season, and we are continuing to work so that we will be competitive in the CAA.”

Tough start

The Panthers will …

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The good and bad of GSU’s loss to Northeastern

Georgia State was defeated by Northeastern 60-57 on Wednesday at Matthews Arena.

It was just the Panthers’ (13-5, 5-2) second loss in their last 15 games, but knocked them out of a first-place tie atop the Colonial Athletic Association. GSU will play at Delaware on Saturday.


Eric Buckner. The senior and center led the team with 17 points, six rebounds and six blocks.

Rebounding. The Panthers outrebounded (33-24) their opponent for the second consecutive game. But the Huskies seemed content to keep bombing 3-pointers, enabling Georgia State to surround the basket.


Free-throw shooting. The Panthers’ Achilles Heel last season, the team worked diligently on it during the offseason, even engaging in a good-natured contest against GSU President Mark Becker. However, with the team trailing by 3 and less than a minute remaining, Buckner missed two free throws. The Panthers were 6 of 10 for the game.

3-point defense. Despite playing what looked and sounded (shoutout to Dave …

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