The good and bad of Georgia State’s 57-42 win over Towson. It was the Panthers’ ninth consecutive at home, where they are undefeated this season, and the Tigers’ 37th consecutive loss, extending their dubious NCAA record.
The win. The Panthers have now surpassed their victory total from 2010-11.
James Vincent. I was curious how he was going to fit into coach Ron Hunter’s up-and-down offense. His size is such that he seems better suited for a half-court offense, which is probably what former coach Rod Barnes thought when he signed him. However, he’s given starter Eric Buckner breaks when he’s needed them and had his own breakout game on Saturday, scoring a career- and game-high 18 points. Hunter said afterward that he needs to get him some more minutes to rest Buckner more.
The defense (stay tuned). The Tigers shot 25 percent, the fifth consecutive opponent to shoot less than 40 percent.
The rebounding. The Panthers outrebounded the Tigers 43-30, the first time they’ve beaten an opponent in the boards in the past five games.
The defense (I told you to stay tuned). Statistically the defense was good. However, visually something didn’t look right. It really hasn’t looked right going back to the Drexel game. Just like the Dragons, the Tigers were able to get to the basket fairly easily. Just like the Dragons, they simply couldn’t get the bunnies to drop. I don’t know if it’s because Georgia State likes to use so many zone defenses, which creates creases that enable opponents to crash the boards, or if Georgia State wants opponents to come inside because that’s where Eric Buckner is, and 2 points are less than 3. But it strikes me that the difference in the quality of the big men of Drexel and Towson, compared to the difference in the quality of the big men of George Mason, is the margin of error that the Panthers have right now. I would be interested in hearing your thoughts.
Devonta White. After a solid start to the season, White has struggled recently. He hit just 3 of his 11 shots against Towson. He hit 3 of 10 against UNCW and 3 of 13 against George Mason. His last decent shooting game was 5 of 11 against VCU. Because he’s a spot-up 3-pointer or drive-to-the-basket guy, he’s not going to have a great shooting percentage. Those are low-percentage shots. But it seems like he may be trying too hard to make something happen. He’s able to get the basket almost anytime he wants, but he’s not getting calls when he goes up for shots. Instead, he’s getting blocked. I don’t have film to study to see if White isn’t jumping into the defender, which should result in fouls, or if he’s trying to avoid the contact, which will result in blocks, or if he’s getting fouled and the CAA refs aren’t giving him the calls. I do know this, he’s a very good 3-point shooter from the corners and he’s still the team’s leading scorer with a lot of games left to play.
The Panthers need White because he runs the offense well and he can score. Plus, the guards on the bench haven’t provided consistent scoring this season. They’ve had good games, but they haven’t been consistent.
The energy. Hunter said after the game that in 20 years he’s never had to coach effort. He had to coach effort on Saturday. He said that will never happen again. The team has played four consecutive tough games, with a four-games-in-eight-days-stretch about to start, so it’s understandable if the team was looking ahead. Hunter didn’t want to hear anything like that on Saturday. Wins in January aren’t nearly as important as wins in March.
– Doug Roberson, AJC. Please follow me on twitter @ajcgsu