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 have been another blowout, just like Wednesday’s loss at Drexel.

The bad

The fifth starter. In his third attempt in four games to generate some more scoring from his starters, Hunter made a change. This time, Brandon McGee, who has scored two points in his past two starts, was benched in favor of Rashaad Richardson. He didn’t score in 15 minutes against the Rams. That means the fifth starter has scored two points in the past three games. Hunter said the team is already offensively-challenged. It needs something more.

The 3-point shooting (part II). If Georgia State had one more consistent 3-point shooter, it’s a good bet that they would have just one loss in the conference this season. The team was 3-of-17 from behind the line before its last barrage. The half-court offense just grinds to a halt when opponents can sit back in their zone, or man-to-man. For several minutes, perhaps because of the exhaustion, the Panthers players just didn’t move around much in their half-court sets. When they don’t move, they become much easier to guard (duh!),w hich brings us to our last point….

CAA’s travel agent. Georgia State isn’t the only victim of the conference’s scheduling, but it was playing its fifth game in 11 days, which just doesn’t make a lot of sense. Three of those games were on the road in Boston, Delaware and Philadelphia. That’s not like driving to Clemson or Auburn for you ACC and SEC fans. It robs the kids of classroom time and it robs them of energy, which doesn’t put the best product on TV. Perhaps the CAA should consider playing more conference games in December, which would thin out the schedule.

Moving games to December, when school is out for the holiday break, risks lower attendance and fewer dollars. That obviously has to be taken into consideration. But, it seems like moving at least two games would help the student-athletes. It seems to make more sense to play a couple of games when they don’t have class to worry about, compared to when they do. For example, Georgia State left for Northeastern on a Tuesday, and didn’t get back home until late Saturday night. That’s four days of classes.  That kind of trip isn’t true for all of the schools. But Georgia State is so far removed from the rest of the CAA, that kind of travel is necessary.

What do you think?

– Doug Roberson, AJC. Please follow me on twitter @ajcgsu

24 comments Add your comment

Panther4Life

January 28th, 2012
8:31 pm

I personally do not care what anyone says, this game was determined entirely by the officials. VCU had at least three travelling violations, two double dribbles and one back court violations that were not called. I think our kids were off their game but they deserved better from the officiating. I was very proud of their effort and thought it was very exciting. I believe the kids should hang their heads high regardless of the outcome and know that they are winners and we are behind them no matter what. PS, I sat next to NBA star Ron Harper and he thought the officiating was horrific and they should be ashamed of themselves for their lack of professionalism.

Avery

January 28th, 2012
8:39 pm

The two charge calls on obvious shooting fouls in the first half were abysmal. At worst the official should have left the whistle in his pocket but to call them charges swung the game by 4-6 points.

blazerdawg

January 28th, 2012
9:08 pm

Sounds like the toughest of losses. Get’em next time Panthers! Tournament is just a few weeks away.

gsu01

January 28th, 2012
9:17 pm

The refs made sure we had no chance in this game.

Occupy Hunterville

January 28th, 2012
10:03 pm

A tough loss, but those last few minutes were a thrill ride that should bring many GSU fans back for more. Quite a lot of entertainment for $12.

GSU_2012

January 28th, 2012
10:08 pm

This schedule is brutal. I like the idea of starting more conference play in December. It would also help us spread our some of our home games. Five of our six home games in the month of December through Jan 2. were at home. Kind of sucks. Especially since school was not in session for most of those. Could not provide the home field advantage.

I do believe that our gym is becoming one that people do not want to play in. We are becoming pretty hostile, and I like it. Student Section was on it’s game today.

Mike jones

January 28th, 2012
10:08 pm

Every game has questionable calls going both ways, in most all sports at all levels. Get over it, the Rams beat the Panthers, end of story.

GSU_2012

January 28th, 2012
10:09 pm

Clarifying: five of our six games in December where at home**

GSU

January 28th, 2012
10:55 pm

How long will we put up with this? We have the tools to be a top CAA team but we settle for mediocrity. Wake up.

Matt

January 29th, 2012
12:08 am

What’s good is that even after the horrible officiating and medicore play during strecthes, GSU only lost by one. The Panthers are going to be a force to be reckoned with come CAA tourney time.

gsu01

January 29th, 2012
12:24 am

Doug: You are the neutral voice here. What were your thoughts on the officiating tonight?

Doug Roberson

January 29th, 2012
12:34 am

I would say that the officiating balances out over the year. But it seems like gsu tends to get whistled for a lot of charges, and refs let travels go. Now, I have no idea if the charges are the byproduct of gsu’s aggressive offense, or they are really charges. One tonight seemed like the defender was under the basket, which isn’t getting called at all this year.

Panther4Life

January 29th, 2012
8:52 am

I agree the calling generally balances out. Up or down in a one-sided game I don’t think incompetency matters. I do however think that when you have evenly matched teams that are playing a very competitive game the officials should be highly discriminative so as not to affect the outcome.

Panther4Life

January 29th, 2012
9:14 am

One last point…. Did anyone else notice how the kids responded when CRH flapped his arms and got the crowd into the game in the last two minutes? I applaud his gesture and thought what if we (the fans) 1). Didn’t need coaxing and 2). Had rooted more intensely for our kids with four minutes to go? Might have been a very different outcome. Regardless they did respond to our support and if nothing else I believe we should recognize the impact we have and utilize it (i.e. GET UP PEOPLE!!).

slimseville

January 29th, 2012
9:15 am

Tough loss. We definitely need more offensive production from our starters. There were too many long stretches where we couldn’t score. With that being said, I’m still proud of my team. The played hard until the very end. Great to see Ron Harper at the game too!

GSUAlumBaseball81

January 29th, 2012
10:14 am

@ Panther4Life

Could not agree more with your assessment of the officals. It was pretty bad! The fans and students delivered awesome support during and at the end of the game. The GSU pep band and cheerleaders/dance team are the bomb! Great baby race too. President Becker is definitely the best President we have ever had and he will oversee GSU’s move into the limelight in athletics!!! Just wished that Buck’s(EB20) dunk just before the half had gone down and we would be talking about a GSU victory. I thought that in itsself was another foul. Terrible officiating CAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

VCU Ram

January 29th, 2012
10:50 am

My VCU friends and I have been complaining about CAA refs for a while. This year has been particularly maddening. I don’t see it favoring one way or the other, but screwing both teams in every game. The worst is the constant call of phantom fouls in the lane. The refs call fouls in the lane almost every time a player goes up for a shot, with the replay often showing zero contact. And sometimes even showing the defender basically bailing away from the play to avoid contact and, yet, still a foul.
Anyway, I hope VCU does not see GSU in the tourney. This is an uncomfortable matchup that can clearly go either way. Good luck.

GSUAlumBaseball81

January 29th, 2012
11:36 am

@ VCU Ram

Agreed! I have seen multiple charge calls all year that looked to be blocks. Now everytime we drive into the bucket I am just waiting for the charge call. Oh well, can’t wait for the CAA tourney. But unlike you, I would like to see GSU and VCU matchup in the finals! Best of luck as well! GO GSU PANTHERS!!!

Nick Bray

January 29th, 2012
1:28 pm

This is the CAA at its best. Two evenly matched teams and the refs take the ball out of their hands. I do not think it favored VCU as much as it is being made out to be, but I do believe at the end of the day they were given a benefit we were not. In Richmond the refs let both teams play. The game was excellent. In this game they let us bang down low and then up top if the guards looked at each other too hard there was a foul called. One of the refs went so far as to try and explain his call to me. It is just maddening to see a game actually called tighter as the clock ticks closer to zero. We had the benefit of Big East, Big 10 and SEC officials earlier in the year, now that conference play is in full swing it is nothing but CAA guys. Hopefully our fans realized how much fun a game is and continue to grow in numbers. No reason not to support this team…

RidgeRunner

January 29th, 2012
2:51 pm

Yep VCURAM I agree with you. The ref’s don’t show partially just some strange calls and no-calls. It would be fun sometime to review a game and explain why some fouls were called and my some the fans saw were not called. One reason can be their view of an incident versus ours. Another reason can be that we as fans just do not understand the finer points of ref’ing. And yet I suspect that late game calls change are due in part to the refs getting tired physically and mentally. Mentally cause they are not fan watching but ref watching every move and that concentration I believe wears on them cause I know when I concentrate on something for an extended period of time my mind starts not seeing things as clear as when I started.

Anyway, my 2 cents.

GSUAlumBaseball81

January 29th, 2012
4:16 pm

Officiating is not easy as I have done some in baseball. Split second decisions can be challenging. Running up and down a basketball court is physically taxing at best. Maybe the college game is getting too fast for some officials to handle? It appears so in the CAA. More thoughts???

GSU is in Atlanta

January 29th, 2012
6:09 pm

The best GSU basketball crowd I have ever experienced, and this dates back to the Lefty years when I was an undergrad. Thanks to Ron Hunter for giving us a great product on the court!

Doug, nice meeting you at Hunterville on Monday and thanks for the GSU coverage.

Sluggo

January 30th, 2012
3:16 pm

@ Avery

I agree that those two offensive foul calls were atrocious! There is just too many inconsistencies with that call. With that said, I can’t blame it all on the refs as good teams have to find ways to overcome bad officiating. We got to find another shooter besides Ali. Obviously it won’t happen this year so we have to do other things to win games. I don’t think we’re a top four team this year, but should be able to win a game or two in Richmond. Go Panthers!

For the Love of Lefty

January 30th, 2012
4:51 pm

Win. Period.