Can Georgia State finish in the top four in the CAA?

The good news for Georgia State’s basketball team is it has just one game remaining against the top four teams in the Colonial Athletic Association.

The bad news for Georgia State’s basketball team is it has just one game remaining against the  top four teams in the Colonial Athletic Association.

As the Panthers continue their push to secure a top-four spot in the upcoming conference tournament, they will have to do so without the benefit of too many head-to-head meetings against the teams they are chasing.

Their only opportunity will come when they host Old Dominion on Feb. 22.

The Panthers (8-5) are in fifth place, trailing VCU, George Mason and Drexel, all of whom are 11-2 in the conference, and Old Dominion (10-3). Georgia State will host Northeastern on Wednesday.

The good news for coach Ron Hunter is that the teams they are chasing still have many games remaining against each other, which can only help the Panthers, provided they keep winning. That is the key. They can’t lose any more conference games.

Hunter said he has told his team that every practice and every game must be approached with a playoff mentality.

Here’s a look at the teams they are chasing, their remaining conference schedule, and my best guess as to what will happen:

George Mason

Wednesday vs Hofstra 7 p.m. ESPN3

Saturday at UNC Wilmington 7 p.m.

Feb. 14 vs. VCU  9 p.m. CSS

Feb. 22 at Northeastern 7 p.m. ESPN3

Feb. 25 at VCU 6 p.m. ESPN/ESPN2

Best guess: The Patriots will go 4-1, splitting the games against VCU.

Drexel

Wednesday at JMU 7 p.m.

Saturday vs. Hofstra 4 p.m.

Feb. 14 vs.William & Mary 7 p.m.

Feb. 22 vs. JMU 7 p.m. ESPNU

Feb. 25 at Old Dominion 4 p.m. CSS

Best guess: The Dragons will go undefeated and win the conference.

VCU

Wednesday vs. Towson 7:30 p.m. ESPN3

Saturday at Old Dominion 2 p.m. CSS

Feb. 14 at George Mason 9 p.m. CSS

Feb. 22 at UNC Wilmington 7 p.m.

Feb. 25 vs. George Mason 6 p.m. ESPN/ESPN2

Best guess: The Rams will go 4-1, finishing tied for second.

ODU

Wednesday at William & Mary 7 p.m.

Saturday vs. VCU 2 p.m.

Feb. 14 vs. UNC Wilmington 7 p.m.

Feb. 22 at Georgia State 7 p.m

Feb. 25 vs. Drexel 4 p.m. CSS

The Monarchs will go 2-3, losing to VCU, Georgia State and Drexel.

What are my predictions for GSU?

If what I think happens will happen, including the Panthers winning their remaining games, they will secure the fourth seed. Though the Panthers were beaten by Northeastern and Delaware on the road earlier this season, they should win both of those games at the Sports Arena. William and Mary, the regular-season finale, is not playing well. Old Dominion will be the toughest remaining game. But, it’s at the Sports Arena.

Well, there’s what I think. Tell me what you think…

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

30 comments Add your comment

GStateBen

February 6th, 2012
4:47 pm

Great work Doug. I believe that our goals are in front of us. Cannot be stressed how important it is to NOT play on Friday. Richmond is a blood bath and anything can happen.

Coach Hunter promised winning and meaningful games at Georgia State. That’s 2 for 2 by my count.

I believe…

GSU

February 6th, 2012
5:06 pm

FIRE BILL CURRY!!!

GSU

February 6th, 2012
5:07 pm

“What are my predictions mean for GSU”

What?

Doug Roberson

February 6th, 2012
5:23 pm

sorry about that. had two thoughts going, didn’t finish either one.

Sluggo

February 6th, 2012
5:30 pm

Good stuff Doug. I think we’ll finish 4th as well as ODU has the toughest remaining schedule. A first day bye will be a nice step for the program.

STATEment

February 6th, 2012
5:41 pm

Top 4 would be huge considering the slide we had going for a couple weeks (Too costly loses on the road v. Delaware / Northeastern). I think we SHOULD win out down the final stretch of the season, but my history with Georgia State basketball (I know this season has been different) is that we can play with anyone in the country or get blown out by anyone in the country (good or bad). So I worry we will drop one of the games that should be a 10-20 point win (Delaware, Northeastern, JMU, W&M).

Finishing in the top 4 in the CAA would be HUGE for a first year coach and really help recruiting!!!

If you have any relation to GSU get out and support these guys down the stretch! A packed Sports Arena can really be the edge they need! GO State!

GSU is in Atlanta

February 6th, 2012
5:58 pm

I think they can get a #4 seed, but it is going to be so hard. The Northeastern and Delaware games are going to determine it all. If we beat them, then I think the confidence boost that we receive will help us notch the victories over ODU and W&M, and then hopefully have ODU drop 3 games. Who knows, but I truly believe the games this week are the determining factor.

GeorgiaState1913

February 6th, 2012
6:20 pm

At this point, what would it take to at least make NIT or CBI?

Doug Roberson

February 6th, 2012
6:31 pm

Is it cruel to say…interest?

[...] Can Georgia State finish in the top four in the CAA?Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)The good news for Georgia State’s basketball team is it has just one game remaining against the top four teams in the Colonial Athletic Association. The bad news for Georgia State’s basketball team is it has just one game remaining against the top four … [...]

RidgeRunner

February 6th, 2012
6:57 pm

I’m with Doug and GSU is in Atlanta. Not certain but it is not a stretch to say it is doable.

Stateside

February 6th, 2012
8:21 pm

I love it that we’ve got something great to fight for in the home stretch. Got my fingers crossed for the #4. We have to stay focused, which will hopefully be easier now that the team can stop building up so many frequent flyer miles.

ajg-marietta

February 6th, 2012
10:10 pm

Thanks for the analysis, Doug! I hope you are right, because that Friday bye would be huge for the Panthers. I believe that the Panthers can win against ODU and think that Drexel should win, as well, but hate to count on VCU for help.

GSU Men's BB Fan

February 6th, 2012
10:45 pm

I’m thinking team this team gets at least a CBI or that other tourney bid…what is it? CIT? The “College Insider” one? Anyway that would be nice. I think making it to Sunday in the CAA tourney could get us in the NIT.

Panama

February 6th, 2012
10:56 pm

Anyone who has been to the Sports Arena in 2012 knows how hard it is for a visiting team to play there now. Panthers run the table.

GSU

February 7th, 2012
9:03 am

We shouldn’t be satisfied with the CIT or CBI. NCAA or bust.

Charles

February 7th, 2012
9:39 am

Does anyone know when the renovations depicted in the facilities master plan to the sports complex scheduled to start?

Georgia State Alumni in Statesboro

February 7th, 2012
10:06 am

We will be carpooling from Savannah and Statesboro to see GSU Panthers in action.
Go Panthers!

GSU_2012

February 7th, 2012
10:36 am

Getting the 4th seed would be huge. Although, I think that getting the 5 seed would not be the worst thing in the world. The 5/12 match up will be against Towson, and that could be a nice warm up. We will have not played for an entire week and I think that this team likes to have confidence going into a game. Maybe the Towson game could provide a spark that could get us over ODU the next day.

I am not saying that I want us to get the 5 seed, obviously rest would be better than playing, however…playing at that 5 spot would not be the worst thing in the world.

English

February 7th, 2012
10:44 am

I love your prediction Doug. However, I still see the ODU game as a loss for us. I hope I’m wrong but regardless if ODU is having an off year. They still are a very good basketball team. So I’m predicting that we’ll go 4-1 over our remaining 5 conference games. I’m predicting ODU will go 4-1 as well with their only loss being against Drexel. Like I said before, I hope I’m wrong but there is some good basketball programs in this league and see us with the 5 spot. I hope the Panthers proove me wrong.

Let’s Go State!

Leroy Jenkins

February 7th, 2012
10:46 am

4 or 5 seed, you’re still going to have to likely win 3 straight against some form of ODU/VCU/Mason/Drexel in a road environment in VA. If anyone can do it though, it’s Ron Hunter.

English

February 7th, 2012
11:07 am

The thing is we’ve faired well against everyone of those teams with the exception of ODU. We don’t know how we’re going to match up against one another. The top 4 teams don’t scare me as much as they did in the past.

GSUAlumBaseball81

February 7th, 2012
1:36 pm

Let’s do it PANTHERS! One victory at a time starting Wednesday night. BLUE OUT!!!

GSU_Tang

February 8th, 2012
1:44 am

No. 4 seed is a great start. Go Panthers!!!

STATEment

February 8th, 2012
9:08 am

Wouldn’t a 5 spot put us in a first round match up against Towson? I know it is about fresh legs in the tournament and that wouldn’t make a CAA tournament championship any easier, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world because they are terrible. Plus, another victory would look nice in the W column, and we need as many wins as we can get if we end up looking at an at-large invite to one of the post season tournaments.

Most important thing at this point is to get on a winning streak, build confidence and be playing our best in a couple of weeks. (Don’t get me wrong a 4 spot would be stellar.)

Come out tonight and support these guys!

gsu01

February 8th, 2012
12:33 pm

Let’s get some revenge tonight and hammer Northeastern!

In Coach Hunter We Trust.

[...] The two teams are separated by only one game for 5th place in CAA play and a win would provide some separation and inch the Panthers even closer to their goal of a top four CAA finish. [...]

Matt

February 8th, 2012
2:50 pm

As important as the rest of these CAA games are, a win against UTSA in the Bracketbusters will help GSU’s at large chances in the NIT/CBI/CIT. They can forget about the Big Dance unless they win the conference tourney.

North Dakota State Rules

February 8th, 2012
4:01 pm

Let’s go Panthers

GSU Panthers

February 8th, 2012
8:12 pm

Of coarse we will. We are the best college program in Atlanta…maybe the entire state.