The day after: Hunter says team played its worst game; he’s happy at GSU

Georgia State coach Ron Hunter said his team played what was likely its worst game in the past 10 in Saturday’s 61-59 loss to George Mason in the quarterfinals of the Colonial Athletic Association men’s basketball tournament.

He said the seniors played out of character, and that it wasn’t because of anything the Patriots did.

He said he didn’t want to use the word nervous, but he said it was almost as if the moment was too big for the group.

The team’s six seniors must now wait for an invitation to play in one of the postseason tournaments.

Hunter’s IUPUI team played in the CBI two years ago. They won at Hofstra in the first round and lost at Princeton in the  second round.

Until then, they will be left to wonder “what if?”

The Panthers lost to George Mason because they missed 13 free throws, including nine in the second half. It was the story of the season. Of the team’s eight losses to CAA teams this season, seven could be traced to missed free throws. In contrast, Georgia State hammered Hofstra by 35 points in the first round of the CAA tournament by making 20 of 24 free throws.

“It’s been our Achilles’ heel all season,” Hunter said Saturday night.

Some of you good people have asked me if there’s a chance Hunter will leave because of the success he’s had in his first season at Georgia State, or if his contract will re-negotiated.

Hunter tried to alleviate some of those concerns Sunday, saying that he loves coaching at Georgia State and that his son, R.J., is very excited about playing at Georgia State. He said that is of the most importance to him.

“I love coaching here,” he said. “I want to be here.”

He said after the season is done, he and his agent will discuss his contract.

But Hunter doesn’t seem ready for the season over.

If they are invited to play in the NIT, CBI or CIT, he said he will continue to play the seniors, and not give added time to the underclassmen to better prepare them for next season.

“I don’t want to take the moment away from the seniors,” he said.

The team needed to win the CAA tournament to earn the automatic berth to the NCAA tournament. Its  RPI of 135 (as of Saturday) may not be high enough to earn an invitation to the NIT, which means it may have to wait on an invitation to the CIT or CBI tournaments.

The CBI is a 16-team tournament that begins on March 13 and ends with a best-of-three series that begins on March 26 and ends on the 28th. Oregon won the tournament last year. Virginia Commonwealth won it in 2010.

The CIT field will be announced on Sunday, March 11. The field, which included 24 teams last year, has a selection committee that  includes former Georgia coach Hugh Durham and former Georgia State coach Lefty Driesell, according to its website. First-round games begin March 13 and the championship game is March 28.

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

26 comments Add your comment

GSU is in Atlanta

March 4th, 2012
2:06 pm

Give Hunter a raise, he deserves it!

GeorgeMason

March 4th, 2012
2:14 pm

Hairy Dawg

March 4th, 2012
5:43 pm

GSU will be in one of those tournaments. Nobody expected them to have such a good season, so let’s give Ron Hunter the credit he’s due.

GSUWI94

March 4th, 2012
5:50 pm

jesus christ (Intentional), you make a strong case. Please stop watching these “monkees”, the British group, play basketball. I believe they recently lost a member. They also “prefere” hip hop. I believe you need to stick to getting your GED to begin with. Then pay attention to another sport. I INTENTIONALLY SPELLED THE YOUR NAME WITH LOWER CASE LETTERS.

Derp

March 4th, 2012
7:05 pm

Ryan Pearson in 2 games against GSU: 55 minutes, 2 FG’s

P-O-Y! P-O-Y!

GSU is in Atlanta

March 4th, 2012
7:36 pm

GSUWI94…That was a really deep statement.

Patriot74

March 4th, 2012
8:01 pm

still bitter…ehh derp? GSU in two games against George Mason: 0-2.

hammer22

March 4th, 2012
8:53 pm

Free throws killed us.

hammer22

March 4th, 2012
8:53 pm

Enter your comments here

Occupy Hunterville

March 4th, 2012
9:04 pm

GeorgeMason, any clips from the game today?

BariBlue

March 4th, 2012
9:05 pm

Keep you heads up fellas… Panther fans are so proud of this coach and team.

Sluggo

March 4th, 2012
10:32 pm

Go Panthers!

panther

March 4th, 2012
11:39 pm

good job patriot

GeorgiaState1913

March 4th, 2012
11:43 pm

It’s almost as if GSUWI94 was trying to communicate with us or something…huh. On a different note, George Mason got lucky against us in 2 games. Both games came down to the wire. They didn’t beat us, we beat ourselves with our free throws.

lance manion

March 5th, 2012
11:46 am

Congrats to Coach Hunter and his team. You played well and had a great season. Now on to post season play. Go GSU Panthers!

Panther4Ever

March 5th, 2012
11:46 am

Hunter deserves a raise and GA State probably is in good hands with this coach. BTW, Why dont we play Mercer in Macon and Ga College in Milledgeville. We did play Ga Southern this year. Maintain these in state rivalrys for the fans linked in.

Panther

March 5th, 2012
4:19 pm

Gcsu isnt division 1. Not good for us

Oh Snap!

March 5th, 2012
5:55 pm

Doug, is it true that we are like 1 million in the hole concerning our athletics budget?

GSUWI94

March 5th, 2012
6:32 pm

A little too deep for your understanding. Maybe take a few philosophy courses. Or, at least basic logic and critical thinking GEORGIA STATE 1913. I am not trying to speak to you. Just those with understanding.

GSU is in Atlanta

March 5th, 2012
6:45 pm

GSUWI94….You are such a deep person, thank you for your enlightenment….

BTW the monkees comment is extremely racist along with the hip hop and GED comments.

I hope you are not GSU grad because you are embarrassing.

Cheryl Levick

March 5th, 2012
10:44 pm

We are currently in negotiations for Ron Hunter to coach football this fall. Big announcement about the new basketball arena in the coming days (hint: kiss Woodruff Park goodbye).

BariBlue

March 5th, 2012
11:59 pm

Seniors… keep your heads up. It just wasn’t meant to be this year. For some of you, this is your last season playing basketball. Life doesn’t end after college bball… new opportunities will come your way!

State of Atlanta

March 6th, 2012
12:11 am

Congrats to Coach Hunter. Heck of a job.

GSU is in Atlanta

March 6th, 2012
12:54 am

I hope these guys get invited to a postseason tournament, they deserve to play another ball game.

Panama

March 6th, 2012
1:43 pm

Would be nice to pack the Arena one last time for them to say Thank You

Doug Roberson

March 6th, 2012
3:04 pm

I don’t believe that’s true. I’m waiting on updated financial statements