What will Georgia State hoops look like next year?

While Georgia State’s men’s basketball team waits to see if it will be invited to a postseason tournament, we are left to ponder what the team will look like next year.

Gone are six seniors: Eric Buckner, James Fields, Jihad Ali, Josh Micheaux, Brandon McGee and Jamar Taylor.

Their absence will be big in several areas.

The sextet produced 64 percent of the team’s points and 80 percent of the team’s rebounds this season.

The team will return three players who saw a lot of playing time in point guard Devonta White (12.4 points per game), part-time starter Rashaad Richardson (5.5 ppg) and subs James Vincent (3.4 ppg and 2.0 rebounds per game) and Tony Kimbro.

White and Richardson, arguably the team’s best 3-point shooter (36.4 percent to Ali’s 37), figure to make up the core. While Vincent can’t duplicate Buckner’s shot-blocking ability, he can be just as productive on offense given more playing time and more aggressiveness. Kimbro could fulfill the Micheaux “do-everything” role. He’s very quick and an underrated rebounder. He needs to work on his ballhandling and shooting.

Georgia State will feature several new faces. Manny Atkins, who sat out last season after transferring from Virginia Tech, and a slew of signees led by outside sharpshooter R.J. Hunter, coach Ron Hunter’s son, will arrive. Atkins and Hunter could bring a dimension to the offense that was lacking this season: a consistent outside shot. Hunter is averaging 19.9 points, including 38 percent from 3-point range, as of last weekend.

Atkins, who is 6-7, and Buford’s T.J. Shipes, who is 6-8, could also provide Hunter more height and more rebounding on the wings. Atkins averaged almost 5 points per game as a reserve for the Hokies. Shipes is averaging 13.7 points and 10.1 rebounds as of last weekend.

The other signees inclulde: 6-1 point guard David Travers, who figures to spell White, and 6-4 shooting guard Cameron Solomon, who figures to spell Richardson.

Hunter said next year’s team will play much differently than this year, likely because the team will be more familiar with the offense and especially the defense. Buckner covered up a lot of the team’s mistakes this year. They will need to tighten up next year. Vincent is a good shot-blocker around the basket, but doesn’t have the agility and quickness to step out and challenge the short jumpers as effectively as Buckner did.

Though the senior-laden Panthers won 21 games, the second-most in school history, Hunter said next year won’t mean lesser expectations just because the team will be much younger.

“Youth won’t be  an excuse,” he said. “Just because we are young doesn’t mean we can’t win. You’ll never hear me say that.”

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

31 comments Add your comment

J-GSU

March 6th, 2012
1:29 pm

J-GSU

March 6th, 2012
1:30 pm

Nice! Thanks Doug — glad to see some early projections on next year’s lineup. Interested to see if Cameron Solomon might challenge RR for more playing time.

Panama

March 6th, 2012
1:34 pm

We have an exciting future

GSU is in Atlanta

March 6th, 2012
1:34 pm

I think the future looks really bright for GSU next year, especially with the 3 scholarships that we still have to hand out. Vincent is a good player, but would definitely improve if he was in better shape. I think Ron Hunter will have these guys hungry and playing hard from the get go.

I still want to see these seniors get a few more games in at a postseason tourney.

Sluggo

March 6th, 2012
2:07 pm

CRH is the man! No excuses! Although they’ll be young, I think next year’s team has a chance to be as good, if not better. Better perimeter and free-throw shooting should lead the way.

Howdy Doody

March 6th, 2012
2:43 pm

Doug,

Any update on locker room/offices upgrades that were supposed to take place? I am hearing they are paid for but SHOW ME THE MONEY!

Doug Roberson

March 6th, 2012
3:03 pm

For which sport?

GSU Men's BB Fan

March 6th, 2012
3:15 pm

Err…”James Fields.”

GSU is in Atlanta

March 6th, 2012
3:34 pm

Doug, the reiterate what GSU Men’s BB Fan said, Who is this Josh Fields guy?

RidgeRunner

March 6th, 2012
3:51 pm

What about Tony Kimbro?

RidgeRunner

March 6th, 2012
3:56 pm

And I thought Kevin Shaw was suppose to be a good point guard?

GSU_MEX_ALUM

March 6th, 2012
4:14 pm

Don’t forget about Kimbro Doug.

Also, any news on new recruits?

Doug Roberson

March 6th, 2012
4:26 pm

I need to add Kimbro. I was feverishly trying to get this done and forgot about him. My apologies

hammer22

March 6th, 2012
5:50 pm

Doug, I’d love to hear from Manny. Could you do an interview with him about how he felt about sitting, his thoughts about the winning season (was he surprised based on our losing history), and how he thinks he’ll fit in the system (whether he wants to lead the team in scoring and be a leader)?

GSU is in Atlanta

March 6th, 2012
6:13 pm

I’m with Hammer on his idea, I would like to hear from him as well.

RidgeRunner

March 6th, 2012
6:30 pm

Howdy Doody

March 6th, 2012
7:24 pm

Basketball locker rooms and offices.

city slicker

March 6th, 2012
9:31 pm

they need to sign the point guard from columbia

GSU94

March 6th, 2012
9:32 pm

Who are we recruiting to replace Buckner. Vincent is a suitable back up in Hunters system

Projected starting Five:
PG – White
Guard-Richardson
Guard- Hunter
Forward- Atkins
Forward- Junior college player or Shipes

Bench:

Kimbro, Solomon, Vincent, Shipes, Travers

Mark "Money Bags" Becker

March 6th, 2012
9:57 pm

Now that we’ve purchased Grady Memorial Hospital, we’re building the new baseball field on the current site of that hideous parking deck across the street. We’re also buying Pencil Factory Lofts and the former site of Grady Homes, so it should be easier for students to get to games in New Panthersville on Memorial Drive near Martin Luther King Drive. Did I mention that we’re turning the Fox into Rialto North?

Your student fees at work!

GStateBen

March 6th, 2012
10:14 pm

A little early for next season but I like the conversation. I believe we add two dynamic players the first week of April.

Are we ready for some post season basketball! Doug, you hearing anything on this front?

Doug Roberson

March 6th, 2012
10:37 pm

I’m gonna make some calls tomorrow. no idea if they will yield results

L-GSU 2000

March 7th, 2012
9:21 am

guy’s that kid solomon is comin in to play right away..high school 25pts 5rbs 5dimes..1 yr juco 1st team all conference 13.1pts 3rbs 1.3stls and 46pct from the field..can score man.

STATEment

March 7th, 2012
9:43 am

Excited about the future, but worried about the youth next year. I think that we will be more talented next year, but youth always comes with it’s bumps. We can only hope that these guys come in and gel together. Chemistry is key in this big turnover years. I think that the team we had this year really came together during the season and had played together for several years which was a big reason for the success. I’m excited for next year already! Here’s hoping Hunter can avoid that Soph. slump!

GMU

March 7th, 2012
9:49 am

GSU_MEX_ALUM

March 7th, 2012
10:21 am

@STATEment: I agree!

One thing is for sure… Our FT % is going to improve.

J-GSU

March 7th, 2012
11:10 am

@STATEMent I share the same concerns about the youth, but guys like Cameron Solomon and Manny Atkins come with experience. Our floor general will be a junior and we have two scholarships to fill that could very likely end up being JUCO players.

GSUBB

March 7th, 2012
11:47 am

GMU, I hope we do not look like that. You know, a team that does not show up for big games. That would be terrible.

Alum

March 7th, 2012
8:01 pm

@GMU… Nice collapse. At least we beat VCU unlike you 2 time LOSERS.

Mark "Money Bags" Becker

March 7th, 2012
9:49 pm

Ooh, in your face, GMU. In your FACE!

GSUAlumBaseball81

March 8th, 2012
1:55 pm

Colonial Trolls LMAO! Too funny!