Q&A with GSU coach Ron Hunter, part I

Georgia State coach Ron Hunter was finally cleared to talk to reporters (that’s a joke, kind of) after having hip replacement surgery on April 6.

A few things happened while he was recuperating, notably the Panthers joined the Sun Belt Conference. They will begin play in 2013, giving Hunter one more year in the Colonial Athletic Association.

Hunter, usually funny, always confident and brutally honest, offered his thoughts on the move, negative recruiting tactics, last year’s team, and the one player that he forgot to tell about the pending conference change. I’ll post part II in the morning. (Questions and answers have been paraphrased)

Q: How’s your hip?

A: I’m not on house arrest, so I can come to the office for a couple of hours. I came in for 90 minutes yesterday and a couple of hours today.

Q: Did they replace it with plastic or titanium?

A: Titanium, they replaced the whole deal. They said it will make me a better golfer [laughs].

Q: I was told that you were going to watch every play from the previous season while you were recuperating. Did you?

A: I watched a lot. I learned a lot of things. I really appreciate more what we did this year.

Q: What did you learn?

A: I really learned how quickly the kids bought into the system. The system I’ve been teaching, it’s complicated. For these kids to pick it up as quickly as they did…

Q: Will that make coaching next year’s team more difficult. It will have a lot of younger players. Will it create unrealistic expectations that you can duplicate that success?

A: It helps in a sense that I’m going to take exactly what we did with this group and do the same.

Remember than when I got here, none of the players or on the staff knew my system. We’ve got three players coming back that could be starters. I’ve got 7-8 players that have been with the system and a staff that’s been through it.

Q: Is your son R.J. comfortable in it? I know you’ve never coached him, but I assume yall have talked about it and he has seen it.

A. We have talked about it. I asked him, ‘Do you feel comfortable right now playing in it?’ He said he felt confident he can play in the system. He feels really confident in it.

Q. Are you done recruiting? If so, how many more signees?

A. No. There are three kids that want the scholarship and another that’s visiting. I’m being really picky and cautious right now. We hit a home run early and I don’t want to mess this up. I will bring in one more. I might save the second one for next year’s recruiting class. More head coaches make more mistakes in April because they panic and make an offer. We have a good young group coming back. We are looking for a fit.

Q: Are you looking for a particular strength or position?

A: I need someone who can play the middle of the matchup and rebound the basketball. I need the tough guy inside. T.J. [Shipes] can be that guy, but I’d rather not rely on an 18-year-old. James Vincent is doing great. This [scholarship] is an insurance policy. I won’t recruit someone better for the system than Vincent. If Vincent makes that next step we will win 20 games next year.

Q: Twenty wins in a tough CAA?

A: I really believe that. It won’t be about talent. We will not allow our youth to be a crutch for us. VCU was young and won.

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

15 comments Add your comment

ajg-marietta

April 17th, 2012
3:30 pm

ajg-marietta

April 17th, 2012
3:32 pm

Seriously, great stuff, Doug. Glad you asked about recruiting.

Panthersville.com

April 17th, 2012
3:52 pm

Wonder if the guy who is visiting is a transfer (ie Michael Bradley) – that may help with the decision of whether to use the last scholly this year or not.

RidgeRunner

April 17th, 2012
3:55 pm

Sounding good. Waiting.

GSU Bleed Blue

April 17th, 2012
4:11 pm

Love this coach. Just need him to stay in the game. However, even Gene Hackman was tossed from a few games.

Sluggo

April 17th, 2012
6:03 pm

Good stuff Doug. Another 20-win season would be a great way to exit stage left.

BariBlue

April 17th, 2012
8:11 pm

As always, good deal.

GSU is in Atlanta

April 17th, 2012
9:21 pm

Good article Doug and I am looking forward to reading part two…I cannot seem to get enough of CRH and what he has to say.

phil

April 18th, 2012
7:13 am

Way to ask those tough questions!!

Fluff.

Doug Roberson

April 18th, 2012
7:28 am

Phil, what would you like to know?

STATEment

April 18th, 2012
8:16 am

Great stuff. Good stuff that we have 3 guys that want the scholy. Seems like we have the upper hand to pick what he feels would be the best fit. Hope it’s one more stud.

Stateside

April 18th, 2012
10:59 am

If everyone in the world was like CRH, the world would win a lot more basketball games.

Panther Princess

April 18th, 2012
1:33 pm

Phil, what would you like to know?

1+1=2
1+2=3
1+3=4
1+4=5
1+5=6
1+6=7
1+7=8
1+8=9
1+9=10 …. oh no! Double digits…. Are you confused yet, Phil? Go away you gnat!

Fluff.

phil

April 18th, 2012
7:15 pm

If he’s proud of how he acted down at Mercer…

Will he rise above such behavior in the future, regardless of what some ref might say to him?

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