The NCAA has turned down Georgia State’s appeal to allow Curtis Washington to play for the men’s basketball team this year.
Washington, a 6-9, 230-pound forward, transferred to Georgia State from Southern Cal during the offseason. He will have two years of eligibility remaining. The Panthers will host Life College in an exhibition at 7 p.m. Monday at the Sports Arena.
Coach Ron Hunter said they considered appealing the NCAA’s decision, but decided not to.
Washington’s absence should mean more playing time for T.J. Shipes, Laron Smith and Denny Burguillos, according to Hunter.
The situation is the same as Manny Atkins’, who transferred to Georgia State from Virginia Tech and had to sit out last year. He is eligible to play this year.
While Washington must now sit out (he can still practice), another big man is catching Hunter’s eye. He said Markus Crider, a 6-6 combo player, is coming on strong. Hunter said Crider is skilled enough to play anywhere from point to power forward.
“He’s so versatile he makes things better for us,” Hunter said.
Ryann Green, a 6-1 guard, is another player who is impressing Hunter. Green, who walked on to the team last year, has worked his way into the eight-man rotation because of his toughness.
“As a group I love where we are at but those two guys have really worked their way into the rotation,” Hunter said.
Though R.J. Hunter is one of four players who will likely start, along with Devonta White, Rashaad Richardson and Manny Atkins, Hunter said he’d like to R.J. improve his consistency and defense, which Hunter said happens with most of the freshmen.
“His bad days can’t be bad,” Hunter said. “His great days are great. He’s got to figure out that medium.”
– Doug Roberson, AJC. Please follow me on twitter @ajcgsu