Archive for November, 2012

Louisiana Tech outraces Georgia State; Trent Miles hired to coach football

Louisiana Tech did to Georgia State on Friday what the Panthers did to many of their opponents in the Sports Arena last year: the Bulldogs ran them out of the building, 86-68.

Led by Raheem Appleby, who scored a career-high 34 points on 14-of-19 shooting, Louisiana Tech pushed the pace as often as it could on offense and used a press and tough zone defense to contest most shots and passes. As the pace increased, Georgia State struggled. The result was Georgia State’s second consecutive loss after a three-game win streak. R.J. Hunter led the Panthers with 23 points and Manny Atkins and Devonta White chipped in 13 each.

Georgia State coach Ron Hunter was afraid that the tough schedule he put together, which has included Duke (7-0), Brigham Young (5-2) and East Carolina (5-0), might be too much for his inexperienced squad, which has just one senior. The Bulldogs, which feature several sophomores who played last year, made the Panthers look for a gear that they didn’t have. As …

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Georgia State hires Trent Miles as its football coach

Georgia State has hired Trent Miles as its next football coach.

Miles comes to the Panthers from Indiana State, where he’s been the coach for the past five seasons. He will replace Bill Curry, the architect of the program who recently retired from coaching. A press conference is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Monday at the Sports Arena. Athletic director Cheryl Levick deferred commenting until Monday. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

Miles’ background turning around programs may make him a good fit for Georgia State, which lost 10 of its 11 games this season, dropping its three-year record to 10-23 as it prepares to move to the Sun Belt Conference and FBS level next year. Attendance has steadily decreased from an average of 16,750 in 2010 to 12,312 this year.

“As Georgia State Football enters its next chapter with the move to FBS and the Sun Belt Conference, we need a program-builder, and that’s exactly what we have in Trent Miles,” Levick said in a statement. “He …

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GSU adds women’s swimming and diving

Georgia State has approved women’s swimming and diving, joining sand volleyball as the second women’s sport added since football took the field three years ago.

In addition, men’s cross country and track and field have been reclassified to club status.

The Sun Belt, which Georgia State is joining next summer, has women’s swimming and diving. The team will use 14 scholarships and is looking for a facility it can rent for practices and meets. It is considered an equivalency sport, meaning the 14 scholarships can be divided among several athletes.

The changes to track and field and cross country will go into effect 2013-14. The change won’t change much. The university hasn’t offered scholarships for track and field and has only offered the minimum of 3 1/2 in cross country.

Georgia State said the addition of women’s sand volleyball, and swimming and diving will assist it in its continuing efforts to comply with letter and spirit of Title IX.

Other headlines for you

Georgia State …

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Georgia State interviewed Lazor, according to report

Virginia offensive coordinator Bill Lazor interviewed for Georgia State’s football vacancy earlier this week, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

He becomes the third candidate connected with the job, which was made available when former coach Bill Curry retired from coaching after the season. Virginia Tech running backs coach Shane Beamer and Sam Houston State coach Willie Fritz have also been linked with the position. Panthers offensive coordinator John Bond has also interviewed.

Georgia State declined to comment because the search is ongoing. An e-mail to Virginia hasn’t been returned.

Lazor just finished his third season as the Cavaliers’ offensive coordinator after spending seven years in the NFL. The Cavaliers had the third-best offense in the ACC in 2010 (404.8 yards per game) and fourth in 2011 (399.8 ypg) before falling to eighth this year (396.5 ypg).

Lazor began his NFL career, which included stops with the Redskins and Seahawks, as Dan Reeves’ quality control …

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How might conference expansion affect Georgia State?

How will the ripple effect of conference expansion find its way to Georgia State?

As you know, the splash that was made during last year’s comings and goings resulted in Georgia State moving from the Colonial Athletic Association to the Sun Belt. The move made geographical, financial and common sense.

In addition to playing football on the FBS level, the Sun Belt featured more geographic rivals than the Panthers had in the CAA, whose closest team was seven hours away in Wilmington, N.C.

Well, it appears that one of those rivals, Middle Tennessee State, is following Georgia State’s script and is moving up to Conference USA, considered a tier above the Sun Belt in conference reputation.

That move occurred because the Big East raided Conference USA on Tuesday, taking two teams. That move by the Big East occurred because the ACC was expected to take Louisville (which it has done), which occurred because the Big 10 took Maryland.

So what does this mean for Georgia …

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GSU interested in Willie Fritz, according to report

Georgia State has discussed its football coaching vacancy with Willie Fritz, currently the coach at Sam Houston State, according to coachingsearch.com.

As of Monday afternoon, Georgia State hadn’t asked for permission to talk to Fritz, according to athletic director Bobby Williams. An email to Williams on Tuesday hasn’t been returned. Georgia State declined to comment because it’s an ongoing coaching search.

Fritz is known as program builder after leading the Bearkats the FCS national championship game last year. Sam Houston will host Cal Poly on Saturday in the second round of this year’s FCS playoffs.

Fritz is 28-9 in three seasons at Sam Houston. Before that, he went 97-47 at Central Missouri, a Division II school, and 39-5-1 at Blinn College, a junior college. The Bearkats are running an offense that mixes a pro-style attack with some option, and the defense uses a 4-2-5 approach. Both of those should sound familiar to Georgia State fans.

Fritz is the second coach to be …

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Georgia State’s three-game win streak snapped by ECU

By Stan Awtrey

For the AJC

Georgia State’s basketball team was feeling pretty good about itself after winning three straight in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic prior to Thanksgiving. But Monday night, the Panthers learned from experienced East Carolina that they remain a work in progress.

Georgia State (3-3) struggled against the bigger, stronger and more experienced Pirates and dropped a 62-53 decision at the GSU Sports Arena. The Panthers play Friday at home against Louisiana Tech.

“One thing my team is not ready for is tough, older, experienced teams,” said Georgia State coach Ron Hunter. “We’re not going to be able to rush that. That was an experienced basketball team. I told my team that you can win games by being tough and nasty on the road and that’s what they did.”

Georgia State was dominated on the glass. East Carolina, an upper-tier team from Conference USA, outrebounded the Panthers 47-26. Georgia State had only five offensive rebounds.

East Carolina’s …

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Hunter earns CAA honors for second time

Georgia State’s R.J. Hunter earned CAA rookie of the week honors for the second time this season after averaging 15.3 points and 4.7 rebounds in three wins last week.

The Panthers defeated Monmouth, Tennessee State and South Alabama in the region of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at the Sports Arena. Hunter hit 14 of his 37 field-goal attempts and seven of his 20 3-point attempts.

Georgia State will host East Carolina at 7 tonight.

Ticket for lower level have already sold out for the game, in which Georgia State is asking fans to wear white. Tickets in the upper level are $12. GSU students get in free.

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

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Georgia State will host ECU on Monday

Georgia State will try to win its fourth consecutive game when it East Carolina at 7 p.m. Monday at the Sports Arena.

The Panthers (3-2) are 16-3 at home at “Hunterville” since coach Ron Hunter took over the program before the 2011-12 season.

“When I got to Georgia State, I made it publicly known that I wanted to make the Sports Arena one of the toughest places to play,” Hunter said in a statement given to the media. “To be successful in college basketball, you have to defend the home court and split on the road. So far we have been able to do that.

“I think one of the reasons we have been able to gain some success at home has been our crowds. They have been loud and really given us a great home court advantage.”

Georgia State is asking fans to wear white to the game.

The Panthers will host Louisiana Tech on 7 p.m. Friday to finish the five-game homestand.

East Carolina will be a tough test for the Panthers. The Pirates are undefeated (4-0) and averaging 79.2 …

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Atkins sparks Georgia State to third consecutive win

By Stan Awtrey

For the AJC

Manny Atkins continues to find a way to contribute to Georgia State’s basketball success.

On Tuesday night he threw a half-court pass that led to Rashaad Richardson’s game-winning shot against Tennessee State. On Wednesday afternoon he discovered his shooting touch and scored a career-high 26 points to lead the Panthers to a 75-73 win over South Alabama in the final game of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at the GSU Sports Arena.

Georgia State (3-2) swept all three of its games in the tournament. The Panthers are off until Monday, when they host East Carolina at 7 p.m.

Atkins is a 6-foot-6 junior from Tucker who played his first two seasons at Virginia Tech before transferring to Georgia State. After scoring 21 points at BYU, Atkins scored only six in the next two games. But when his first two shots fell Wednesday, his confidence started to grow.

He wound up making eight of 11 from the floor, including five of six 3-pointers. He also led the team …

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