Georgia State (0-2) was blitzed by BYU 80-62 last night in Provo, Utah.
The Panthers fell behind by 29 points midway through the first half because they couldn’t make a shot and the Cougars couldn’t miss.
The good news, if you are a fan and were listening to Dave Cohen last night, was assistant coach Claude Pardue noted that the Panthers actually outscored BYU in the game’s last 30 minutes.
1. Don’t worry that the team is 0-2. First, last year’s squad started 0-3 and won 22 games. Second, Georgia State won’t play a team with a big man as good as the two they just faced in Duke’s Mason Plumlee and BYU’s Brandon Davies. Davies finished with 28 points and no one on State’s team sounded like they could handle him. Having said that …
2. Do worry about the offense. The team is supposed to be much better at shooting than last year’s team, but that’s not evident so far. The Panthers missed 19 of their 22 3-pointers, including a miserable 2-of-12 in the first half when the game got out of hand. While Manny Atkins found his shooting stroke to score a career-high 21 points, Devonta White’s abandoned him, resulting in a 5-of-17 performance. R.J. Hunter found the going tough for the second consecutive game, missing seven of his nine shots, including all five of his 3-pointers. BYU’s wing players were athletic, which won’t be unusual for the rest of the year. These were the two toughest games of the year. It will be curious to see how Georgia State’s players, particularly the less experienced, apply what they learned.
3. Where’s the bench? Georgia State’s reserves scored six points in 53 minutes. That’s not good enough to win a lot of games. This was a problem last year, one that resulted in coach Ron Hunter tinkering with the lineup for weeks before he found a rotation that he liked. Because there are so many new faces on the team, and there are so many freshmen whose learning curve is huge, Hunter may have to keep tinkering as he decides on roles and situations that work better for some players compared to others. For example, center James Vincent played just four minutes last night, all in the first half, because the game featured more of a running style and his game is suited more to the half court.
– Doug Roberson, AJC. Please follow me on twitter @ajcgsu