Georgia State Men's Basketball 2015 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Georgia State Panthers
Sun Belt (24-9, 15-5)


Big Wins: 12/4 Green Bay (72-48), 3/5 at Louisiana-Monroe (58-50), 3/7 Georgia Southern (72-55)
Bad Losses: 1/5 Texas State (74-77), 1/17 at Appalachian State (69-74), 2/26 at Arkansas-Little Rock (83-92)
Coach: Ron Hunter

Why They Can Surprise:
While Georgia State goes seven deep in valuable contributors, its main strength is the talents of just two men: guards Ryan Harrow and R.J. Hunter. Harrow and Hunter combined for some ridiculous numbers this season. They played roughly 70 combined minutes per game while scoring 40+ per night. They were each dominant passers for a team that otherwise wasn’t elite at sharing the basketball. The same goes for three-point shooting. And while Harrow was excellent at scoring with efficiency, Hunter thrived on volume buckets and getting to the line. R.J.’s percentages took a hit this season, but he made up for it with stellar free-throw numbers in terms of both attempts and makes. Where their teammates did help was on the defensive end. Georgia State was a top-tier team in opponent field-goal percentage, steals and turnover margin. Five different Panthers players averaged at least one steal per game. Holding opponents down and forcing mistakes helped cover up for any other deficiencies this team had.

Why They Can Disappoint:
First place in the Sun Belt wasn’t a sure thing until both Georgia Southern and Louisiana-Monroe scuffled down the stretch of the season. This necessity for a late-season push happened for a couple reasons. Georgia State wasn’t as good from three as it was last year. Hunter’s shot percentage was way down, Harrow was serviceable albeit in lower quantities and no one else was even a threat. Hunter’s game log reads almost like a win-loss predictor: 1-of-8 from three, loss; 0-of-10 from three, loss; 7-of-11 from three, win. It’s not that the Panthers couldn’t overcome his missing, because they did, but if he was on, they were hard to beat. The other big deficiency for GSU was on the boards. It routinely got crushed in rebounding margin. Markus Crider, a 6-6 forward, led the club in rebounding and, while Curtis Washington was a valuable asset in the middle, he didn’t play enough to make a huge difference. A team with two first-team All-Sun-Belt performers as the Panthers have is hard to rule out, yet there remains too big of a drop-off from them to the rest of the club.

Probable Starters:
Ryan Harrow, Senior, Guard, 18.7 ppg, 3.7 apg
Ryann Green, Senior, Guard, 3.4 ppg, 1.4 apg
R.J. Hunter, Junior, Guard, 19.8 ppg, 3.6 apg, 4.8 rpg, 2.2 spg, 1.0 bpg
Markus Crider, Junior, Forward, 9.7 ppg, 6.7 rpg
Curtis Washington, Senior, Forward, 5.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.3 bpg

Key Roleplayers:
Kevin Ware, Junior, Guard, 7.7 ppg, 2.4 apg
T.J. Shipes, Junior, Forward, 4.6 ppg, 4.0 rpg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 72.7 (53rd in nation, 2nd in conference)
Scoring Defense: 62.5 (72, 4)
Field-Goal Percentage: 48.4 (12, 1)
Field-Goal Defense: 38.2 (13, 2)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.1 (289, 10)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 33.8 (193, 4)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.5 (61, 1)
Rebound Margin: -0.5 (222, 6)
Assists Per Game: 13.9 (80, 2)
Turnovers Per Game: 10.6 (23, 1)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
2014    NIT    First Round loss to Clemson
2012    CIT    First Round win over Tennessee Tech
2012    CIT    Second Round loss to Mercer

*all team stats through 3/8


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules