ATLANTA-Georgia State began a busy summer schedule on Tuesday after players reported back to campus for summer school over the weekend. It is the start of eight weeks of conditioning and skill instruction as preparations begin for the 2017-18 season.
Head coach Ron Hunter, who became the all-time winningest coach in Georgia State history last year, enters this season just three wins shy of 400 for his career. He has led the Panthers to four of the seven most successful seasons in program history in his six years at the helm of the program.
“We are excited to have the guys back on campus,” head coach Ron Hunter said. “The team has been working hard during off-season conditioning and have come back ready to help us reach another NCAA tournament. To be at our best next March starts today and I think we are off to a great start.”
Georgia State returns three starters to the mix from last year including Sun Belt Freshman of the Year D'Marcus Simonds. He will be joined in the back-court by senior Isaiah Williams and junior Malik Benlevi, along with six other returnees.
Hunter will also welcome six newcomers to the program this year. Graduate-transfer Basil Smotherman joins the Panthers from Purdue and will be eligible immediately, while Pitt transfer and Atlanta native Damon Wilson will redshirt the 2017-18 season. A talented group of freshmen also join the mix in Denis Alibegovic, Josh Linder and Kane Williams.
The Panthers finished runner-up in the Sun Belt last season and have now finished in the top two in the league standings in three of the last four years, winning 86 games during that time. The 86 wins is just one shy of the most in any four-year stretch in program history.
Per NCAA rules, the team will continue to skill-instruction throughout the summer. Following a break in August and into September, the squad will start to prepare for its first exhibition game tentatively set for early November.
Season tickets for the 2017-18 season are on-sale by calling 404-413-4020.