ATLANTA—Georgia State will continue its five-game home-stand hosting unbeaten East Carolina on Monday night in the Sports Arena at 7 p.m. Head coach Ron Hunter will be looking for his 300th career victory as GSU goes for its fourth straight victory.
Georgia State (3-2) earned three straight victories as part of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic last week, defeating Monmouth, Tennessee State and a South Alabama squad that was receiving votes in the ESPN Coaches Poll.
The Panthers have been greatly improved at home under Hunter, putting together a 16-3 mark in his one-plus seasons, including four straight entering Monday night dating back to last year.
Fans are encouraged to wear white to the game for the inaugural “Night-White” game and glow-in-the-dark white t-shirts will be handed out to fans.
The game can be heard live on WRAS-FM 88.5 beginning with the Panther Pregame Show at 6:30 p.m. Live stats and live video will be available at GeorgiaStateSports.com.
A pre-game event for PAC donors of the $100 level and higher is also set for Monday starting an hour before the Panthers tip. Donors can meet, network and enjoy food and beverages in the PAC Lounge on the third floor of the GSU Sports Arena. To register, please call 404-413-4144.
Monday night’s match-up with East Carolina (4-0) will mark the fourth game of a five-game home-stand that will end on Friday night hosting Louisiana Tech.
“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,” commented Hunter. “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.”
Junior Devonta White, who earned Preseason All-CAA Second Team honors, leads the team in scoring (15.4 ppg) and minutes, 37.4, second in the CAA. One of three team captains, White is also averaging 2.2 steals and 2.4 assists per game. He is just 381 points away from becoming the 17th Panther with 1,000 career points.
Freshman R.J. Hunter, the only son of head coach Ron Hunter, is scoring 14.4 points per game, coming off an impressive 25-point performance against South Alabama last Wednesday. He is pulling down 6.2 rebounds per contest, 14th in the CAA. He is tied with White for third in the conference with 2.2 steals per game and eighth in free throw percentage, making 79.3 percent from the charity stripe.
Redshirt-junior Manny Atkins enters Monday’s contest coming off a career-high 26-point performance against South Alabama. The Virginia Tech transfer hit 8-of-11 from the floor, including 5-of-6 from three-point range.
Atkins is averaging 11.6 points and 5.6 rebounds per game, shooting 83.3 percent from the free throw line, sixth best in the CAA.
Senior James Vincent made three straight starts last week, opening the week with a school-record tying nine-block performance against Monmouth. He is averaging a CAA-best 3.2 blocked shots per game, while scoring 4.6 points and grabbing 3.6 rebounds a game.
An early-season unsung hero for the Panthers might be redshirt-sophomore Cameron Solomon. In his first year with Georgia State, Solomon has come off the bench in all five games to averaging 6.6 points while playing just 14.8 minutes per game. The junior-college transfer has scored 10 points in each of the last two games.
Georgia State proved last year that losing the opening game or two of the season does not mean a losing season is ahead. GSU began last season 0-3 before rolling off an 11-game winning streak en route to a 22-victory season, second most in school history and only behind the 29 wins of the 2000-01 team of head coach Charles “Lefty” Driesell. This year, the Panthers started 0-2 travelling to two of the toughest places in the country, Duke and BYU, before starting their current three-game winning streak.
East Carolina is led by a pair of 19-point per game scorers, Maurice Kemp and Miguel Paul, who both shoot better than 52.0 percent from the floor. The Pirates earned wins over a pair of Southern Conference schools in their last two games, UNC Greensboro and Appalachian State.
ECU is averaging just under 80.0 points per game, while allowing just 61.5 points per contest. They have also forced 63 turnovers in just four games, however, this will be the Pirates first road game of the season.
Georgia State will conclude its five-game home-stand on Friday facing Louisiana Tech at 7 p.m. in the Sports Arena. To purchase tickets, please visit GeorgiaStateSports.com or call 1-866-GA-STATE.