ATLANTA—For the first time in school history, Georgia
State will host the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, beginning Monday at the GSU
Sports Arena. After opening the season with a pair of road games, it will also
mark the Panthers home opener and the first of five straight at home.
Georgia State (0-2) will welcome Monmouth (1-2), South
Alabama (2-0) and Tennessee State (0-3) as the squads play six games in three
days. The action begins Monday with South Alabama facing Tennessee State at 4
p.m., followed by GSU hosting Monmouth at 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Monmouth and South Alabama will take to the court at 4 p.m., followed
by Georgia State welcoming former Panther Travis Williams and his Tennessee
State squad at 7 p.m. The tournament will conclude on Wednesday as Monmouth
faces Tennessee State at noon, followed by Georgia State against future Sun
Belt foe South Alabama at 3 p.m.
of Georgia State’s games can be heard live on WRAS-FM 88.5 beginning with the
Panther Pregame Show 30 minutes prior to tip. Live stats and live video of all of
the games 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.
State opened the season facing arguably its two biggest challenges of the year,
at No. 8 Duke and at BYU, ranked 13th in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major
Top 25 poll.
The team will now spend the next two
weeks at home beginning with the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.
“My team and I are proud to be
participating in such a prestigious event,” commented head coach Ron Hunter.
“Cancer has affected everyone in someway and the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic,
along with the NABC have done a great job raising money for the American Cancer
“We are welcoming three very good
teams to the Sports Arena. Each one of them brings a different challenge. After
playing in two of the toughest environments in the country, it will be good to
be home knowing that our fans are making the GSU Sports Arena one of the
toughest places in the country to play as well.”
Junior Devonta White, who earned
Preseason All-CAA Second Team honors, leads the team in scoring (16.5 ppg) and
minutes (37.0) after two games. One of three team captains, White is also
averaging 3.0 steals per game and shooting 88.9 percent from the free throw
Redshirt-junior Manny Atkins, who is
in his first year playing for the Panthers after transferring from Virginia
Tech, led the Panthers with 21 points and eight rebounds against BYU. Atkins is
averaging 13.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and playing 34.5 minutes per game.
Freshman R.J. Hunter, the only son of head coach Ron
Hunter, is also scoring 13.0 points per game, while collecting 8.5 rebounds per
contest. He was named CAA Rookie of the Week last week after earning a
double-double in the season opener at Duke. He is shooting 92.3 percent from
the free throw line, helping the Panthers to a 78.1 percent mark at the charity
Junior Denny Burguillos, a junior-college transfer from Casper (Wyo.) College
has made a pair of starts for the Panthers, averaging 17.5 minutes in two
games. He scored nine points and grabbed six rebounds at BYU. He is shooting
57.1 percent from the floor, second best on the team.
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.
Monmouth, Georgia State’s Monday opponent, opened the
season with an impressive 91-62 victory over GSU’s CAA foe Hofstra. The Hawks
followed with an 84-57 loss to No. 20 Notre Dame. They are led by Andrew
Nicholas who averages nearly 20 points per game.
Tennessee State, who Georgia State will play on Tuesday,
has had arguably the toughest schedule of the three teams with losses at BYU,
South Dakota State and Minnesota. Robert Covington leads the Tigers with 14.0
points and 6.7 rebounds per game, while Kellen Thornton is averaging 13.0
points and 8.7 rebounds per contest.
Georgia State will conclude the event facing future Sun
Belt foe South Alabama. The Jaguars opened the season with an impressive 76-71
victory over No. 25 Florida State. The Jaguars have four players averaging in
double figures, led by Augustine Rubit’s 16 points and five rebounds per game.
In two contests, Mychal Ammons is averaging a double-double of 15.0 points and
12.0 rebounds per contest.
The Acura Coaches vs. Cancer Classic
is one of the most prestigious early-season college basketball tournaments.
Twelve teams will compete in the event with four of them serving as regional
hosts. Regional Round action takes place from Nov. 9-13 with the four hosts
advancing to the Championship Rounds, Nov. 16-17, at the Barclays Center in
Brooklyn, NY. The remainder of the field will participate in a round-robin
series at one of two sub-host sites.
The Coaches vs. Cancer program is a
nationwide collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National
Association of Basketball Coaches that empowers basketball coaches, their
teams, and local communities to make a difference in the fight against cancer.
The program leverages the personal experiences, community leadership, and
professional excellence of basketball coaches nationwide to increase cancer
awareness and promote healthy living through year-round awareness efforts,
fundraising activities, and advocacy programs. Since 1993 the initiative has
raised more than $85 million dollars to fund groundbreaking research, provide
up-to-date cancer literacy, advocate for public health policies and deliver
services to improve the quality of life for patients and their families.
Following the three-day event, Georgia State will host
East Carolina on Nov. 26 at 7 p.m. To purchase tickets, please visit
GeorgiaStateSports.com or call 1-866-GA-STATE.