Richmond, Va.--Georgia State freshman R.J. Hunter was named CAA Rookie of the Year unanimously and earned All-CAA First Team honors Friday night as the Panthers took home several awards at the annual CAA Championship Banquet. Hunter also earned CAA All-Rookie Team honors and senior James Vincent was named to the CAA All-Defensive Team.
Hunter becomes the first Panther to earn both top awards following a season that saw him finish sixth in the CAA in scoring. Hunter, the only son of head coach Ron Hunter, was one of just four players in the country to average at least 17.0 points and 5.0 rebounds per game.
Vincent, who finished his career with 117 games played, sixth most in school history, blocked 70 shots this season, a 2.3 per game average, which ranked second in the CAA. His 70 blocked shots are third most in a single-season in GSU history, while finishing his career with 132 rejections, second most in program history.
“I am extremely proud of R.J. and James for everything they did for our team this year,” commented head coach Ron Hunter. “James gave us everything that he had and there is no doubt in my mind that he played his best basketball this season.
“As both a coach and a father, I am very happy that R.J. His season surpassed everyone’s expectations and I am so pleased that I was able to watch him grow this year after missing his senior season of high school.”
Hunter was a unanimous selection for the CAA Rookie of the Year award (coaches and SID’s couldn’t vote for their own players) as he tallied double figures in 24 contests and topped the 20-point mark 12 times. He is also the first freshman to be named to the All-CAA first team since UNCW’s Brett Blizzard in 1999-2000.
Hunter, a six-time CAA Rookie of the Week, also earned CAA Player of the Week and Lou Henson National Player of the Week honors on Feb. 4. The freshman from Indianapolis put together the most impressive freshman season in Georgia State history, setting a school-record with 527 points scored in his first year.
He scored a career-high and CAA season-high 38 points against Old Dominion, making a school-record 10 three-pointers. The 38 points are the seventh most scored in a single-game in Panther history and the most by any player in the CAA this season.
Hunter made his collegiate debut at No. 8 Duke, scoring a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Georgia State will return all but one senior to a squad that went 15-16 and finished tied for fifth in the CAA this year, the Panthers best finish since joining the league in 2005.